New research indicates massage therapy may have a durable, positive effect on blood pressure, according to an abstract on www.pubmed.gov.

The study looked at two groups of women: One group received Swedish massage for 10 to 15 minutes three times a week for 10 total sessions. The other group of women relaxed, but did not receive massage.

All the participants’ blood pressure was measured before and after each session and again 72 hours after the last massage or relaxation session.

The mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure in the women who received massage was significantly lower compared with the non-massage group, both right after the sessions and also 72 hours later.

“Findings of the study indicated that massage therapy was a safe, effective, applicable and cost-effective intervention in controlling [blood pressure] of the pre-hypertension women, and it can be used in the health care centers and even at home,” the investigators noted.

“Durability of effect of massage therapy on blood pressure” was conducted by investigators in the Department of Adult Health Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

Related article: Massage Therapy Improves Balance, Decreases Blood Pressure

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