Massage therapy can have a long lasting impact on your overall health. Visiting with a qualified massage therapist will not only make you feel better, but according to research, it can also help lower your blood pressure and improve your cardiovascular health.
A recent study done by the International Journal of Preventive Medicine showed that regular massage therapy can lower blood pressure in pre-hypertensive women, and that the results last up to 72 hours after the massage.
The Study: The International Journal of Preventive Medicine concluded that massage therapy could serve as an effective intervention in controlling blood pressure in pre-hypertensive women.
Study methods: The study was a single-blind clinical trial where fifty pre-hypertensive women were randomly divided into a control and a test group. The test group received regular Swedish massage therapy, while the control group received no massage.
Protocol: The test group received a 10–15 minute Swedish massage three times a week for 10 sessions. The control group was instructed to simply relax for the same period of time while receiving no massage. Blood pressure was measured before and after each session, as well as 72 hours after finishing the massage therapy.
Results: The researchers found that mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure in the massage group was significantly lower in comparison with the control group. The effects of massage lasted for up to 72 hours after treatment. Findings of the study indicated that massage therapy was a safe, effective, applicable and cost-effective intervention in controlling blood pressure.
You can find the full study here.