After living in India for some I time I came up with a theory about why India women don´t have varicose veins, and both sexes seem to have much more flexible legs and bodies. The reason is that whether sitting on the floor or higher, they do their best to keep their feel at the same level as their hips.
By pulling my feet up on couches and even chairs, I managed to avoid varicose veins and swollen legs during pregnancy, and I hope to avoid them (and many other problems) when I get over.
This theory of mine was unexpectedly confirmed by a specialist.
Some days ago I was talking to a German surgeon. At the end of the conversation I had to pick something up from the floor. Typically, a westerner bends at the waist; but and Indian woman would bend at the knees (squatting down) since it´s considered rude and unesthetic to put the content of the decollete on display or stick out the a$$. I have learned to do that too, because IMHO it looks better. As the surgeon watched me, he suddenly asked me about the furniture in my house... I told him that although I do own "normal" furniture, I have floor-level sitting arrangement. Defensively, I added that it´s quite comfortable. He triumphantly replied that he himself has a floor sitting arrangement since 15 years, ever since a trip somewhere in Asia. He stated that most of the problems that the westerners have with their feet and legs are due to spending such a huge amount of time with our feet down ! This makes the blood flow to the feet, and stay there. The result: varicose veins, swelling the the ankles, and may many other problems. He showed me the pamphlet in which he published his studies: comparing the leg problems of the people in the parts of the world which sit with their feet hanging down vs those who keep their feet up.
I was triumphant ! My theory is right !
I quote from the surgeon´s brochure (full version PDF available here at http://www.ourbluewonder.com )
Statistical records refute the well-known doctrine, that women have more varices than men. In developing countries, some of which have an original occurrence of varicose veins of 0 percent – meaning that people never develop varicose veins, just like all other wonders of nature, all other animals on this earth, even though people walk upright there as well – and sometimes upright indeed!
D. Burkitt mentions in a study from 1976 that one of 100 persons were effected from 1000 pregnant Indian women who were examined. One percent compared to the current rate of pregnancy varicosis among German women of between 30 and 50 percent.
(The cause of varicose veins) must be an unnatural factor, to which the miracle “human being” is adapting.
In my opinion, this factor is the chair. It is man “sitting” on the chair, or more precisely man being held by the chair. The sitter is fooled. Although you probably think that you are sitting as you are reading this, in reality you are doing nothing. The chair is holding you. I, on the other hand, am writing these lines lying on my stomach in my study. Of course, no animal sits on an aid that takes away the body’s own tension in nature. Sitting on the ground is completely different from being held by a chair.
The varicose vein is a chronic degenerative malady. It is a symptom for the lack of body tension; like many so-called civilization illnesses (...) caused by the unnatural act of being held by the chair.
Read the whole pamphlet here.
How to sit like an Indian:
When you can, sit on the ground level, or pull both your feet up when sitting on a couch. Try to find a comfortable position. Some inspirations here, here, here, here, here, here and here,.
On a chair:
Photo by Eternal*Voyageur