High blood pressure and associated symptoms were reduced by massage therapy

M. Hernandez-Reif, T. Field, J. Krasnegor, Z. Hossain, H. Theakston, I. Burman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


High blood pressure is associated with elevated anxiety, stress and stress hormones, hostility, depression and catecholamines. Massage therapy and progressive muscle relaxation were evaluated as treatments for reducing blood pressure and these associated symptoms. Adults who had been diagnosed as hypertensive received ten 30 min massage sessions over five weeks or they were given progressive muscle relaxation instructions (control group). Sitting diastolic blood pressure decreased after the first and last massage therapy sessions and reclining diastolic blood pressure decreased from the first to the last day of the study. Although both groups reported less anxiety, only the massage therapy group reported less depression and hostility and showed decreased urinary and salivary stress hormone levels (cortisol). Massage therapy may be effective in reducing diastolic blood pressure and symptoms associated with hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-38
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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