No, this is not a Valentine’s Day massage blog – we’re talking about your actual, physical ticker.
You probably already know that massage is great if you want to soothe stress or ease lower back pain. But did you realize that massage can also be great for the health of your heart?
Should I worry about heart disease?
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, accounting for 1 of every 4 deaths, according to the CDC. Heart disease is sometimes called the “silent killer” because it’s not always accompanied by obvious symptoms.
Aside from maintenance health checks, like determining your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, consider healthy lifestyle changes, like eating more fruits and vegetables, exercising and getting massages.
How can massage help improve heart health?
Massage can help with some major underlying causes or contributors to heart disease, including:
Stress, in of itself, isn’t necessarily a direct cause of heart ailments. However, stress can contribute to unhealthy life choices that contribute to heart disease, like overeating and smoking. Massage is an excellent way to reduce stress –a massage from a professional massage therapist can reduce cortisol (a hormone linked to stress) and improve mood.
High blood pressure
High blood pressure can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. There are many ways to manage high blood pressure, from drugs to dietary changes. Another natural method of reducing blood pressure and improving heart health is massage. Massage has proven positive effects on the circulation system, increasing blood circulation and relaxing muscle knots.
Lack of activity, leading to weight gain and weak muscles (and yes, your heart is a muscle) is another cause of heart disease. While massage won’t automatically make you qualify for a marathon, it can reduce the kind of muscle pain that causes you to skip the gym, and reduce the likelihood of injury from athletic activities by increasing flexibility and reducing muscle inflammation.
Marcy is the SVP of People and Communications at Zeel. In addition to overseeing the humans of Zeel, Marcy has written about workplace topics for more than 20 years both at Zeel and as VP of Content for Vault.com, a career information web site and publisher.