If you’re like most adults, you’ve cruised right through middle age – and maybe beyond – before your physician rendered a jarring diagnosis: You have high blood pressure.
While your physician may prescribe a medication to regulate your blood pressure, he or she also will likely recommend other strategies that can help lower your blood pressure. Don’t be surprised if getting regular massage for high blood pressure tops the list because massage has been proven to lower blood pressure. A growing body of scientific evidence points to its immediate and cumulative benefits.
High blood pressure is a sobering condition
Massage is no longer strictly the domain of spas, health clubs and luxury resorts. It’s being used in hospitals and rehabilitation centers across the country to complement treatment programs for pain, injuries and other issues and diseases. There’s no way to sugar coat it: High blood pressure is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition.
The Mayo Clinic explains it in terms that any bewildered patient can appreciate: Blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.”
About 70 million adults suffer from high blood pressure, or about one in every three, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But only about half of these people have the condition, also known as hypertension, under control.
This might explain why blood pressure claims so many lives: It is listed as a primary or contributing cause in nearly 1,000 deaths a day, the CDC says. Chief among them:
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Kidney disease
Massage for high blood pressure
- The American Psychological Association credits psychologist Tiffany Field director of the University of Miami Touch Research Institute and a longtime researcher on the benefits of massage saying massage is “proven to help hypertension by reducing diastolic blood pressure.”
- The study “Durability of Effect of Massage Therapy on Blood Pressure,” published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, concluded that “massage therapy was a safe, effective, applicable and cost-effective intervention in controlling BP” (blood pressure).
- Science Daily reported that massage therapist Arnold Kelly of the Outpatient Physical Therapy Clinic at the UAB Spain Rehabilitation Center touts both the immediate and long-term benefits of massage, especially because patients often experience “reduced tightness in the muscles, improved blood flow and breathing, plus reduced anxiety and stress.”
Once you’ve taken a deep breath about your high blood pressure and understand how massage lowers blood pressure, you’ll want to find a qualified massage therapist.
MassageBook.com is a national directory of professional massage therapists where you can find highly rated massage therapists trained to help you with a number of conditions, including massage for high blood pressure.