Massage Therapy for Heart Health
In recognition of February as American Heart Month, we feature the benefits of massage therapy for cardiovascular health. The American Heart Association reported that about 18 million people in the United States have heart disease.
Chronic stress – a common problem in our stressful modern society – is a proven major contributor to cardiovascular disease. It increases the likelihood of developing or worsening heart problems. Stress speeds up the heartbeat, increases breathing rate and causes blood vessels to narrow in diameter.
A regular and consistent massage regimen can reduce the risks associated with stress. Studies have shown that consistent massage helps reduce the risk of heart attack. Massage therapy relaxes contracted muscles and assists the veins in moving blood through the circulatory system, thus reducing strain on the heart. Research also reveals that massage reduces heart rate, lowers blood pressure and increases blood circulation.
A pilot study at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center showed that inpatient massage treatments performed after heart bypass surgery reduced pain levels, decreased the frequency and severity of muscle spasms and improved sleep.
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 or is a member of a massage therapy professional association, such as AMTA or ABMP.
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.
Give us a call to discover how massage offers a drug-free, non-invasive and pleasurable approach to helping the cardiovascular system feel better and function better!