Cold Hands and Feet: Causes and Natural Remedies

cold hands and feet

Cold Hands and Feet: Causes and Natural Remedies

In winter, cold extremities are very common. But how to get rid of cold hands and feet? In this article I explain the cause and natural remedies to fight cold extremities and circulation problems.

First of all, you should know that cold extremities are normal in winter. In fact, the body maintains a body temperature of 37 degrees. However, the farther away from the center of the body, the lower the temperature (up to 30 degrees in the extremities).

When it is cold, the body concentrates all its energy to keep the vital organs at a stable temperature, thus ensuring your survival.  To do this, the more blood these organs receive, the more blood flow they receive. And as a result, less in the feet and hands and with a slower “flow”. This is called the phenomenon of vasoconstriction. Thus, the extremities tend to get cold.

What regulates our body temperature?

The hypothalamus

The thermoregulatory function is provided by the hypnothalamus, which is a small region located in the center of the brain. The hypnothalamus has thermo-receptors, which record the temperature of the central core. Many thermo-receptors are also located in the skin, which sends information to the hypothalamus. The blood flow is then adjusted accordingly. 

By the way, have you noticed that when you are cold you get chills? This vestigial means of fighting the cold occurs when the skin sends information to the brain, which orders a muscular reaction to create energy, and thus warm the body.

Water in our cells

It is important to mention that it is the exchange of water in our cells that technically keeps the body at a stable temperature. This is done by regulating the amount of water entering and leaving the body. That’s why when you’re hot, you sweat. But when it is cold, it is advisable to avoid dispersing yourself… which makes you sweat unnecessarily and wastes your energy. 

“In winter, keep your feet warm and your head cold” 

Chinese proverb

The kidneys: the organ to pamper in winter

Let’s start by specifying that the kidneys are associated with the element WATER in Chinese medicine. It is not without knowing that our body is made up of 70% of it. The kidneys are the organs that regulate the water balance of our body, which I mentioned above. They then ensure the proper functioning of the body, depending on the time (perspiration) or hydration (too much or too little). 

Every day, the kidneys filter an enormous amount of blood (about 7 liters / hour). Toxins are recovered and then sent to nephrons (small kidney filters). Urine is then produced, and eliminated by the bladder. Hence the close relationship of the meridians Kidney, Bladder. Caution: when you are told that sweating eliminates toxins, this is not correct: the quantity rejected is minute compared to the elimination by the urine.

So, you make the link why we warm the adrenal glands with our hands in my self-massage and ki ko (Japanese qi gong) classes?! 

Why do women often have colder extremities than men?

Estrogen Hormones

First, the greater presence of estrogen in the body. This hormone regulates the peripheral blood vessels, which may affect a greater sensitivity to temperature changes. Depending on your menstrual cycles, have you noticed that you don’t feel the cold in the same way? Technically your body temperature varies at the time of ovulation, but also during menstruation. 

I like to inform on this subject to help women better understand their bodies and live their femininity with joy. To learn more, follow my blog and join my Newsletter! 

  • I like to inform on this subject to help women better understand their bodies and live their femininity with joy. To learn more, Follow my blog and join my Newsletter!

Muscle mass

Secondly, it is often said that women have less muscle mass than men, which would be one of the factors. To tell the truth, I find this explanation inconclusive. Because having cold hands and feet is not unique to women, but also the case of some men. Moreover, according to this reasoning, sports people with more muscle mass, would then be expected to be less sensitive to the cold… This is not how I feel as a sportive woman! 

The genetic factor

Indeed, have you noticed that in a family, there are often common physical problems? Remember to ask your family members if they too have blood circulation problems, and how this translates. This can give you ideas on how to prevent the same consequences.

Fat mass

For example, a very thin person is much more sensitive to the cold, having a lot of energy stored in their fat tissue. I experienced this when I was younger and sicker, my weight went down to 46 kilos for 1m64. I remember spending the coldest winter of my life! Conversely, overweight people generally feel less cold. 

Health problems associated with cold extremities

Raynaud’s syndrome

When the vasoconstriction phenomenon is too great and the arteries become extremely narrowed, blood circulation cannot be properly performed. The extremities become white and cold for a few minutes, then turn blue with severe pain (I could testify to this).

If you notice this problem, don’t panic and think you are sick! This can happen in the mountains, skiing for example, or if your body is going through a period of weakness. 

Not against, if it is a recurring problem, I advise you to consult a doctor for blood tests, and a holistic therapist. Indeed, there may be a deep concern hidden behind this sign, which western doctors generally do not take into consideration (that is why I advise both).

Kidney failure

There are many common symptoms in the onset of many diseases, making it difficult to know if it is kidney disease or not. For example, intense fatigue, sleep problems, anemia, memory loss.

Or nausea, loss of appetite, dry mouth, dry skin or itching. But also getting up frequently at night to urinate, shortness of breath, swollen face and feet, sunken eyes, cramps, bone decalcification, high blood pressure…You think you have a kidney problem? Consult…

Solutions to prevent cold hands and feet

Healthy winter gestures

  • Do a shiatsu massage (ideally at the beginning of the season, November) to rebalance the body and prepare your organs for the cold season.
  • Wear warm gloves, or try the heaters (to put in your gloves).
  • Put a hot water bottle in your bed before you go to sleep.
  • Foot baths in the evening
  • Sleep with warm socks
  • Eating hot and cooked food
  • Drink spice herbal teas, make a cure of dry red vine leaves every October (1 small cup of herbal tea per day)
  • Take care of your skin by nourishing it with natural skin care. This will prevent it from becoming dry, cracked, or itchy.
  • READ ARTICLE: Natural Skin Care

The food, to prevent cold hands and feet

Or even test a new diet that would require too much energy from your body… To find out which foods to prioritize that are good for your health in winter, you will find answers in my article below (no, we’re not going to talk about raclette!).

Doing anything and everything to be thin at all can seriously put your body and your health at risk. In winter, we preserve our energy as much as possible and avoid major disturbances. Save the change for spring! 

Have a holistic therapist with whom you have a good relationship accompany you. If you want help, contact-me.

Solutions to improve the blood circulation

Generally, I offer vascular drainage (massage technique) to help the blood circulate better, on a heated blanket. I include reflexology (foot and hand(. Make an appointment of 1 hour in the calendar, and specify in the message that you have blood circulation problems.

-> SELF-MASSAGE and soft PHYSICAL EXERCICES (qi gong) adapted to winter 

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Fight effectively against cold hands and feet in winter?

Chinese medicine 

There are many natural therapies available to help your body rebalance itself. For all everyday ailments, whether physical or mental, traditional medicine always has a solution for you. Indeed, long before the arrival of advanced western medicine, the development of the pharmaceutical industry and hospitals, ancestral medicines existed. 

Shiatsu or kinesiology (health by touch) is very effective in freeing the origin of the body’s dysfunctions. I also offer vascular drainage (specific massage) when necessary. Again, the problem is not always localized or thought to be. This is why I look for the root cause in order to find the organ in weakness at the origin (which is not necessarily the kidneys). Indeed, the body functions as an inseparable whole. 

Of course, if there is the slightest doubt about a more important disease, be reassured: you will quickly be sent to a doctor practicing western medicine. For me, Eastern and Western medicine are complementary!

Psychological and emotional causes : poor blood circulation & Cold hands and feet

The blood circulation is connected to the heart and blood, symbol of life. The latter passes through the whole body to spread… love. The hands and legs are the most external and active parts of my body. They direct me in the universe. Cold extremities can indicate that you are emotionally withdrawn from your universe. That you are keeping your distance from a situation.

  • Cold hands can mean an expression of my emotions, or a desire to stop what I am doing. 
  • Cold legs indicate my emotional direction.

Observe your attitude towards life, your emotions, the situation you are experiencing. Open your heart, take charge of yourself, and let life guide you. The best will be! And if you need help, contact-me to see if we can work together! It is a work that can be done both in presence and at a distance, taking into account all the physical, psychic, emotional and environmental elements of your life.

“Every pain and issue is a message from the body, intended to teach us for the best of our evolution.”

Emmanuelle Matsumura

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“Every ailment of the body is a message from the body, intended to teach us for the best of our evolution.”

Cold Hands and Feet: Causes and Natural Remedies

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