Breathing is something most of us take for granted. It’s something we do without even thinking about it most of the time. However, paying more attention to how we breathe and practicing therapeutic deep breathing techniques, as taught in many yoga classes, can very significantly improve your circulation. It’s also a technique that works in a very complementary way with other major forms of varicose vein treatment.
After varicose vein treatment in a clinic, such as sclerotherapy or EVLT, you’ll no doubt be told to walk at least a few times a day to stimulate your circulation and help ease pain. This expedites the healing process after varicose vein treatment by stimulating new pathways for your blood circulation to take, since your ablated veins will no longer be functional. Unfortunately, however, many vein doctors have not yet fully caught on to the fact that deep breathing, also known as diaphragm breathing, will greatly stimulate circulation.
Regardless, you can practice deep breathing after varicose vein treatment and do your walking exercise to help the healing process along. Sometimes, it’s also helpful to talk with your vein doctor about your deep breathing exercises. It gives him or her a full picture of your efforts at home and it may even help educate them on a natural technique that may benefit other patients they have recovering from varicose vein treatment. In fact, some vein doctors do already recommend yoga breathing to their patients in recovery and on an ongoing basis. In addition to improving circulation, deep breathing lowers anxiety and stress which will help your body heal faster too.
If you practice yoga style deep breathing on a regular basis, it will also help you prevent varicose veins and or slow down the progression of the disease. This can really help someone who has a family history of varicose veins or a woman who is pregnant or who has been pregnant as these are the two most predictable factors in accessing one’s risk in developing varicose veins. Deep breathing will also help calm you down before any type of varicose vein treatment so it’s a “twofer” as they say.
If you’re looking for a scientific explanation as to how deep breathing improves your circulation, here it is. As you breath deeply, you will take in more oxygen and release more carbon dioxide. This extra oxygen in your muscles, and the detoxification process of letting out more carbon dioxide, allows your muscles to more fully relax. This allows your veins to dilate more fully while at the same time giving your vein walls more tone. This improves your circulation.
Here are some simple instructions for deep breathing exercises:
1. Get yourself into a comfortable position in a room without distractions or stress causing factors. You can be sitting or laying down, whichever makes you more relaxed. Some people find playing music or practicing aromatherapy helpful to getting into a relaxed state of mind.
2. Slowly and deliberately breathe air in through your nose, not your mouth.
3. As you breathe air in, allow your abdomen to rise, along with your chest. This is the most important key to deep breathing. If your abdomen doesn’t rise during your inhalation, you are not using your diaphragm to breathe and you will take in far less oxygen. Breathing from the chest only is a form of shallow breathing and will not fully fill your lungs with the oxygen your body needs for optimal performance. Further, only deep breathing will fill the lower one-third of your lungs, which is the cleanest, least damaged portion of your lungs, especially if you are older.
4. Once you have fully inhaled, which should take about five to seven seconds, hold that breathe temporarily for about three to four seconds. Use these few seconds to focus your mind.
5. Slowly exhale the air through your mouth, not your nose. So, you want the air to go in through your nose and out through your mouth. As the air goes out your mouth, make only a small opening in your lips so you can actually hear the air going out. Play with this a bit to find an exhaling sound that you find pleasing and calming. You may want to start with a more noticeable sound and then move into a softer sound as you calm your mind and feel your body relaxing.
6. Repeat steps one through five for at least five minutes. Some people find this deep breathing technique so relaxing and therapeutic, they will continue doing it for up to thirty minutes or more. Some people enter a meditative state while they do their deep breathing exercises. You’ll have to practice a bit and see what works best for you.
Deep breathing exercises work really well for the two weeks immediately following varicose vein treatment when the body is healing. If you continue them beyond this period, you’ll also improve your chances of not needing additional varicose vein treatment. You may want to get yourself a leg elevation device and practice your deep breathing exercises while you elevate your legs and allow any edema to drain.
In addition to actually doing these deep breathing exercises, you can also try to train yourself to breath from the diaphragm, where the abdomen is rising, all the time. Even when you are not taking extra slow deliberate breaths during deep breathing exercises, abdominal breathing will help you improve your circulation, and thus improve your varicose vein condition.
You cannot tell how bad your varicose veins are by simply looking at your legs. Instead, you need to have a duplex ultrasound done, which is a 3D real time picture of the inside of your veins and how the blood flows through them. You’ll also need a vein doctor to examine your legs and this test to determine if you need varicose vein treatment and what type of varicose vein treatment(s) would works best for your vein condition. You can get a FREE evaluation at any of the Metro Vein Centers in the United States just by scheduling an appointment. The vein doctors at Metro Vein Centers are some of the best in the business!