High Blood Pressure – Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies
Clinical Study: High blood pressure and associated symptoms were reduced by massage therapy.
High blood pressure is associated with elevated anxiety, stress and stress hormones, hostility, depression and catecholamines. Massage therapy and progressive muscle relaxation were evaluated as treatments for reducing blood pressure and its associated symptoms. Adults who had been diagnosed as hypertensive received ten 30 minute massage sessions over five weeks or they were given progressive muscle relaxation instructions (control group). Sitting diastolic blood pressure decreased after the first and last massage therapy sessions and reclining diastolic blood pressure decreased from the first to the last day of the study.
Although both groups reported less anxiety, only the massage therapy group reported less depression and hostility and showed decreased cortisol.