The Lymphatic System
Poor blood circulation has a negative affect on the circulation of the lymphatic system. As the flow of the lymph system worsens, waste matter and excess fluids are not removed from the body, and immune functions will fail. The result is any number of symptoms and imbalances, among these swelling, headache, stiffness in the shoulders, skin conditions, constipation, and coldness in the limbs, as well as fatigue, again due to the failure of the body to eliminate metabolic waste.
The lower extremities of the body tend to suffer the most from poor circulation of the lymphatic system. When we sit or stand for long periods, work at a desk much of the day, often with our legs crossed, we lower the temperature of the body.
Our calves can be thought of as the body’s “second heart.” When we use thesemuscles, they work as secondary pumps for the circulatory system. But when we remain seated for long periods of
time we lose this function. The calves swell, and circulation of lymph slows along with blood flow. The large muscles in the thighs and buttocks are also compressed when in a sitting position, further hindering the flow of fluids. Joints also stiffen, causing aches and sharp pains in the hips and lower back.
2. Protracted Standing
Long periods of standing will also result in the inaction of the calves, stopping their pumping action and allowing blood and lymph circulation to slow, resulting in swelling.
3. Deskwork with legs crossed
Sitting for long periods with legs crossed compresses muscles around the groin, worsening swelling in the legs. Habitually keeping the legs crossed in one position can even have deleterious effects on the alignment of the pelvis.
One of the side effects of swelling, especially where the secretion of fluids is impeded, is cold hands and feet. In medical terms this kind of swelling is referred to as an edema. This type of blockage will result in the capillaries and lymph systems failing to move fluids. Whether the problem begins with cold extremities causing swelling, or swelling bringing on cold extremities, is a matter of lifestyle and physical condition. In either case, one effect is linked to the other.