February is American Heart Month. Many already view massage as an important approach to relieving muscle pain or as a means to relax. However, working with a qualified massage therapist can also play a significant role in improving cardiovascular health as evidenced by a growing body of research.
The American Heart Association warns against the risks of high blood pressure which can lead to cardiovascular issues including stroke, heart disease and kidney failure . With proactive management of high blood pressure, individuals can lower their chance of developing these conditions.
A multitude of recent research shows a direct correlation between massage therapy and improved cardiovascular health.
Massage Therapy Can Help Lower Blood Pressure & Control Stress
In a recent study in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers concluded massage therapy could serve as an effective intervention in controlling blood pressure in pre-hypertensive women. The study showed that the immediate results of lowered blood pressure lasted up to 72 hours after massage. FULL STUDY »
A separate study in the same publication had similar findings; those that received regular Swedish massage therapy over a period of four weeks had significantly lower blood pressure than those who did not have a massage. FULL STUDY »
Massage Therapy for Reduced Pain, Anxiety and Muscular Tension in Cardiac Surgery Patients
Research published in The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery indicates that massage therapy can significantly reduce pain, anxiety and muscular tension, as well as enhance relaxation and satisfaction after cardiac surgery, as noted in a previous Research Roundup. FULL STUDY »