The benefits that massage therapy can have on the circulatory system are well documented. Not only can a good massage improve circulation, can it can also help to mitigate the effects of high blood pressure (also known as hypertension.)
Research has shown that regular massage as part of a holistic approach to managing high pressure can reduce stress levels, and over time lead to a reduction in blood pressure. High blood pressure is a serious health concern in Australia with more than 3.5 million Australians diagnosed with the condition, and many more undiagnosed. This makes addressing the condition through a range of remedies extremely important.
The Causes of High Blood Pressure
Many people suffer from high blood pressure in silence. One of the reasons it’s called the silent killer is that there are no noticeable symptoms of high blood pressure and left untreated will drastically increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
This is why it’s so important for those older than 35 to have their blood pressure checked regularly by their GP. The main causes of high blood pressure are lifestyle factors which include
– Diet high in cholesterol and salt.
– Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
– Being overweight and inactive
– High Stress levels.
Controlling High Blood Pressure with Massage
Several studies have found that massage therapy reduced blood pressure over the long term including stress reduction and a reduction of salivary and urinary hormones, and lower depression and anxiety which can contribute to elevated blood pressure. Research conducted by the University of Florida found that patients suffering from high blood pressure who received multiple massages over a 10 week period had significant improvements in blood pressure compared to a control group who simply rested. Researchers from Leeds University in the UK also found that neck massages were particularly beneficial in reducing hypertension and help the brain maintain steady blood pressure, breathing and heart rate.
Is it safe for very high blood pressure?
Since massage increases blood flow, there are legitimate concerns that those suffering from very high blood pressure may be better off not participating in massage treatment. If we have a client who is suffering from very high blood pressure we may require an opinion from your doctor and perform some other checks to evaluate the extent of the condition before proceeding with a massage treatment plan. We will also adopt the best techniques for the patient which no do not provide over exertion or stimulation but instead help aid relaxation and lower body tension
If you have any further questions about how massage can help you with a range of medical conditions please speak to the Brisbane massage therapists at Mobilise Remedial Massage today on (07) 3870 5990 for our Toowong practice.