Approximately one in every three Americans, or 31.3 percent, has high blood pressure, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and high blood pressure is a risk factor for stroke, congestive heart failure, heart disease and kidney disease.

In new research, massage therapy resulted in significantly lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure in comparison with a control group, according to an abstract published on www.pubmed.gov.

The investigators set out to evaluate the effect of Swedish massage to the face, neck, shoulders and chest on blood pressure of the women with prehypertension, according to the abstract.

This was a single-blind clinical trial study, the abstract noted, and added:

“Fifty pre-hypertensive women selected by simple random sampling [were] divided into control and test groups. The test group (25 patients) received Swedish massage 10-15 min., three times a week for 10 sessions and the control group (25 patients) also were relaxed …[and received] no massage. Their [blood pressure] was measured before and after each session.”

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

“The effect of massage therapy on blood pressure of women with pre-hypertension” was published in the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research (2011 Winter;16(1):61-70.) It was conducted by investigators with the Department of Internal Surgery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, in Isfahan, Iran.

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