Q: Does corsetting affect whether or not one may get  varicose veins? --Mari  (4/23/01)

A: For corseting to cause varicose veins it would have to interfere with the circulation of the major abdominal blood vessels by pressing them against the spine. In a naturally slender and small waisted person this could happen in a very tight corset, causing swelling of the limbs. However this would most likely be the result of lacing too quickly and not allowing the body to adjust. Even an experienced tight-lacer should in my opinion lace in stages if the reduction is more than moderate (2-3"). Corseting it itself does not cause these problems. Extreme corseting could do this, but I would qualify "extreme" as reductions over 6" without acclimatization. If gradual reduction over a long period of time causes that (6-8") reduction, I would not consider it extreme, because when removing the corset, the body would only expand 3-4" and not 6-8".

Q: My wife appears to have a varicose veins tendency.  Will corsetting make it worse?

A: Tightlacing (3-5") is not likely to cause this condition, although if extreme tightlacing is practiced without proper acclimatization, proper venous return can be compromised. Proper training however prevents this. The body should be given adequate time to adapt.

(8/25/01 & 9/13/01) - 22

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