Chapter: The Massage Connection ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY : Cardiovascular System

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Hemostasis - Blood

Hemostasis is the intrinsic process that the body uses to stop bleeding from an injured vessel.

HEMOSTASIS

Hemostasis is the intrinsic process that the body uses to stop bleeding from an injured vessel. As soon as a vessel is cut or damaged, there is a reflexive con-striction of the vessel triggered by chemicals suchas serotonin that are present in platelet granules and the endothelium of blood vessels. The injured area at-tracts platelets, which then form a platelet plug.

Meanwhile, a series of events are triggered to form a blood clot in the region.

The semisolid blob of blood we know as a blood clot is actually a result of a series of complex enzymatic re-actions. While we are thankful for its formation and prevention of blood loss, it causes alarm if it forms in-side blood vessels or does not form when bleeding oc-curs. Therefore, the process of clot formation is com-plicated and must be so finely regulated that blood always stays fluid and clots only when bleeding occurs. The body has two opposing mechanisms in place—one that promotes clotting and one that prevents clotting.


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