The answer to the question, “Is massage therapy good for your heart?”, is a resounding YES!
Studies have shown that regular sessions of massage therapy can help heal the heart. Let’s explore some of what research and studies have found.
Studies show that massage therapy can reduce stress, promote relaxation and enhance feelings of wellbeing. Massage can stimulate the nerve endings in the skin, release endorphins (the feel good hormones) and inhibit the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Blood will circulate more efficiently, blood pressure will drop and heart rates will slow down.
Regular massage sessions can have positive and healthy effects on the heart itself. The heart is a muscle that is constantly pumping blood through our veins. When we have chronic stress, our bodies release hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, which can cause inflammation and constrict the blood flow. When we have chronic stress our bodies are in constant flight-or-fight mode. It eventually takes its toll on our heart and other organs. High blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias are possible a result of when the heart is not pumping at it’s full potential. That in turn can cause lack of blood flow to the brain and other organs. Studies have shown that regular massage therapy can lower blood pressure, thus decreasing the chance of having a heart attack.
Studies show that massage therapy stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and lowers the body’s need to constantly engage the sympathetic nervous system (the fight-or-flight response). The body releases endorphins when it’s in a relaxed state. Regular massage loosens contracted muscles and pushes the blood towards the heart thus easing the strain on the heart. When the body embraces the parasympathetic nervous system while receiving a massage, the body is at rest and the heart rate and dilation of the blood vessels are reduced. Blood pressure decreases blood circulation increases. Not only does your blood flow increase making your heart happier, massage facilitates essential nutrients and oxygen throughout your body. It has a calming effect on your nervous system and it reduces stress! The positive effects of regular massage are cumulative. With regular massage, the happier and healthier you’re become.
Massage therapy offers a holistic, drug-free and non-invasive alternative to a healthy heart!