Massage and Heart Health
When you think about ways to keep your heart healthy, massage is probably not at the top of the list. But believe it or not, getting a massage not only feels great, but it can also improve your heart health in several ways.
Hypertension (or high blood pressure) is a major risk factor for heart issues. That’s because it can damage your blood vessels, cause your heart to enlarge, and possibly lead to a heart attack or heart failure.
But several studies have shown that massage reduces hypertension. Some findings suggest the reason for this is massage calms the sympathetic nervous system, which controls blood pressure. As a result, it can lower both your diastolic and systolic blood pressure, relieve symptoms of hypertension, and reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Helps You Stay Active by Speeding Up Recovery
Another way that massage can help your heart health is by helping you be more active. Research shows that massage is effective at reducing inflammation after exercise. That means if you get regular massages, you will feel less sore after working out.
In addition, if your fitness routine gets interrupted by a muscle strain or other injury, massage can help you recover faster so you can get back out there.
Stress causes a number of changes in the body that may increase your risk for heart disease. It causes your body to release stress hormones such as adrenaline, which temporarily increases your heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure. It’s normal to experience some stress, but when it happens frequently or lasts for a long time, these changes in the body can begin to take a toll.
Luckily, massage has been shown to relieve stress and anxiety. One reason for this is that massage increases the production of endorphins, which are the body’s “feel-good” hormones. This helps regulate your mood and control your body’s responses so you’re better equipped to handle stress.
Choose an RMT
While getting a massage from a loved one or at a spa can be very beneficial, to get the most out of a massage, you should visit a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT). They have the training and experience to provide a variety of different styles of massage, and can create a treatment plan that is designed specifically for your needs.