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Healing the Brain Through  Increasing Blood Circulation

Healing the Brain Through Increasing Blood Circulation

April 1st, 2021

My dear reader,

I entered the field of psychology at a young age partly because I suffered from mental and physical illness and was searching for a way to heal my body and mind. Thus everything I have learned, including what I will write here, comes from personal experience from my heart to yours. I decided to label a holistic process for health for this blog only as "Flow." Flow as a label has been used in a variety of ways. Thus I was reluctant about the title but found for this blog, it felt "just right." "Flow," in this scenario, is about finding inner peace despite difficult circumstances. Within these flow series, you will find both creative work and more educative notes; here, I will begin with circulation and its importance for mental and physical health.

Increased circulation, to me, feels like a happy pill.

Not only do you experience your mood being better and uplifted, but also your entire body, including your brain, begins to heal. The more circulation, the more often it flows, and the greater you feel its impact. People are generally aware of the need for circulation for physical health. It can help wounds heal and combat heart disease, vitality, cancer, and more (Henryfordhealth, 2020). Many doctors might agree that proper circulation is essential for health as it will lead to blood and oxygen flow throughout your system, allowing all of your organs to function correctly. It has been noted it's of particular importance for a robust immune system (ibid).

However, its mental health benefits, importance, and requirement for the brain are often overlooked. I have tried many therapies, and few have impacted me as significantly and positively as increasing circulation does. Perhaps, such Flow is a happy pill. With it, you find stability, are grounded and can begin healing. I firmly believe it's a vital component in your healing process and can help deter tumors, cancer and increase general healing, cognitive ability, and many mental health illnesses. Of course, it cannot be the whole cure! However, I would advocate a more significant discussion of this within the field of mental and holistic health.

Some tips for improving circulation (I have tried all of these and recommend them basic but when done daily or repetitively, can have a great impact):

  • Movement: Running, Biking, Swift walking- any form of active exercise, particularly in fresh air
  • Medical and Non-Medical Massages
  • Daily stretching, Yoga, Prayer, and or Meditation
  • Quit smoking (as it can damage brain cells and disrupt blood flow)
  • Reduce or cut out alcohol
  • Vitamins and Teas: Omega 3, Vitamin E's, Black tea, Green tea, Ginger, and Turmeric are some good options to increase circulation (please pick and choose according to your health requirements, in particular taking care not to overdo any supplement or tea and monitoring any allergies- balance is key to flow! Too much or too little of something can upset the system; in my experience, taking something for too long without a break might increase the chances of getting allergic reactions to it or upsetting your body's internal balance).
  • Decreasing stress and muscle tension (music, aromatherapy, pets-anything that works for you!)
  • A healthy diet (cut down or cut out the junk food and increase the vegetables)
  • Research indicates that cayenne pepper increases circulation and reduces plaque buildup in your arteries (Kubala 2011) -please use it at your own risk; not everything works well for everyone!
  • A study has found that those who ate 2 ounces (56 grams) of walnuts per day for eight weeks experienced significant improvements in blood flow –please consume according to your own needs (Kubala 2022).
  • Lots of water! (The amount varies according to the individual's needs; please don't overdo water- as I said, balance is critical. Too much water can lead to water poisoning or a decrease in essential minerals).

Please feel free to look through these sources below for further information on circulation.

With love, Elif

Some Sources

Alul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project. 2022. “On Wild Rue.” Al-Islam. Accessed March 14, 2022.

Brazier, Yvette. 2022. “Benefits, uses, forms and precautions of peppermint.” Medical News Today, January 2, 2022, Articles.

Çerikan, Fidan Uğur. 2020. “Consumption of fragrance from primitively up to modernity and its reflection in Turkish Culture. “ Karadeniz Uluslararası Bilimsel Dergi 48 (1): 394-408.

Connor, Nancy. 2020. A Complete Essential Oils Reference Guide. Poland: Amazon Fulfillment.

Farrar, Ashley and Francisca Farrar. 2020. “Clinical Aromatherapy.” The Nursing Clinics of North America 55(4): 489-504. doi:10.1016/j.cnur.2020.06.015

Hickey, Kristin. 2021. “Smudging 101: Burning Sage to Cleanse Your Space and Self of Negativity.” Mbgmindfulness, October 20, 2021.

Hongratanaworakit, Tapanee. 2009. “Relaxing effect of rose oil on humans.” Natural Product Community 4(2): 291-296.,emotion%20%5B4a%2C4b%5D.

Komori, T, R Fujiwara, M Tanida, J Nomura and M M Yokoyama. 1995. “Effects of citrus fragrance on immune function and depressive states.” Neuroimmunomodulation(2)3: 174-80. doi:10.1159/000096889

La Toree, Mary Anne. 2003. “Aromatherapy and the use of scents in psychotherapy.” Perspectives in psychiatric care 39(1): 35-37.

Passos, Ioannis D.and Maria Mironidou-Tzouveleki. 2016. “Perganum Harmala.” Neuropathology of drug addictions and substance misuse. 2(1): 1113-1143.

Perry, Nicolette and Elaine Perry. 2006. “Aromatherapy in the management of psychiatric disorders: clinical and neuropharmacological perspectives.” CNS Drugs 20(4): 257-80. doi:10.2165/00023210-200620040-00001

Perry, Nicolette and Elaine Perry. 2018. Your Brain On Plants. New York: The Experiment.

Sabry, Walaa and Adarsh Vohra. 2013. “Role of Islam in the Management of Psychiatric Disorders.” Indian Journal of Psychiatry 55 (2): 205-214. doi:10.4103/0019-5545.105534

Torre, Mary. 2008. “Integrated Perspectives: Aromatherapy and the Use of Scents in Psychotherapy.” Perspectives in Psychiatric Care 39(1): 35-37. Doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6163.2003.tb00672.x.

Walsh, Colleen. 2020. “What the Nose Knows.” Harvard Staff Writer. Accessed February 28, 2021.

Whelan, Corey. 2017. “5 benefits of Clary Sage Oil.” Healthline, June 20, 2017.

Watson, Stephanie. 2019. “Are there health benefits from burning sage?” WEBMD Health News, May 21, 2022, Health and Balance. sage#:~:text=How%20Do%20You%20Burn%20Sage,which%20you%20can%20buy%20online.

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