Mohave County
May 2024
Volume 24 Issue 3

Aug 2023 | Health | 0 comments

Harnessing body’s AC: Avoid heat stress by using pulse points to cool body down

Health | 0 comments

August 2023

NATION – When summer heat hits, it can be easy to overheat despite our best efforts. Hydration helps but in extreme heat it isn’t always enough. If you know where your pulse points are located, you can help quickly cool your body when the heat gets the best of you. This simple technique can do wonders to lower body temperature quickly when you’re feeling overheated, have a fever, or experiencing a heat-related illness. These pulse points are your body’s “cooling spots” and they’re like little built-in air conditioners. In these areas, blood vessels are close to the surface of the skin. When cold is applied, the blood vessels constrict, reducing blood flow and providing instant relief from heat-related discomfort. Here’s a rundown of where to find those cooling spots and how to quickly cool down your body using pulse points.
How to cool body down using pulse points:
Find a pulse point on your body. Your body’s pulse points include:

  • The carotid artery in the neck. The carotid arteries are the blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood away from the heart to the head and neck. Located on each side of the neck, these arteries can easily be felt pulsating by placing your fingers gently on either side of your windpipe. The carotid arteries are essential as they supply blood to the large front part of the brain.
  • The radial artery on the thumb side of the wrist.
  • The popliteal artery behind the knee.
  • The femoral artery in the groin, just above the crease where the thigh meets the abdomen.
  • The brachial artery, inside the elbow where the bicep meets the forearm. The brachial artery is the main vessel supplying blood to the muscles in your upper arm and elbow joint. It’s often used to measure your blood pressure. The brachial artery is near the surface of your skin.
  • The temporal artery on the side of the head, just above the temple.
  • The dorsalis pedis artery, located on the top of the foot., s the main source of blood supply to the foot, is the main source of blood supply to the foot.
    Apply a cold compress or ice pack to one or all of the pulse points for 10-15 minutes. For best results, apply the cold compress or ice pack directly to the skin. If applying directly to the skin is uncomfortably cold, wrap the cold compress or ice pack in a towel to protect the skin.
    You can also run cool water over the pulse points or take a cool shower. If taking a cold shower, start with your feet and work your way up to your head. This allows you to gradually acclimate your body to the cold water, which can help to prevent a sudden drop in blood pressure. Avoid taking a cold shower if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure. The cold water can constrict the blood vessels, which can lead to a decrease in blood flow to the heart.
    If feeling lightheaded or dizzy, simply stop and rest.
    – Maryal Miller Carter

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