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Massage for Cardiovascular Health

Massage is viewed as an important approach to relieving muscle pain or as a means to relax. However, working with a qualified massage therapist can also play a significant role in improving cardiovascular health as evidenced by a growing body of research.

Many are aware that heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. As such, health advocates increasingly urge people to make positive lifestyle adjustments to prevent this outcome. While the most important cardiovascular disease prevention habits include not smoking, regular exercise and a heart-healthy diet, few recognize the niche massage therapy fills in maintaining heart health.


Recent reports shows a direct correlation between massage therapy and improved cardiovascular health...

Massage Therapy Can Help Lower Blood Pressure and Control Stress

In a recent study in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers concluded massage therapy could serve as an effective intervention in controlling blood pressure in pre-hypertensive women. The study showed that the immediate results of lowered blood pressure lasted up to 72 hours after massage.

A separate study in the same publication had similar findings; those that received regular Swedish massage therapy over a period of four weeks had significantly lower blood pressure than those who did not have a massage.

Massage Therapy for Reduced Pain, Anxiety and Muscular Tension in Cardiac Surgery Patients

Research published in The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery indicates that massage therapy can significantly reduce pain, anxiety and muscular tension, as well as enhance relaxation and satisfaction after cardiac surgery.

Massage Therapy Can Increase Thoracic Cavity Space


According to massage therapy and osteopathic medical expert Dale G. Alexander, LMT, MA, PhD, there is another way massage therapy can benefit heart health. In a recent Massage Today article, Alexander describes how massage can literallycreate more space for the heart within the thorax. In the article Alexander explains, “This is achieved by increasing the suppleness and length of the soft tissues both within the chest and those of the outer wall, enhancing the mobility of the thoracic joints, and by reducing the pressure within the cavity itself.” Based on this premise, freeing restrictions found in the sternum, rib and thoracic areas will help the heart function at maximum capacity, thus improving overall cardiovascular health.