How Massage Therapy Is Beneficial for Your Heart Health

Date Posted:31 December 2018

Regardless of age, regular massage therapy can reduce stress, relax tired muscles and enhance feeling of well-being. A soothing massage can stimulate nerve endings in the skin, releasing endorphins and inhibiting stress hormones- cortisol and adrenaline.

A massage also enhances the flow of blood, in turn - blood pressure will drop and heart rates will slow down.

“Massage therapy can have a significant positive impact on patients recovering from a stroke or heart surgery as well as patients who are looking to manage their stress level in order to lower their chance of heart disease or stroke”, says Justin Doherty, a registered Massage Therapist.

The soothing rubdown can help patients who are recovering from an open-heart surgery. “The physiotherapist will use stretches or maybe manual therapy to help keep the chest open, and will use back exercises to help strengthen the back to keep it open,” Justin says. “It’s one thing to work to strengthen the back muscles to help keep the chest area open, but if the muscles in the front are still tight, they’ll still be pulling the posture forward. That’s where massage therapy can augment the benefits of physiotherapy. Loosening the muscles of the chest with massage helps patients keep their chest and shoulders in the correct position.”

There are a number studies that prove how massage therapy is beneficial for your heart health. Some information is summarised below-

In 2008, researchers studied 263 volunteers who had a massage for 45 to 60 minutes. It was noticed that ‘average blood pressure fell by 10 mg Hg and heart rate by 10 beats per minute after one treatment.’

Another study examined eight women with high blood pressure who'd had an hour long massage each week for four weeks. It was noticed that “at the end of that period, their blood pressure fell by 12 mm Hg systolic (top number) and measurements in the blood reflecting inflammation fell significantly. A control group just rested for the same amount of time and had smaller improvements in the same measurements. The drop in markers of inflammation is intriguing and suggests massage therapy may have a body-wide healing effect.”

The major risk factors for heart disease and stroke is stress. Research has shown that massage therapy is the perfect treatment for soothing stress and anxiety. Massage can take away the unwanted stress and tension, thus promoting feelings of happiness and well-being.