5 Ways Massage May Help Lower High Blood Pressure
Massage therapy can do wonders, whether you’re looking to lose weight, manage stress, or reduce back pain.
If you have high blood pressure, though, massage may be able to help you in another way—it may help reduce your blood pressure readings significantly and substantially.
Here are five ways massage may help lower high blood pressure in your body.
1) Reduce Stress
In a 2013 study published in Circulation, researchers asked participants to walk for 30 minutes a day. Some walked briskly on treadmills for 30 minutes each morning; others strolled around an arboretum for an hour every afternoon.
At random intervals throughout the study, participants’ blood pressure was measured.
After four months, those who walked briskly saw their diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) drop by 4 millimeters of mercury—equivalent to 5 points on a 150-point scale—while they maintained their systolic blood pressure (the top number).
Although some medications can have similar effects, yoga and meditation may also lower high blood pressure.
A 2012 study found that after just eight weeks of practicing Transcendental Meditation twice daily, subjects were able to reduce their systolic blood pressure by 10 mm Hg and their diastolic blood pressure by 6 mm Hg.
The benefits lasted at least five years after people stopped meditating regularly.
To lower your own blood pressure naturally, try these tips: Exercise regularly: Studies show that even low-intensity exercise like walking can help you manage your weight, improve your heart health, and reduce stress—all factors that affect your blood pressure.
Work out at least three times a week for about 30 minutes per session or do moderate activity most days of the week.
2) Improve Blood Circulation
One of massage’s main benefits is that it improves blood circulation throughout your body.
Your circulatory system helps move oxygen and nutrients to all of your cells, and carries waste products away from your cells.
When you have poor circulation, your immune system can suffer; but when you have good circulation, your immune system can stay strong.
There are also tons of studies which found massaging a certain area will help reduce inflammation in that area, so if you want to lower high blood pressure with massage—it’s definitely worth it! (Just make sure you’re not self-massaging while driving!)
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine has even shown that acupuncture could lower high blood pressure through reducing stress levels, or increasing relaxation.
Acupuncture can help stimulate nerves and muscle tissues, which helps them relax more easily.
While there haven’t been many clinical trials for massage on high blood pressure yet, it does show some promise. A study by Northwestern University did find that daily massage reduced participants’ stress levels significantly after just 10 days!
3) Ease Muscle Tension
Chronic stress, which often accompanies high blood pressure, may be due to excessive muscle tension in your shoulders and neck.
If you’re constantly stressed out—from work or something else—seek relief by getting a relaxing full-body massage, which can also relax your heart rate and lower blood pressure.
What’s more, massage releases feel-good endorphins that help reduce pain and improve sleep quality. A study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that patients with chronic low back pain experienced reduced pain levels for at least six months after receiving weekly massages.
Try full-body deep tissue massages or Swedish massage for stress relief on an as-needed basis or once a week for several weeks to see if it helps alleviate chronic stress.
Then, incorporate these into your routine. Note: Don’t have time for a professional massage? No problem!
4) Help You Fall Asleep Easier
Many people suffer from insomnia. If you have high blood pressure, there’s a good chance you’re one of them. One key to lowering your blood pressure is getting a good night’s sleep—which may sound easier said than done.
But with some help from massage therapy, you can get better quality sleep and in turn lower your blood pressure as well. That’s because experts believe that massage might reduce anxiety and stress, which can increase heart rate and blood pressure.
However, it’s important to note that massage doesn’t cure high blood pressure or its causes; it simply helps lower them.
If you want to improve your quality of sleep and reduce stress, then book an appointment with your local massage therapist today!
It’s true: getting a massage at home once or twice per week will help you relax and fall asleep faster by reducing anxiety and stress levels—two factors that commonly disrupt our sleep cycle.
It will also help to decrease muscle tension, especially if your job requires you to sit for hours on end each day, which in turn leads to further disruptions. To ensure these benefits don’t go unnoticed by others around you, ask for gentle music during treatment.
Not only will it lull both of you into relaxation mode quicker but also has been shown to be more effective at reducing high blood pressure than massage alone!
Why You Should Get Your Next Massage: With all these added benefits not just for yourself but those around you too, why wouldn’t you invest in regular massages?
5) Keep Hypertension Under Control
Hypertension is a common problem, affecting approximately one in every three adults. If not treated, it can lead to a heart attack or stroke, both of which are life-threatening medical emergencies.
Because hypertension affects so many people and can cause so much damage if left untreated, it’s important to work with your doctor on finding an effective treatment.
Doctors commonly recommend medication for patients with high blood pressure—particularly if their hypertension is severe—but massage therapy may be helpful as well.
By lowering blood pressure and helping maintain healthy blood flow to vital organs such as your heart and brain, massage therapy has been shown to improve both physical and mental health overall.
Not only does it keep your blood flowing smoothly but also helps you feel relaxed and calm throughout your day!