Dilated Varicose Veins
Arteries carry oxygenated blood from the heart to the body. Veins carry the deoxygenated blood from the body back to the heart. Valves of the veins close, pushing the blood back toward the heart. If the valves are weak, gravity can force some of the blood back down the veins, away from the direction of the heart. The backload of blood weakens the wall of the vein, making the vein bulge and stretch.
Most varicose veins form pouches that hold the backed-up blood. The veins closer to the skin are more apt to have this weakened condition, which makes varicose veins visible. Varicose veins actually look worse than they are. Because these veins cannot carry the blood back to the heart, the blood will find another alternate vein to continue the work.
The alternate veins attempt to carry most of the blood out of the pouches back to the heart. These veins are smaller, designed to carry lesser amounts of blood. Bulges and pouches may form in these veins as well. Varicose veins are generally bluish in color, at times bulging on the surface of the skin.
The great saphenous vein that runs from the foot to the pelvic region is often the affected vein. If this is the case, the reflexologist may observe a rippled, lumpy bulging vein, running from the ankle up the leg toward the groin. If a vein is bulging in such a manner, the reflexologist will not finger or thumb walk up the leg. It is best to avoid elevated veins, working the rest of the foot, but staying away from these dilated pathways.