Wait a minute …. Massage table? Did Dr. House ever scream for body oil? The great news is this: if you love a massage, you just might be helping your heart and arteries stay healthy and youthful. Scientific studies have demonstrated benefits of massage therapy for insomnia, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, cancer pain, post operative healing and other afflictions.
Several recent studies point to benefits of massage therapy that help fix the heart.
In 2008, researchers analyzed 263 volunteers who had a massage for 45 to 60 minutes. Average blood pressure fell by 10 mg Hg and heart rate by 10 beats per minute after one treatment. That’s around as much as you might get from prescribing a fresh blood pressure medication for life! http://www.nirvelli.com/
Earlier this year, 50 individuals with moderately elevated blood pressure received a 15-minute massage, three times a week for 10 sessions, while a similar group merely relaxed for the same period of time. Blood pressure dropped at the ending of the sessions and stayed lower for several days–but just in the massage group.
Another study this year analyzed 8 women with high blood pressure who had had an hourlong massage each week for four weeks. At the ending of that interval, 8 women’s pressure fell by 12 mm Hg systolic (top number) and measurements in the blood reflecting inflammation (specifically VCAM1 if you like science) dropped appreciably. A control group merely rested for exactly the same amount of time and had smaller developments in the same measurements. The drop in markers of inflammation is intriguing and implies massage therapy may have a body-wide healing effect.
Why might massage therapy result in improvements in measurements of cardiovascular function? Reductions in salivary and urinary levels of the stress hormone cortisol have been observed in several experiments in people. In contrast, urinary levels of the stress hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine weren’t seen to drop during several studies.
Bottom line: not yet fully known and studies stay to clarify these pathways. Is it time to chuck your blood pressure medicine? Throw away your magnesium, CoQ10 and taurine blood pressure lowering supplements? Forgo your plant-based diets full of phytonutrient-rich leafy green vegetables and arginine rich pine nuts, arugula and watermelon?
No, it is clearly early to contemplate massage therapy on par with those approaches. Also, there are no studies showing a reduction in heart attack, strokes, and heart related deaths–and probably never will be due to the prices of such research projects.
Nevertheless, given that tens of millions of individuals in the US alone grapple with high blood pressure, massage therapy can join acupuncture, yoga, meditation, and Tai Chi as complimentary strategies to preserving optimal vascular health. Buddha said that “to keep the body in good health is a responsibility, otherwise we shall be unable to keep our mind strong and clear.” Maybe this is the week to schedule a massage treatment to go toward that goal? For the best massage Cary NC call Nirvelli, today!