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Valentines Day - The Circulatory System

Happy Valentines Day! There are so many ways to celebrate valentines day with your four-legged friends. New toys and enrichment games, adventurous walks, a new comfy bed, quality one-on-one time. You could even donate to an animal shelter in your dog's name.


In honour of Valentines day I thought we would take a look at the Circulatory system. Did you know that a dog's heart beats between 70- 160 times a minute? and research suggests that people who own a dog live longer and suffer less stress? This proves that you can never underestimate the power of love between a dog and its caregiver! So that must mean living in a multi-dog household there is plenty of love to go around.



The Circulatory System

The circulatory system is one of the 11 systems of the body. It consists of the heart, arteries, veins and blood. It has three main functions.


Diagram of the dog circulatory system
Diagram of the dog circulatory system

Transport

The heart pumps blood around the network of blood vessels in the body (arteries, veins and capillaries) via its double circulatory system. The arteries transport oxygenated blood (via red blood cells), nutrients and hormones, away from the heart to every cell of the body. The veins remove metabolic waste that has been produced by cells. This includes transporting deoxygenated blood to the heart and lungs for gaseous exchange.


Protection

An important part of the body’s immune system lies within the blood. White blood cells protect against toxins and foreign microbes (infection and disease). Platelets support the blood clotting process which is essential for wound healing.


Regulation

  • Body temperature - regulation of the body's temperature is assisted by the circulatory system pumping the heat generated by the liver and muscles around the body.

  • Body fluids – blood carries water in the form of plasma proteins to cells of the body. As a result, osmotic balance is maintained.

  • pH balance - the exchange of hydrogen ions to level out the acidity of the blood.


Diagram of the heart drawn by my own fair hands

How does massage benefits the circulatory system?

  • Warms tissues of the body

  • Increases arterial flow of oxygen, nutrients and hormones to body cells, tissues and organs.

  • Helps clear metabolic waste produced by tissues by stimulating venous and lymphatic flow.

  • Realises restrictions on circulatory flow i.e. fascial tension, muscle spasms and restrictive scarring.

  • Decreases muscle tension thereby enabling the body to work more efficiently

  • Speeds healing and shortens recovery after injury or recovery

  • Relieves muscular and joint pain

  • Aids in lymphatic drainage

  • Reduces edema and bruising

  • Enhances recovery from disease by reducing congestion and enhancing circulation.

  • Increases/ decrease blood pressure - depending on the pressure and rhythm applied.

  • Induces the parasympathetic nervous system which in turn causes slowing and strengthening of the heartbeat (relaxation).


For more information or to book an appointment, please drop me a message.


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