Circulation vs. microcirculation

by | Sep 15, 2021 | Connective Tissue Treatment, Functional Medicine, Heart Health | 0 comments

Optimal circulation is one of the building blocks of health. You need optimal circulation in order to get food and oxygen to each cell of your body, and to cart away waste material as it’s produced by all your body processes.

But what actually is good circulation?

Macro circulation vs. microcirculation

Mostly when we think of circulation, we think about the beating of the noble heart, pumping blood through the arterial system into the farthest reaches of the body. Health requires a strong heart beat with a regular electrical rhythm, and compliant arteries to carry the blood to its destination.

But what if we think about circulation from the point of view of an individual cell, floating somewhere out there in your body – perhaps in the lining of the urethra, or in the liver, or in the ligaments that stabilize the hip joint?

That cell gets nourishment, and gets rid of waste products, based only on its relationship to the local environment. To the individual cell, the heart and the arteries are irrelevant — the beating of the heart is a distant echo, and in the immediate vicinity, no artery is in sight. 

The extracellular matrix surrounding the cell contains a lot of water, but the water isn’t free to flow. It’s held in place in a gel-like lattice of hyaluronic acid and protein which is impervious to water. Fluids (and the nutrients dissolved in them) can only flow through the cracks and crevices in the hyaluronic web.

The factors that affect the free interchange of fluids, and consequently of nutrients, in this matrix are quite different from the factors that are the concern of modern cardiovascular medicine. Atherosclerosis, for example, though rightly a major focus of modern medicine, has little effect on microcirculation.

Instead, microcirculation is dependent on capillary wall integrity, local response to inflammatory-signaling molecules, and loss of elasticity of the connective tissues. 

That’s why the important methods to maintain health include:

  • connective tissue treatment, such as NeuroTactile® Therapy 
  • a diet to minimize inflammation, with little sugar or simple carbs, a small amount of meat and fish, and lots and lots of vegetables
  • anti-inflammatory herbs when needed
  • a movement program to promote tissue elasticity (what we often call “stretching”)

Schedule an appointment to learn more – call me at 212-400-9663 or email me at

Dr. Lavine has been an innovator in the use of movement and touch to promote health since 1981. He practices in New York City and Princeton, NJ.


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