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Massage Reduces High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

The American Massage Therapy Association (2017) says massage is a good complementary therapy for helping to reduce BP and we agree. NHS (2016) says 1 in 4 people in the UK have high blood pressure which is also called hypertension by health professionals. Massage has been proven to lower your blood pressure in numerous research papers over many years. Call 07979 814 388 today to make an appointment.

Picture of man checking for high blood pressureUse Massage to Compliment Your Doctors Orders

Coe P. et al (2006) tells us Swedish massage does the most good in lowering your Blood Pressure. It helps to relax you, lowers anxiety level and releases muscles tension. This will obviously help reduce high blood pressure. Relaxation is being calm and that means your heart rate will come down. People with anxiety have racing hearts during episodes and these can be reduced. Tense muscles will promote high blood pressure. The AAPB (Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback) tells us if muscles are contracted (in tension) continually, it makes blood vessels smaller, meaning you will have higher BP. Massage aids all of these symptoms and more. It is a good way to compliment any medication or instructions your doctor may have given you to help. Please note, if you have been diagnosed with hypertension, you will need your doctor’s permission to receive treatment.  

What is Hypertension / High Blood Pressure?

Your doctor should measure your BP while you are resting. It is recorded as 2 numbers. Systolic blood pressure is the maximum pressure in your arteries as the heart contracts, pushing blood around your body. Diastolic blood pressure is the minimum pressure exerted on your arteries when your heart relaxes. These are normally written by medical professionals as systolic / diastolic. NHS (2016) says normal BP ranges from 120/80 to 90/60. High blood pressure is diagnosed when either of these measurements is over 140/90 regularly.

Picture of heart rate pointing to reducing hypertensionProof Massage Lowers Blood Pressure

There have been many scientific research papers produced over the years that say blood pressure is reduced by massage therapy. This is now taken as common knowledge however, I will go into the detail to prove the fact.

  • Wang M. PhD et al (2016) analysed the results of 9 randomised controlled trails of massage on subjects with higher than normal BP. Results say massage helps the reduction of systolic and diastolic blood pressure when compared to control groups that didn’t get massage.
  • Givi M. (2016) reports on 50 women with pre-hypertension (BP over 120/80). 25 had Swedish massage and 25 had no intervention. BP was measured before, after and 72 hours after treatment. Both systolic and diastolic pressures were lower after and 72 hours after massage when compared with the control group.
  • Gholami-Motlagh F. at al (2016) studied 20 healthy females. They were randomly assigned to have Swedish massage on face, legs and arms or front and back torso. Systolic BP was lowered by all treatments. Interestingly diastolic BP was lowered also but, only by front and back torso treatment.
  • Walaszek R. (2015) studied women aged 60 and older diagnosed with hypertension. Massage of the lower limbs was given every day for 10 days. BP dropped after massage apart from diastolic 5 minutes after.
  • Jefferson L. (2010) reports on the prevalence of hypertension in African-American women. Results 1 week after massage intervention showed significance decreases in systolic and lower diastolic blood pressure levels.
  • Kaye D. MD PhD (2008) says average systolic and diastolic blood pressures were reduce and average heart rate dropped after massage.


AMTA (2017) Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet Accessed 03 09 2018

Coe P. et al (2006) Changes in Blood Pressure After Various Forms of Therapeutic Massage: A Preliminary Study [Online] Available at Accessed 03 09 2018

AAPB (No Date) Relaxation [Online] Available at Accessed 03 09 2018

NHS (2016) Overview - High blood pressure (hypertension) [Online] Available at Accessed 03 09 2018

Wang M. PhD et al (2016) Effects of Massage on Blood Pressure in Patients With Hypertension and Prehypertension: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials [Online] Available at Accessed 03 09 2018

Givi M. (2013) Durability of Effect of Massage Therapy on Blood Pressure [Online] Available at Accessed 03 09 2018

Gholami-Motlagh F. at al (2016) Comparing the effects of two Swedish massage techniques on the vital signs and anxiety of healthy women. [Online] Available at Accessed 03 09 2018

Jefferson L. (2010) Exploring effects of therapeutic massage … on blood pressure … in hypertensive African-American women... [Online] Available at Accessed 03 09 2018

Kaye D. MD PhD (2008) The Effect of Deep-Tissue Massage Therapy on Blood Pressure and Heart Rate [Online] Available at Accessed 07 04 2019