15 May Reducing Hypertension with Massage
The bad news:
1 in every 3 adults has hypertension
There are many factors that can cause high blood pressure, such as smoking, drinking an excess of alcohol, poor diet, stress, weight, and a sedentary lifestyle. To control and prevent high blood pressure, it is important to follow a healthy lifestyle first and consider other remedies after.
Hypertension often goes unnoticed, as there are no apparent outward symptoms specifically associated with high blood pressure. However, if a person suffers from hypertension, they are at a higher risk for heart disease and stroke.
The good news:
Certain lifestyle changes and natural remedies can help control high blood pressure and reduce the contributing factors. For example, massage therapy. Stress is a major contributor to high blood pressure, and massage is well-known for being an excellent stress-reducer.
Several studies have been conducted to determine whether massage can reduce high blood pressure, and the results are promising.
A study conducted by the University of Florida showed that patients who received ten 10-minute massages over the course of 3 weeks had a significant improvement in blood pressure compared to the control group (relaxation, but no massage).
A second study performed by the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in Iran assigned a random sampling of 50 women with pre-hypertension to either a massage group or a relaxation without massage group. The massage group received 10-15 minute Swedish massage sessions three times weekly for a total of 10 sessions. The results showed the women in the massage group had lower blood pressure after the 10 sessions compared to the relaxation group.
Yet another study was performed and reported in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies that provided subjects who suffered from hypertension with ten 30-minute massages over the course of 5 weeks. The subjects all experienced reduced blood pressure and reduced feelings of depression. The study concluded that regular massage therapy sessions may be beneficial to reduce blood pressure levels and lessen the symptoms of hypertension.
Massage is much more than a luxurious pampering session; it is a tool to promote a healthy body and mind. Massage therapy can be a non-invasive, natural treatment for pre-hypertension and hypertension. If treated regularly, patients can have long-term improvement for stress levels, heart rate, and other symptoms related to high blood pressure.