The heart is the main structure of the cardiovascular system. It is about the size of a fist and is located between the lungs in the middle of the thoracic cavity. The heart has four separate chambers separated by muscle walls and valves. The two upper chambers are called atria and are encased by thin walls of cardiac muscle. The left and right atria are receiving chambers for incoming blood. The two ventricles have thicker walls and are located below the atria. The ventricles are the discharging chamber and are responsible for pumping blood from the heart to deliver it to the body.
Another function of the cardiovascular system is to help maintain body temperature by constriction and dilation of the blood vessels. A thermostat in the brain maintains the body’s normal temperature at approximately 98.6 Fahrenheit. When external temperatures, muscular exertion, or fever create too much heat, dilatation of the blood vessels in the skin allows more warm blood to flow near the skin surface. Also, when the blood vessels constrict in the skin it is when the outside environment is excessively cold; in an effort to preserve body heat, extreme situation, more blood will be sent to the brain and less to the rest of the body. Body heat is dissipated from the head, despite the bodies core temperature.
Things to remember:
Don't forget to wear a hat or beanie during the cold seasons! Wearing a hat in the cold temperatures should help keep fingers and toes warmer.
Massage therapy can help! It will bring warmth and help with circulation to the body and cardiovascular system. The pressure applied during a massage helps blood vessels increase circulation and helps delivery of oxygen and nutrients as well as removing waste from the body. CURE is having a special on massages the entire month of February - any 90 minute massage for the price of 60 minutes (you save over $100). Call 310-456-1458 to book!
Written by Massage Therapist, Teri