b/ Introduce regular exercise, such as walking, dancing, skipping, yoga. DO regular exercises in which you contract the muscles of the leg rhythmically, or move the ankles in circles or up and down firmly, or do upside down cycling exercises... anything which keeps muscles pumping.
c/ Learn to breathe more effectively. See a physiotherapist or a registered osteopath for advice and treatment, if necessary, as you may need some work done on the structures which are tight before you can breathe better.
d/ Stop use of the contraceptive pill, and get advice on what nutrients you need to make up for the damage this has done (consult a naturopath or nutrition consultant)
e/ Stop use of any tight clothing, especially if it constricts the waist area, and avoid use of high heels which stops normal muscle contraction in the lower leg, affecting circulation.
f/ Use elasticated support hose if your job entails excessive standing, or when pregnant, or if you are overweight. This should support not just the calf but the entire thigh, and should be put on before getting out of bed.
g/ Raise the foot of the bed by up to six inches (place blocks or books under the feet). This is not uncomfortable and helps gravity to ease back-pressure on the veins at night.
h/ Avoid standing still for lengthy periods. Rock from one leg to the other or pace gently up and down, to keep muscles moving.
i/ When sitting don't cross legs as this restricts circulation. Try to have a footstool which allows the feet to be at least level with the hips and ideally slightly higher.
j/ Avoid hot baths, warm ones are fine, but finish with a cold splash or shower application to the legs.
k/ Regular use of alternating hot and cold sitz baths (up to umbilicus in water) is useful for causing a circulatory stimulus.
Always finish with cold. If this cannot be organised use hand shower or bidet to at least apply cold water to rectal area in cases of haemorrhoids (after a bath, after every bowel movement and at least morning and evening as well).
l/ Use vitamin E cream on skin irritations.
m/ Herbal teas such as Mullein and Buckwheat are useful.
Garlic is a powerful aid in reducing levels of viscosity of the blood and is highly recommended, raw or as a capsule (two or there daily)
n/ Spinal manipulation and postural reeducation (osteopathy and Alexander Technique) can together dramatically influence normalisation of poor body mechanics which is a contributor to the problem due to negative effects on breathing as well as forward tilt of the pelvis which causes abdominal/pelvic contents to become crowded.
A combination of nutrition, hydrotherapy, exercise and common sense can transform and improve early varicose veins and haemorrhoids. Once varicosity of any sort is advanced however the best that can be achieved is relief and a stopping of the progression towards a worse state, ulcers etc.
Surgery is sometimes advisable, but only if the sort of long-term approaches recommend above are also used.
Recommended reading: Varicose Veins (Thorsons New Self-Help Series) by Leon Chaitow ISBN 0-7225-1304-6
Leon Chaitow can be contacted at The Hale Clinic, London (071-631-0156)