High blood pressure, or, in medical terminology, hypertension is characterized by the consistent measurement of a systolic blood pressure exceeding 140 mmHg and/or a diastolic blood pressure exceeding 90 mmHg. The systolic blood pressure applies to the arterial pressure that occurs during a heart beat, whilst the diastolic blood pressure is the amount of pressure exerted in between beats.
High Blood Pressure in Australia
Although people of other nations often think of Aussies as being healthy, hearty and athletic, the Australian heart Foundation reports that from 2011 to 2012, 4.2 million Australians aged 18 years and over had high blood pressure. The prevalence of uncontrolled high blood pressure was highest in Tasmania, at 30 percent and lowest in the Northern Territory, at 16 percent. Western Australia ranked in the middle, at 21percent.
Factors Contributing to High Blood Pressure
Heredity, lifestyle, diet, exercise and the ability to relax are important factors that influence high blood pressure. If left uncontrolled, high blood pressure can potentially become fatal. Fortunately, you can choose to control many of the factors that contribute to high blood pressure. Reducing stress, for example, can prevent dangerous heightening of blood pressure. The results of a number of studies indicate that massage therapy can alleviate the symptoms of hypertension.
Whilst our licensed iPhysio Perth massage therapists would love to help, please check with your physician before scheduling an appointment. Massage therapy is contraindicated in cases of extremely high blood pressure or heart disease. Hopefully, by adapting to a regular massage therapy schedule, we can take a proactive approach, and prevent the condition from worsening.
Massage and Hypertension Research Studies
A research project on the effects of myofascial trigger-point massage therapy for people with hypertension resulted in encouraging information. After the massage session, the participants displayed significant decreases in both diastolic and systolic blood pressure. The research team also reported that the subjects experienced decreases in muscular tension and heart rate as a result of massage therapy.
A study published in 2000 in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies also supports the theory that massage can alleviate the symptoms of high blood pressure. The researchers provided the participants with 10 30-minute massage sessions over the course of five weeks. Their magic not only lowered the subjects´blood pressure, it mitigated their depression and hostility, whilst minimizing cortisol levels in the urine and saliva.
Researchers at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden reported that massage-like stroking of the lateral and ventral sides of the abdomen lowered arterial blood pressure in anesthetized rats.
Returning to the human front, a 2001 study reported in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, showed that subjects with hypertension who received a ten-minute long back rub experienced decreased cardiac output. The study, which took place in the Department of Exercise Physiology at The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, USA, confirms the results of the other research projects.
Be part of the 79 percent of Western Australia residents who do not suffer from hypertension. Book a massage today! Call us at Happy Physio on 9272 7359 and try out our expert massage therapy.