High blood pressure (hypertension) and Massage Therapy

"One study found that people with hypertension who got massage had lower blood pressure and steroid hormones, an indicator of stress."

Hypertension is a condition without symptoms, in which Consistent abnormally high pressure in the arteries increases the risk for stroke, aneurysm, heart failure, heart attack and kidney damage.
The current US standards for normal and high blood pressure are:
NORMAL: Systolic - less (<) 120mm HG/Diastolic -less (<) than 80mm Hg.

IDEAL: 115(Sys.)over 75 (Dias.). (115/75)-- it is said that this cuts the risk of "stroke death" by 40% (compared to 120/80).

....see image for table explanations!!...

Category Systolic
(top number)
(bottom number)
Normal Less than 120 And Less than 80
Prehypertension 120–139 Or 80–89
High blood pressure      
     Stage 1 140–159 Or 90–99
     Stage 2 160 or higher Or 100 or higher

Signs and Symptoms:

Most people who have high blood pressure do not know they have it because they have no symptoms. Occasionally, some people may have a mild headache when their blood pressure is high. Advanced cases of hypertension may produce the following symptoms:

Severe headache
Visual disturbances


There are two major types of hypertension: essential, or primary, and secondary. Primary hypertension is by far the most common, making up more than 95% of all cases. Scientists don't know what causes primary hypertension, but a combination of factors may be involved, including:

Genes for high blood pressure
Low levels of nitric oxide, a naturally occurring substance that makes blood vessels dilate
Insulin resistance

Secondary hypertension has an underlying cause, which may include:

Kidney disorders
Endocrine disorders, such as Cushing syndrome
Obstructive sleep apnea, where breathing stops for a moment while you are asleep because your airway is obstructed
Chronic heavy alcohol use
Long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and naproxen (Aleve)
Certain medications, including some birth control pills, pseudoephedrine, hormone replacement therapy, and steroids
Use of cocaine, nicotine, or other stimulants or the herb licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) can cause or worsen existing hypertension.

Risk Factors:

The following factors increase your risk for high blood pressure:

Being overweight
Not getting enough exercise
Having a family history of hypertension
Being African-American
Being older
Drinking too much alcohol or smoking
High sodium (salt) intake
Having long-term conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, or high cholesterol.

Low potassium intake

Sedentary lifestyle

Massage Therapy can be a vital part of a treatment protocol:

"Massage may help people with high blood pressure cope with stress. One study found that people with hypertension who got massage had lower blood pressure and steroid hormones, an indicator of stress. Although more studies are needed, people with hypertension who tend to have high levels of stress in their lives may benefit from massage therapy."

Massage Therapy is Contraindicated while Blood Pressure is Elavated (due to increased risk of stroke).

Therapists are encouraged to assure that each massage client has redings below 140/90 before begining treatment.

this is where you can tell  "good" therapists and "not so good" ones.yes reffering you - the client to a Cardiologist might mean "lost income" for the therapist, however- that is better in my book than selling you/providing a massage treatment that can elevate the blood pressure and put you at risk!

The Hippocratic Oath includes the promise "to abstain from doing harm", and i always guide my treatments by that.While masage therapists in Florida are not taking that Hippocratic Oath, they should know it and act as if they took it.(it can only make things better).


Beneficial Supplements

important Minerals:








Coenzyme Q10

Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids





Vit. K1 and K2


Vit. B3

Folic Acid


Blood Pressure Monitors

there are many on the market and thier price varies from $19.99 to $99.99.

you can just do a internet search of "blood pressure monitors" and there will be hundreds of "hits".you can purchase them from the stores in your area or online.

they can be with arm cuff or wrist cuff...with memory for your last 50 readings or not....with software or not...Really numerous choices, the important thing for massage therapists and people/clients is that spending a few dollars on one is important investment and keeps you in the "know".

Please call me if you have questions regarding Hypertension and Massage Therapy.

Teo Nikolov LMT MA 28362


While the above statements and articles are found from official research that states that: they might benefit the person using them, they are NOT a substitute for a visit/consultation with a Licensed Healthcare Provider!!!






Read more: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/hypertension-000087.htm#ixzz26w9GsPWn
Read more: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/hypertension-000087.htm#ixzz26w8jAYvW
Read more: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/hypertension-000087.htm#ixzz26w7xkcMe