Get the blood circulating

Remember those awful compression stockings your grandma wore for vein problems?

These now come in sleek fabrics and stylish patterns.

“These are not your ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ stockings,” said Nancy Campbell, owner of Therapeutic Resources in Mill Creek.

Compression hosiery has been expanded to suit all ages, lifestyles and needs.

“The whole issue is circulation,” Campbell said. “I had a doctor tell me the calf was a second heart, because it is supposed to pump the fluid back up.”

The specialized hosiery helps get the job done.

Campbell will share healthy legs tips in a workshop series running through May at Columbia Athletic Club at Silver Lake.

The sessions are free and open to the public. Topics include dental care, nutrition, acupuncture, stress reduction and skin cancer.

Campbell’s clients range from pregnant women and travelers to cashiers and surgeons.

“People at Boeing wear them because they’re on their feet on cement,” she said. “People who work in the operating rooms at hospitals. Anyone who spends all day sitting at a desk.”

Runners wear compression leg sleeves to increase blood flow and hasten muscle recovery.

The stockings can help with what is known as “economy class syndrome.” Inactivity, gravity and cramped seating on long flights slow down the blood flow through veins.

When there isn’t enough activity in the legs, blood flow struggles to circulate. It can cause pain, swelling and even blood clots.

Compression increases arterial pressure so more blood returns to the heart and less blood pools in the feet.

Some causes are due to aging. “When you get older, gravity pulls things down,” Campbell said.

It’s not like buying socks at the store. It’s important that compression socks fit properly.

The stockings are covered by many health insurance plans.

Andrea Brown; 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com

If you go

The free workshops will be in the gym at Columbia Athletic Club at Silver Lake, 505 128th St. SE. A health fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 14.

For more information, call 425-745-1617, email bobbys@columbiaathletic.com or go to www.columbiaathletic.com.

Topics and dates:

Foot screening: Dr. Joyce Yan, podiatrist, 4 p.m. March 27.

Nutrition: Rhonda Bremond, nutritionist, 7:15 p.m. April 1.

Thermography and breast health: Olivia Franks, naturopath, 7:15 p.m. April 8.

Oral cancer screening: Dr. Colleen Tracy, dentist, 6 p.m. April 10.

Nutrition: Rhonda Bremond, nutritionist, 7:15 p.m. April 15.

Reduce pain and inflammation naturally: Jason Hontz, chiropractor, 7:15 p.m. April 22.

Acupuncture and chinese herbs: Sue Yang-Eng, acupuncturist, 7:15 p.m. April 17.

Pediatric nutrition: Chelsea Gordon, naturopath, 7:15 p.m. May 1.

How to reduce high cholesterol naturally: Jason Hontz, chiropractor, 7:15 p.m. May 8.

Healthy leg day: Dr. Ellen Farrokhi, vascular surgeon, and Nancy Campbell, medical equipment resources, noon May 17.

Ergonomic solution strategies for the workplace, dynamic alternatives: Mary MacClellan, 7:15 p.m. May 20.

Reduce high blood pressure naturally: Jason Hontz, chiropractor, 7:15 p.m. May 27.

Skin check day: Dr. Katrina Bassett, North Sound Dermatology, 9 a.m. to noon May 31.

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