Many people suffer from high blood pressure every day, and they need to find a way to control it. It is important that you learn how massage can help alleviate your symptoms of hypertension. Whether you have chronic hypertension or something more temporary, these tips will show you how to use massage therapy for relaxation therapy!
Benefits of Massage for Blood Pressure
Chronic high blood pressure is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. It can lead to heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. Thankfully, there are many ways you can reduce your risk of developing hypertension!
Massages help reduce high blood pressure because of the following benefits:
- Increase Your Body’s Production of Endorphins and Serotonin
- Release of Natural Pain Killers
- Relaxes Vascular Muscles in Your Tissues
- Reducing the Production of Stress Hormones
- Deep Breathing and Relaxation
- Feel More Grounded and Connected With Your Body
- Relax Your Muscles and Release Tightness
- Stimulate the Vagus Nerve in Your Brainstem
A study published in 2012 by David Rakel and colleagues found that massage therapy has significant health benefits for people with chronic hypertension. The researchers looked at a group of patients who had been diagnosed with chronic hypertension and were receiving regular massage therapy treatment from licensed massage therapists employed by their clinics.
The authors reported that after 12 weeks of regular treatments, patients’ mean systolic blood pressure decreased significantly from baseline levels (from 133 mmHg to 127 mmHg) while diastolic blood pressure also decreased but to a smaller degree (from 89 mmHg to 85 mmHg).
These findings show that massage therapy is an effective treatment for chronic hypertension and can result in long-term changes, which may be useful tools for reducing the risk of developing high blood pressure.
Lets look at these benefits in more detail below:
Increase Your Body’s Production of Endorphins and Serotonin
Massage can increase your body’s production of endorphins and serotonin, which are neurotransmitters that make you feel calm and happy. They also help to regulate blood pressure levels.
Release of Natural Pain Killers
The relaxing effects massage has on the central nervous system will take effect immediately; this is due in part to an enhanced relaxation response as well as the release of natural pain killers.
Relaxes Vascular Muscles in Your Tissues
Massage can increase blood flow and circulation, which are both beneficial for the treatment of hypertension. This is because it relaxes vascular muscles in your tissues that were constricted as a result of high blood pressure; this allows for an increased availability to oxygenated blood flow to your brain, organs, heart and other vital organs.
Reducing the Production of Stress Hormones
Massage can help to maintain healthy blood pressure levels by reducing the production of stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine that are linked with high blood pressure.
Deep Breathing and Relaxation
The deep breathing and relaxation you experience from a massage will help to reduce your anxiety, which is also correlated with hypertension.
Feel More Grounded and Connected With Your Body
Massage can help you to feel more grounded and connected with your body, which will hopefully lead to less stress.
Relax Your Muscles and Release Tightness
Massage can help to relax your muscles and release tightness, which will also have a positive effect on blood pressure.
Stimulate the Vagus Nerve in Your Brainstem
If the massage is deep enough, it can stimulate the vagus nerve in your brainstem that connects directly with blood vessels via a special set of nerves called glomus nerves.
What Type of Massage Is Good for High Blood Pressure?
There are many different types of massage. Some good examples that can be beneficial for high blood pressure include:
- Swedish Massage
- Deep Tissue Massage
- Neuro-Muscular Therapy (NMT)
- Trigger Point Therapies
- Chair or Table Massages
Reflexology and Acupressure Techniques Masseuses use a lot of different techniques that can include manipulating the spine, lymphatic drainage and trigger point therapy.
Many people with high blood pressure choose to have chair or table massages because they are less physically demanding on the body than a full-body massage.
High blood pressure is a common condition, with one in every four people having it. But the diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure can sometimes be overwhelming.
There are many types of massage therapies, but two common ones are Swedish massage and deep tissue massage therapy. These therapies use different techniques to reach the same end result: improved circulation of oxygen-rich blood that helps ease high blood pressure symptoms like chest pain, headache, or shortness of breath.
Both types of massage are beneficial for high blood pressure, but the choice will depend on what your individual needs and preferences are.
Pressure points that relieve Blood Pressure
The three most common pressure points that help to relieve high blood pressure are on the face, chest and palms.
On the Face:
Massaging your eyebrows may stimulate nerve endings in the head and cause an increase in endorphins, which are natural painkillers.
Massaging your eye sockets or temples stimulates nerves and provides relief from pain. The trigeminal nerve runs from behind your eyes to the front of your skull on either side of your face; massaging this area can also help provide relief for a headache caused by high blood pressure.
On Your Chest:
Doctors sometimes recommend patients use acupressure to treat their hypertension because it is non-invasive and doesn’t involve needles or cutting of tissues with a scalpel.
On Your Palms:
Massaging your palms can stimulate the vagus nerve in your brainstem, which connects directly to blood vessels via a special set of nerves called glomus nerves.
These pressure points help bring relief from symptoms associated with high blood pressure. They are easy and quick ways to heal that don’t require a doctor’s appointment.
Does Deep Tissue Massage Lower Blood Pressure?
Deep tissue massage can help to lower high blood pressure. These massages use a variety of techniques that include manipulation and stretching, which loosens the muscles in your body so you’ll have better circulation of oxygen-rich blood.
When people think about deep tissue massage therapy, they often imagine it is painful because the therapist will work out knots in the muscles. But deep tissue massage is actually a very gentle type of therapeutic treatment because the therapist will never use more pressure than what feels comfortable for you.
Deep Tissue Massage Therapy Techniques
There are many different types of techniques that deep tissue massage therapists may employ, but some common ones include:
Myofascial release – this technique applies gentle pressure to the connective tissues which help them release.
Trigger point therapy – this technique is often used for chronic pain because it releases tight muscles and stimulates nerves in order to reduce inflammation and stimulate blood flow, thereby reducing high blood pressure symptoms like headache or neck pain.
Acupressure/Reflexology – these techniques use pressure on reflex points to stimulate the nerves in those areas.
Massage therapy can be a great way to relieve symptoms of high blood pressure, but before you try any type of massage for your hypertension, it’s important that you consult with your doctor first. Your doctor will work with you and talk about what is best suited for your individual condition.
Can You Have Massage With High Blood Pressure?
Yes. If your high blood pressure is well-controlled, massage therapy can be a great way to relieve the symptoms associated with it and to provide relief from pain as well.
Is foot massage good for high blood pressure?
Foot massage is an excellent way to relieve high blood pressure. It affects the entire body, and by stimulating nerve endings in your feet and hands, it can have a positive effect on both your circulation as well as reducing pain from other conditions like arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.
To get a full understanding of foot massage therapy and how it can help your hypertension symptoms, talk to your doctor about what their recommendations are.
The many benefits of massage therapy are apparent to anyone who has ever experienced it. From lowering high blood pressure to alleviating chronic pain, massages can be a great source of relief from symptoms associated with hypertension. We hope that you’ve found this article helpful and invite your questions in the comments below!