High blood pressure may be lowered with the help of massage.
Having high blood pressure is undesirable.
It is often a sign of underlying health problems.
Blood pressure can be raised through poor lifestyle choices and even stress.
According to a recent VeryWell Health article titled “How Massage May Help Lower High Blood Pressure,” physicians recommend a variety of interventions to lower blood pressure depending on the needs of their patients.
Many of these methods have been the subject of numerous studies.
The most commonly studied interventions involve diet and exercise.
Although it has been studied less than other factors, some research has shown massages can promote stress management and lower blood pressure levels.
The results of various studies are inconclusive, but the theory behind the intervention makes logical sense.
Massages have been shown to help calm the sympathetic nervous system.
The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for how the body responds involuntarily to stressful or dangerous situations.
While massages are certainly relaxing in the short term, the long-term health effects have less conclusive data.
One trial studied a small sample of women with pre-hypertension who received a massage for 10 to 15 minutes.
What were the findings of this study?
The massage lowered blood pressure.
These effects lasted about 72 hours after the intervention.
Two weeks after the massage, the researchers found no sustained effects.
Does this mean massage cannot lower blood pressure?
It simply means the effects may not last long term.
If you are considering massage to lower your blood pressure, you should carefully select the type of massage.
Some massages like reflexology, “trigger point” release, and sports massages may raise rather than lower blood pressure.
The rise in blood pressure could be associated with pain and discomfort being more common in these forms of massage.
Although massage can reduce stress-induced high blood pressure for a short time, other interventions and lifestyle changes may be more effective at controlling blood pressure.
For example, stop smoking cigarettes, reduce sodium intake, consume less alcohol, eat a heart-healthy diet, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy body weight.
In short, while I really like the idea of massage as a treatment option, do not forget the tried and true methods of blood pressure management.
Reference: VeryWell Health (March 1, 2022 ) “How Massage May Help Lower High Blood Pressure”