High Blood Pressure
and Massage Therapy

High blood pressure or hypertension is caused by too much pressure in blood as it moves through arteries and veins. Over time, if the force of the blood flow is continually high, it causes:

Vascular Weakness

Vascular weakness is caused by overstretching of the vessels, creating week areas, making them more susceptible to rupture. Ruptures cause aneurysm and stroke.

Blood Clots

Trapped blood causes clots which can break off and clog vessels, cutting off blood supply to parts of the body. This often causes heart attack or stroke. 

Plaque build-up can also cause clogged vessels and decreased blood supply, leading to heart attack or stroke.

Most of the time there are no symptoms of hypertension. However, some people do have signs such as:

  • Nose bleeds 
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Headaches
  • Vision change
  • Ear pain or eye pain
  • Tiredness or fatigue

Relaxation massage techniques can be therapeutic for those with hypertension,especially when combined with relaxing lavender oil. If the patient has not been treated by their physician, however, massage could be detrimental as it tends to increase blood flow which can cause more harm. 

Many studies have shown that massage therapy techniques can effectively reduce blood pressure:

Researchers from the Touch Research Institute, conducted a 1999 study that showed abnormal blood pressure symptoms were reduced by regular massage therapy sessions.

Results indicated that while two study groups (one who received regular massage therapy sessions and the other who practiced various relaxation techniques) had lowered anxiety levels, only the group that had massage therapy decreased their diastolic and systolic blood pressure.

In 2005, the University of South Florida tested how a regular back massage could effect blood pressure. Because of significant positive changes in both systolic and diastolic pressure, researchers concluded that regular massage therapy lowers blood pressure.

In 2006, National University of Health Sciences began a study to examine blood pressure changes after certain types of massage therapy was performed. They concluded that Swedish, relaxation massage had the most effect in lowering blood pressure, while deep tissue massage and other more painful techniques might actually increase the pressure.

Always consult your doctor if you suspect you have hypertension.

Massage therapy may be a natural solution to bring your blood pressure down, but this is a potentially serious medical issue that should be addressed by a healthcare provider.

This DVD, Clinical Shiatsu Medical Massage Video on DVD - Learn Acupressure Based Assessment and Treatment Protocols to Treat Back & Neck Pain From John Hickey teaches how to massage clients using acupressure, as well as how acupressure effects high blood pressure and many other conditions.

It discusses safety precautions and treatment goals for all different types of medical problems.

Learning massage techniques and how to give a massage to a family member or friend to help them relax and possibly help with high blood pressure, could be one of the greatest gifts you could ever give.

Go back to Massage Education Guide Homepage

Go Back to Pain Syndromes from High Blood Pressure

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