High blood pressure is an incredibly common issue that affects as many as one in three people. Although most people with high blood pressure think of things like medications and reducing salt intake to get this condition under control, they may be overlooking a powerful tool for reducing blood pressure: massage. While you should never make decisions about treating high blood pressure without consulting your physician, research has shown that massage therapy can be helpful in keeping blood pressure in check. Plus, massage therapy offers many other health benefits.
Stress and High Blood Pressure
Did you know that stress can contribute to high blood pressure? Stress can dramatically exacerbate high blood pressure. A stressful event can cause blood pressure to increase as part of the full body response to stressors. For people living with chronic stress, the effects of this response can be pronounced and impactful. In addition to the involuntary physiological response to stress, stress can also increase behaviors that are likely to cause high blood pressure. For instance, many people turn to smoking or drinking to manage stress. Those with chronic stress may also be less likely to be physically active. These behaviors all increase blood pressure and can cause a double whammy when coupled with the physiological response to chronic stress.
Massage and High Blood Pressure
Research shows that massage can be beneficial for people with high blood pressure both during the massage and after. Part of the reason may be the role of massage in stress management. As multiple studies have indicated, getting a massage is a powerful, natural way to reduce stress levels.
During a massage, your body releases endorphins—also called “feel-good hormones.” These are the same endorphins that the body releases to restore balance after a period of stress. The endorphins work to mitigate the impacts of cortisol, which is a hormone that is released in response to a stressful stimulant. People who deal with chronic stress have chronically high levels of cortisol, which itself can raise blood pressure. Massage encourages the body to release the endorphins that reduce cortisol and return the body to an even keel, in turn lowering blood pressure. One study even tracked the levels of cortisol in urine and saliva before and after a series of massage sessions and proved that massage can actively reduce cortisol.
Massage also improves circulation, which helps blood flow in a healthy way while encouraging the body to release toxins and fluids that have built up and put pressure on blood vessels. Regular massage therapy can help you maintain the improved circulation and lower stress levels between treatments to promote healthy blood pressure.
Massage in a High Blood Pressure Treatment Plan
If you are considering adding massage to your efforts to manage your high blood pressure, speak to your physician first. If you are given the go-ahead, massage can be a tool in your arsenal for fighting high blood pressure and its dangerous impacts. Alongside a healthy diet, exercise, and medication as recommended by your doctor, massage can help you achieve and maintain better blood pressure.
At Spa Solai, we’re committed to helping you feel your best. We can design a customized massage therapy plan to fit your needs. Talk to our therapists about your high blood pressure concerns and find out how our different services, from Swedish massage to hot stone therapy, can help. Schedule your massage today by calling (520) 447-7727 and pressing extension 1 for our Skyline location or extension 3 for our 6th St. location. When you call, be sure to ask about all of our services, including facials, waxing, and manicures.