Hypertension or high blood pressure is known as the “silent killer” and it affects 33% of adults in America. It is a myth that hypertension has many symptoms, in fact most people suffering from high blood pressure display no symptoms at all. Another misconception about high blood pressure is that it only affects adults, when in reality children as young as six can be suffering from elevated blood pressure. It is important for people of all ages to get regular blood pressure screenings. Hypertension is often the result of stress and elevated levels of stress hormones and one of the best treatments for those with hypertension is relaxation, yoga, and massage. That’s right, lowering your blood pressure could be as easy and relaxing as getting regular massages.
A study in the effects of myofascial trigger-point massage therapy for people with hypertension showed that significant decreases in both diastolic and systolic blood pressure resulted following massage. The study, conducted by Delaney, J.P., Leong, K.S., Watkins, A., and Brodie, D. in 2002 at the Wirral Metropolitan College Department of Medicine in Liverpool, United Kingdom, also reported that patients experienced decreases in muscular tension and heart rate as a result of massage therapy.
A study conducted by Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Krasnegor, J., Theakston, H., Hossain, Z., and Burman, I. reported by the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies in the year 2000, also asserts that hypertension and its associated symptoms were reduced through massage therapy. The subjects in this study were provided with 10 30-minute massage sessions over the course of five weeks. The subjects, all of who suffered from hypertension, experienced reduced blood pressure, reduced feelings of depression, less hostile behavior, and reduced levels of cortisol in their urine and salivary samples. Hernandez-Reif concluded that massage for hypertension may be beneficial to reduce diastolic blood pressure and lessen the symptoms associated with hypertension.
Research by Mieko Kurosawa, Thomas Lundeberg, Greta Ögren, Irene Lund and Kerstin Uvnäs-Moberg, conducted in 1995 at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, reported that massage-like stroking of the lateral and ventral sides of the abdomen lowered arterial blood pressure in anesthetized rats. Research by Boone, T., Tanner, M., and Radosevich, A., conducted in 2001 and reported in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, showed that subjects with hypertension who received a ten-minute long back rub experienced decreased cardiac output. The study, which took place in the Department of Exercise Physiology at The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, USA, supports the findings of the aforementioned studies.
Massage is a safe, non-invasive, and soothing treatment for hypertension, particularly for people that experience stress on a frequent basis. If treated regularly, massage patients demonstrate long-term improvement in stress levels and heart rate.
Here at Structura Body Therapies we are concerned with the overall performance of the body and understand the importance of all areas of health and massage therapy. We treat patients with all types of needs from automobile accident related injuries to sports performance work.
Please contact us today for any information needed related to massage or structural integration. 801-897-8711