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How can Massage Therapy help you with high blood pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension is becoming prevalent within Canada. The Heart and Stroke Foundation reports that 9 in 10 Canadians will develop high blood pressure in their lifetime.1

Blood pressure is the pressure against the arterial walls caused by the heart pumping blood through the body. It can be broken High Blood Pressuredown into systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. The first number that is called the systolic blood pressure represents the pressure against the arterial walls when the heart beats and pumps the blood through your body. The diastolic pressure is the second number and represents the heart relaxing to allow blood to fill the heart chambers.1

Normal blood pressure is considered 120/80mmHg. Whereas high blood pressure for a healthy individual is 140/90mmHg or greater. When your blood pressure is too high it puts stress on your heart causing your heart to work harder to circulate blood through your body so that it can deliver oxygen and nutrients.1

Blood pressure often does not have symptoms and is referred to as the “silent killer”. It is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly to ensure that you can monitor and manage your blood pressure should it start to increase. Ways that you can manage or reduce your blood pressure include:1

  • Get your blood pressure checked yearly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat a balanced healthy diet
  • Reduce salt consumption
  • Be physically active on a daily basis
  • Be smoke free
  • Limit alcohol intake to 2 drinks daily
  • Manage your stress

You’re probably wondering at this point “how does massage therapy fit into all of this?” Well, massage therapy is an effective stress management technique and can actually lower your blood pressure.2

Stress releaseMassage is a form of relaxation and therefore, can help decrease stress levels. Researchers have found that the beneficial effects of massage therapy on reducing blood pressure can last for up to 3 days afterwards.2

It is even more beneficial if your massage therapist can teach you some self-massaging techniques so that you are able to enjoy the benefits on a regular basis.2 Some researchers even reported that massage therapy could be more effective at decreasing blood pressure than anti-hypertensive medication.3

 

To help manage your stress levels, call us at PrimeCARE Health to book a massage therapy appointment now!

Author: Lorelle Warr, B.Sc., M.Sc. Kinesiologist

References:

  1. Heart and Stroke Foundation. Get your blood pressure under control. [2015]. Heart and Stroke Foundation.
  2. Givi M, Sadeghi M, Garakyaraghi M, Eshginezhad A, Moeini M, Ghasempour Z. Long-term effect of massage therapy on blood pressure in prehypertensive women. J Educ Health Promot. 2018; 7: 54. Doi: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_88_16.
  3. Ziong XJ, Li SJ, Zhang YQ. Massage therapy for essential hypertension: A systematic review. J Hum Hypertens. 2015; 29: 143-151.

 

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