High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) affects an estimated 47% of men and 40% of women over the age of 55. In total, there are thought to be 16 million people in the UK who suffer from high blood pressure. If left unchecked high blood pressure can lead to a heart attack, stroke, heart failure or kidney disease.
Whilst lowering blood pressure typically involves eating well, shedding weight and cutting out alcohol, there is a single contributor to lower blood pressure that can be enjoyed – and that’s a massage.
Myths and misconceptions of high blood pressure
High blood pressure is perhaps the most convoluted of all medical conditions when it comes to misconceptions and misunderstandings. Let us first debunk the most common of all:
1. High blood pressure is accompanied with numerous symptoms
In fact, high blood pressure has no symptoms at all – this is why it’s known as the silent killer.
2. High pressure is mostly a problem for men
As we can see from the statistics we opened this article with, high blood pressure affects both genders.
3. You only require a blood pressure check when you reach old age
Actually, even children can have high blood pressure. It’s good practice to ensure that your blood pressure is checked regularly from a young age (way before your approach to middle age).
How can massage help blood pressure?
There have been numerous reputable studies that have linked regular massages to improved blood pressure. Perhaps most influential was the research by Delaney, J.P., Leong, K.S., Watkins, A., and Brodie, D. in 2002, which found a link between regular massages and decreased diastolic and systolic blood pressure, and a lowering of stress-hormone levels.
The latter of which is also important to lessen the chance of coping behaviours in responses to stress such as smoking, drinking and not eating well – all of which can push your blood pressure up.
As of 2007, researchers also found that neck massages specifically could lower blood pressure. Whilst the link between stress and high blood pressure remains tentative, the London School of Economics has found that heart disease caused by stress would likely affect half of the UK population by 2025.
Massage is an excellent solution for tackling high blood pressure when undertaken with other good practice steps such as diet, regular exercise, and reduced sodium and alcohol intake. It’s completely safe, non-evasive and incredibly soothing, helping to reduce stress in the process. It’s particularly effective for those who may suffer from stress regularly, and offers numerous other benefits, including the reduction of effects from depression and anxiety.
Our qualified massage therapists are available throughout the week, including evenings and weekends. They are trained in different types of massage and work with clients to give them the massage they need. To find out their availability call 020 3589 8664.