In honor of World Heart Day, let’s talk about the amazing benefits massage can have for your cardiovascular health.
Of course, we know that having a massage is a luxurious, pampering experience...
And the even better news is - in case you need any more convincing - that massage is not only relaxing, but it's also good for your heart!
(Now you can justify the Slabway Massage Wrap even more!)
Chronic Stress & Your Heart
Chronic stress is an interesting one to look at when contemplating massage.
Getting a massage has been found to decrease stress, lower blood pressure and heart rate, and improve circulation.
Studies have shown that regular massages can decrease chronic stress, which in turn provides long-term benefits for your heart.
Let’s talk about chronic stress a bit more...
When we encounter pain or stress, the body reacts by releasing stress hormones - adrenaline and cortisol.
Adrenaline and Cortisol trigger the body to pull out all the stops to address the painful or stressful situation: Your heart rate picks up, muscles tighten, the breath quickens, and blood pressure increases.
While this is an appropriate response from the body to the triggering stimuli, the real problem arises when it happens over and over regularly. At that point, when your body's systems are constantly on high alert, it's considered chronic stress.
How Massage Lowers Chronic Stress
Massage can decrease the body’s fight-or-flight response by providing mental and physical relaxation, and alleviating pain that may be contributing to chronic stress.
It reduces muscle tension, allows you to relax, and slows the heart rate.
Studies have shown that consistent massage can lower blood pressure and improve circulation, too.
This is due to massage techniques effectively encouraging blood flow and the drainage of lymphatic fluid.
Essentially, this allows for the flow of vital nutrients and oxygen to the body.
Lower blood pressure and better circulation help your heart stay happy and healthy.
Improved Quality of Sleep
Consistent massage has been linked to better sleep.
Sleep can be elusive, (especially in these wild modern times!) but it’s crucial for basically all bodily functions. Not getting enough sleep is strongly associated with diabetes and problematic heart health.
Massage can help you sleep better, and in turn, do your heart some good at the same time.
Aids in the Post-Surgery Recovery Process
There has also been a body of research on massage in recovery after cardiovascular surgery.
Massage can help improve mood and help patients relax, which aids in the recovery process. Some preliminary research has shown that massage can reduce pain and muscle spasms during recovery.
On a preventative basis, regular massage could also assist in the body’s ability to recover from a cardiovascular event, like a heart attack or stroke.
Massage can certainly contribute to a healthy heart, and has proven to be a useful tool in managing chronic stress and high blood pressure.
As always, be sure to consult your physician to see if massage is a good option for your particular needs.
Stay calm and healthy out there!
Slabway Wellness Consultant
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