High blood pressure (HBP or hypertension) is when your blood pressure, the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels, is consistently too high.
In order to survive and function properly, your tissues and organs need the oxygenated blood that your circulatory system carries throughout the body. When the heartbeats, it creates pressure that pushes blood through a network of tube-shaped blood vessels, which include arteries, veins, and capillaries. This pressure — blood pressure — is the result of two forces: The first force (systolic pressure) occurs as blood pumps out of the heart and into the arteries that are part of the circulatory system. The second force (diastolic pressure) is created as the heart rests between heartbeats. (These two forces are each represented by numbers in a blood pressure reading.)
The primary way that high blood pressure causes harm is by increasing the workload of the heart and blood vessels — making them work harder and less efficiently.
Over time, the force and friction of high blood pressure damage the delicate tissues inside the arteries. In turn, LDL (bad) cholesterol forms plaque along with tiny tears in the artery walls, signifying the start of atherosclerosis.
The more the plaque and damage increases, the narrower (smaller) the insides of the arteries become — raising blood pressure and starting a vicious circle that further harms your arteries, heart, and the rest of your body. This can ultimately lead to other conditions ranging from arrhythmia to heart attack and stroke.
High blood pressure (HBP or hypertension) is when your blood pressure, the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels is consistently too high.
High blood pressure or hypertension, affects one in three adults in America, the majority of who are aged 65 years or over. Hypertension is defined by the consistent measurement of a systolic blood pressure exceeding 140 mmHg and/or a diastolic blood pressure exceeding 90 mmHg. Systolic blood pressure refers to the pressure in the arteries during a heartbeat and diastolic blood pressure is the pressure in the arteries in between heartbeats.
It is normal for individuals to experience high blood pressure during exertion. However, if a person’s blood pressure is consistently high, they are at an increased risk of stroke and heart disease, two leading causes of mortality in America. Hypertension often goes unnoticed, as no apparent outward symptoms are associated with the disease. The condition is commonly diagnosed in the physician’s office when a physician measures a patient’s blood pressure with a sphygmomanometer during a routine medical examination.
Many lifestyle factors contribute to hypertension, including cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of regular exercise, an unhealthy diet, and being overweight. Antihypertensive drugs are the primary treatment for hypertension and oftentimes, multiple drugs are used to achieve a final satisfactory blood pressure reading.
Quitting cigarette smoking, reducing alcohol intake, regular exercise, changing unhealthy dietary habits, and reducing body weight may help hypertension that is caused by lifestyle factors. Adults with hypertension should aim to reduce their experience of stress in order to prevent rises in blood pressure. For this reason, massage can be beneficial for hypertension.
A study in the effects of myofascial trigger-point massage therapy for people with hypertension showed that significant decreases in both diastolic and systolic blood pressure resulted in the following a massage. The study, conducted by Delaney, J.P., Leong, K.S., Watkins, A., and Brodie, D. in 2002 at the Wirral Metropolitan College Department of Medicine in Liverpool, United Kingdom, also reported that patients experienced decreases in muscular tension and heart rate as a result of massage therapy.
A study conducted by Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Krasnegor, J., Theakston, H., Hossain, Z., and Burman, I. reported by the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies in the year 2000, also asserts that hypertension and its associated symptoms were reduced through massage therapy. The subjects in this study were provided with 10 30-minute massage sessions over the course of five weeks. The subjects, all of who suffered from hypertension, experienced reduced blood pressure, reduced feelings of depression, less hostile behavior, and reduced levels of cortisol in their urine and salivary samples. Hernandez-Reif concluded that massage for hypertension may be beneficial to reduce diastolic blood pressure and lessen the symptoms associated with hypertension.
Research by Mieko Kurosawa, Thomas Lundeberg, Greta Ögren, Irene Lund, and Kerstin Uvnäs-Moberg, conducted in 1995 at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, reported that massage-like stroking of the lateral and ventral sides of the abdomen lowered arterial blood pressure in anesthetized rats. Research by Boone, T., Tanner, M., and Radosevich, A., conducted in 2001 and reported in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, showed that subjects with hypertension who received a ten-minute long back rub experienced decreased cardiac output. The study, which took place in the Department of Exercise Physiology at The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, USA, supports the findings of the aforementioned studies.
- Exercise most days of the week. Exercise is the most effective way to lower your blood pressure. …
- Consume a low-sodium diet. Too much sodium (or salt) causes blood pressure to rise. …
- Limit alcohol intake to no more than 1 to 2 drinks per day. …
- Make stress reduction a priority.
- Tomato juice. Growing evidence suggests that drinking one glass of tomato juice per day may promote heart health. …
- Beet juice. …
- Prune juice. …
- Pomegranate juice. …
- Berry juice. …
- Skim milk. …
Benefits of Massage for High Blood Pressure / Hypertension
Massage is a safe, noninvasive, and soothing treatment for hypertension, particularly for people that experience stress on a frequent basis. If treated regularly, massage patients demonstrate long-term improvement in stress levels and heart rate. Long-term studies have shown that a consistent massage program can decrease diastolic and systolic blood pressure; decrease salivary and urinary cortisol stress-hormone levels; and lower sources for depression, anxiety, and hostility, as well as many other benefits.
Massage for High Blood Pressure
Long-term studies have shown that a consistent massage program can decrease diastolic and systolic blood pressure; decrease salivary and urinary cortisol stress-hormone levels; and lower sources for depression, anxiety, and hostility, as well as many other benefits.
- Massage may help protect against high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease. …
- A number of studies indicate that Swedish massage (a gentle, relaxing massage type) may be useful for lowering blood pressure.
Swedish massage is the most popular type of massage in the United States. It involves the use of hands, forearms, or elbows to manipulate the superficial layers of the muscles to improve mental and physical health. Active or passive movement of the joints may also be part of the massage. The benefits of Swedish massage include increased blood circulation, mental and physical relaxation, decreased stress and muscle tension, and improved range of motion.
Swedish massage was invented by a Swedish fencing instructor named Per Henrik Ling in the 1830s. When he was injured in the elbows, he reportedly cured himself using tapping (percussion) strokes around the affected area. He later developed the technique currently known as Swedish massage. This technique was brought to the United States from Sweden by two brothers, Dr. Charles and Dr. George Taylor in the 1850s. The specific techniques used in Swedish massage involve the application of long gliding strokes, friction, and kneading and tapping movements on the soft tissues of the body. Sometimes passive or active joint movements are also used.
Unlike drug therapy, which is often associated with many systemic and long-term side effects, massage therapy is relatively safe and has few contraindications. It also provides many benefits.
There are numerous physical benefits associated with the use of Swedish massage:
- loosening tight muscles and stretching connective tissues
- relieving cramps and muscle spasms and decreasing muscle fatigue
- loosening joints and improving range of motion
- increasing muscle strength
- calming the nervous system
- stimulating blood circulation
- firming up muscle and skin tone
- relieving symptoms of such disorders as asthma, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic and acute pain syndromes, myofascial pain, headache, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, and athletic injuries
- speeding up healing from injury and illness
- improving lymphatic drainage of metabolic wastes
Mental and emotional benefits
Mental benefits associated with massage therapy include the following:
- mental relaxation
- improvement in length and quality of sleep
- relief of stress, depression, anxiety, and irritation
- increased ability to concentrate
- improved sense of well-being
In Swedish massage, the person to be massaged lies on a massage table and is draped with a towel or sheet. It is a full-body massage treatment, except in areas that are contraindicated or where the client requests not to be touched. Aromatic or unscented oil or lotion is used to facilitate massage movements. Each session usually lasts 30-60 minutes. Depending on the client’s preferences, a massage session may involve the use of several or all of the following basic techniques: effleurage, petrissage, friction, vibration, and tapotement
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*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.
Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a diagnosis, treatment, or prescription of any kind. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader. These statements are not expressions of legal opinion relative to the scope of practice, medical diagnosis, or medical advice, nor do they represent an endorsement of any product, company, or specific massage therapy technique, modality, or approach. All trademarks, registered trademarks, brand names, registered brand names, logos, and company logos referenced in this post are the property of their owners