After introducing, Hypertension, I discussed lifestyle and dietary factors that may assist you in either lowering high blood pressure or preventing it. Now I would like to share with you the scientific evidence of the effectiveness of massage in assisting with the management of Hypertension.
Seated Acupressure Neck & Shoulder Massage
In 1997 Cady et al. in Perceptual & Motor Skills evaluated the effectiveness of a 15 minute chair massage on reducing stress as indicated by blood pressure. 52 employed participants' blood pressures were measured before and after a 15 minute massage at work. Analysis showed a significant reduction in participants' systolic and diastolic blood pressure after receiving the massage. High Blood pressure is associated with anxiety and stress, this study supports the conclusion that chair massage is relaxing, reduces stress and high BP.
Relaxing (or Swedish) Massage
In 2013 Givi in International Journal of Preventive Medicine looked at the effectiveness of a relaxing (swedish) massage in the management of pre-hypertension. The study was a single-blind clinical trial with 50 women selected by random sampling divided into a control and test group. The test group (25 women) received 15 minute swedish massage 3 times a week for 10 weeks. Their BP was measure before and after each session and 72 hours after finishing the massage therapy. The results indicate the average systolic and diastolic BP in the massage group were significantly lower. In addition 72 hours after the finishing the massage therapy there was still a significant difference between the test and control group.
So if you are concerned about your Blood Pressure, go to your GP and have it checked. Then why not book a massage.
Cady SH and Jones GE, Feb 1997, Massage therapy as a workplace intervention for reduction of stress, Perceptual & Motor Skills, (1) p157- 158
Givi M, Feb 2013, Durability of Effect of Massage Therapy on Blood Pressure, International Journal of Prevention of Medicine, 4 (5) P 511 - 516.