Category Archives: Cardiovascular Health

Massage for Men’s Health

Massage for Men’s Health

In recognition of June as National Men’s Health Month, we offer this important info about massage benefits specifically for men.

There is one general benefit of massage therapy that is especially relevant to men’s health: enhanced blood circulation. Because men have a statistically higher incidence of circulatory and cardiac disorders than women, maintaining a healthy circulatory system is vital to a man’s health and massage therapy is an ideal way to achieve this.

From a healthy heart to satisfying sex, maintaining the proper circulation of blood through the arteries is one of the most important things men can do to maintain good health and slow the aging process.

Another important health issue for men is prostate health. Acute prostate infection contraindicates massage. Prostatitis characterized by chronic pelvic and/or groin pain without infection will benefit from the general pain relief that massage affords. At Pacific Massage Services, we use muscle testing to assess pelvic, hip and low back pain for an imbalance in the pelvic structural alignment. One of the most commons findings is iliopsoas spasm, which we treat with a release technique of the iliopsoas muscle, accessed through the abdomen. Many men with chronic prostatitis get lasting relief after treatment with this massage technique.

The prostate gland receives dual autonomic innervation from the prostatic nerve plexus, a part of the pelvic autonomic plexus. The pelvic plexus receives its parasympathetic input from the sacral segments of the spinal cord (S2-4) and sympathetic fibers from the hypogastric presacral nerves (T10–L2). So lumbosacral massage techniques can be effective for prostate health.

Massage is the go-to treatment in recovery from surgery for athletic injury. Muscle, tendon and joint pain from participation in sports is another common malady among men, including post-exercise stiffness of the “weekend warrior,” muscle pain from repetitive movement or over-exertion, or more serious conditions such as sprains and torn myofascial tissue.

Massage therapy reduces swelling and eases pain and stiffness. It also promotes circulation to injured areas, bringing in fresh oxygen and nutrients for healing, and assists in removing metabolic waste products that further irritate injured and healing tissue.

There are many massage techniques for treating a wide range of athletic complaints, such as medial or lateral epicondylitis, knee and rotator cuff injuries and back strain, to name a few.

Massage is magic for “the morning after!” It relieves hangover symptoms with headache relief, calms the nerves of the digestive organs, and enhances liver/kidney function to process and eliminate alcohol from the body.

For heart health, satisfying sex, pain relief, better sports performance and general wellness, a regularly-scheduled massage session is one of the most important things men can do to maintain good health and slow the aging process.

Contact us about our Men’s Health Special for the month of June! 

Massage for Cardiovascular Conditions

Massage for Cardiovascular Conditions

To acknowledge February as American Heart Month – created to educate the public about cardiovascular disease – we offer the following information on massage for specific cardiovascular conditions.

According to the Heart about 80 million Americans have heart disease or high blood pressure. The 2010 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics update of the American Heart Association reported that 17.6 million persons in the United States have heart disease, including 8.5 million with a history of heart attack and 10.2 million with chest pain. Heart disease is also the leading cause of death among women.

Many people with heart disease can benefit greatly from receiving massage. The main benefit is stress reduction, which in turn can help mitigate complications of heart disease. But there are certain types of massage that can possibly cause serious damage. You need to be sure you’re in a knowledgeable practitioner’s hands to make sure you are safe.

Because there are so many different types of cardiovascular conditions, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Your complete health history must be considered before making a decision. If you have a medical condition, you should always talk to your doctor before deciding to embark on a personal massage program.

The following cardiovascular conditions may be helped or prevented with the appropriate massage treatment from a qualified professional:

Blood thinner medications cause the body to be more sensitive and in some cases, even fragile. Deep tissue massage on a patient taking blood thinners can cause inflammation, bruising, and tissue or organ damage, including bruised kidneys. Gentle massage is generally the best choice in this case.

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a life-threatening disease that is closely linked to stress, diet and exercise. Massage may be just the thing to help you manage stress and subsequently your high blood pressure. The opposite condition, low blood pressure, is also a concern, and because massage can lower blood pressure, you may feel a bit lightheaded just after receiving a massage, until the blood pressure returns to normal. Sitting up gradually before standing after a massage will help normalize blood pressure.

A blood clot is a mass of coagulated blood entrapped within a blood vessel and impedes the flow of blood to and from the heart and other body areas. Individuals with a history of blood clots should avoid deep massage, which could possibly dislodge a clot and release it into the blood stream. In a worst-case scenario, this can induce a stroke or heart attack.

A pacemaker is a medical device that uses electrical impulses to regulate the heartbeat. If an individual has a pacemaker, stent, or any kind of apparatus implanted into a vein or artery, the therapist must avoid pressing over that area so as not to dislodge or damage the device or surrounding tissues. But the massage can usually be safely done on the rest of the body.

Massage can usually be beneficial for someone who has arrhythmia or a disruption in the heart rate, if that is the only health concern. This is especially true if the arrhythmia is induced by stress.

Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump sufficiently to maintain blood flow to meet the needs of the body. Patients with this condition should avoid vigorous massage or massages that are longer than 15-20 minutes. This is because massage will shift the flow of blood to the organs, which may create a greater burden for the heart. Start with brief 5-10 minute massage sessions, and gradually lengthen to tolerance.

Before receiving massage therapy for a heart condition, first consult your primary care physician or your cardiologist. If your doctor advises that massage may help you, find a massage therapist who meets the licensing requirements in your state. If you live in a state that does not require licensing, choose a therapist who is nationally certified through the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork ( or is a member of the American Massage Therapy Association (

With a little bit of homework, you can find a therapist who is experienced and knows how to keep you safe. If they ask about your medications and medical history, this is one indication that you are on the right track. Interview them on the phone before making an appointment and check their credentials. You can even ask your doctor to consult with your therapist.

Each therapist has varying levels of training, awareness and experience. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the therapist’s qualifications, and what they’re going to do during the massage. While you’re receiving massage, continue to ask questions as they come up. If at any time during your treatment, the massage hurts or feels uncomfortable, you should speak up. Everyone has different levels of comfort and tolerance and a good therapist wants your session to be right for you.

Regardless of your age, size, gender or health, massage therapy performed by a qualified therapist can improve your heart health by reducing the effects of stress on the body, promoting relaxation of body and mind, and enhancing your overall well-being.

At Pacific Massage Services, our staff therapists are trained and experienced in massage for many different medical conditions. Give us a call to discover how massage offers a drug-free, non-invasive and pleasurable approach to helping your cardiovascular system feel better and function better!