Imagine if all you had to do to treat your high blood pressure was to get a massage. Wouldn't that be great? Or would you rather take a pill? I like the side effects of massage a lot more that the side effects of a drug. Well, a new study has some really remarkable data on the effects of massage on high blood pressure.
The researchers in this new study took 50 women who had prehypertension. Prehypertension is when the systolic blood pressure is between 130-140 and the diastolic is between 80-90. People with prehypertension are much more likely to get high blood pressure than those with lower blood pressures.
Half of the women relaxed on a massage table for 10-15 minutes. The researchers had massage therapists give them a Swedish massage on their face, neck, shoulders, and chest. The other half also relaxed on a massage table for the same amount of time, but did not get the massage. This went on every 48-72 hours for 10 sessions. The researchers measured their blood pressures before, immediately after, and 72 hours after. The results were amazing.
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The systolic blood pressures in the massage group decreased 9%. The blood pressures in the non-massage group did not change. This is really significant. In most blood pressure studies on alternative therapies, the decrease is in the order of half that much.
The other fascinating thing is that the blood pressure decreases stayed in place even at the 72 hour mark. So the effect of the massage was a lasting one.
So how hard can it be? If your doctor tells you your blood pressure is starting to get up there, try a 10-minute neck and shoulder massage and see if it doesn't come down.
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