Scientific studies have shown benefits of massage in Dubai, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, cancer pain, post-operative recovery and other conditions.Several recent studies point to benefits of massage therapy that help heal the heart.
In 2008, researchers studied 263 volunteers who had a massage for 45 to 60 minutes. Average blood pressure fell by 10 mg Hg and heart rate by 10 beats per minute after one treatment. That's about as much as you might get from prescribing a new blood pressure medication for life!
Another study this year examined 8 women with high blood pressure who'd had an hourlong massage each week for four weeks. At the end of that period, their blood pressure fell by 12 mm Hg systolic (top number) and measurements in the blood reflecting inflammation fell significantly. A control group just rested for the same amount of time and had smaller improvements in the same measurements. The drop in markers of inflammation is intriguing and suggests massage therapy may have a body-wide healing effect.
Reductions in salivary and urinary levels of the stress hormone cortisol have been observed in several experiments in humans. In contrast, urinary levels of the stress hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine were not seen to fall during several studies.
Is it time to chuck your blood pressure medication? Throw away your magnesium, CoQ10 and taurine blood pressure lowering supplements? Forgo your plant-based diets full of phytonutrient-rich leafy green vegetables and arginine rich pine nuts, arugula and watermelon?
No, it's clearly premature to consider massage therapy on par with those approaches. Furthermore, there are no studies showing a reduction in heart attack, strokes, and heart related deaths—and likely never will be due to the costs of such research projects.
However, given that tens of millions of people in the US alone grapple with high blood pressure, massage therapy can join acupuncture, yoga, meditation, and Tai Chi as complimentary approaches to maintaining optimal vascular health.
Buddha said that “to keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”
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