In a recent study, heart rate was used to demonstrate increased parasympathetic nervous activity when trigger points in the leg muscles receive compression.
The study, “Compression on trigger points in the leg muscle increases parasympathetic nervous activity based on heart rate variability,” involved six healthy females with an average age of 21. Each woman’s daily work routine was carried out mostly in a standing position, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
After a day’s work, subjects were asked to rest supine while baseline measurements were taken for 20 minutes. This occurred during the 20 minutes following the hands-on intervention as well. These outcome measures included electrocardiograms, instantaneous lung volume, systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure.
A full report on this research will run in the September issue of MASSAGE Magazine.

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