Relaxation Through Massage and Other Means Impacts Heart Health

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February is heart month

Massage is a caring gift that fits most people’s values and budgets.

It’s heart month! It is a good time to remind everyone about the seriousness of heart disease and its prevention.

Relaxation and heart health 

A range of techniques including massage, relaxing music, guided relaxation, meditation, conscious breathing and yoga are effective at lowering blood pressure and heart rate, factors that have a positive effect on heart health. Recent research indicates that relaxation techniques can reduce strain on the heart.

One study from Duke University followed cardiac patients over a period of years. The program included education on stress and specific techniques to relax the body and mind. Participants in the program showed a significant reduction in heart attacks. In another study, at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, yoga and meditation significantly reduced the impact of cardiac disease on patients. Other studies show consistent results.

Taking charge

Many people feel victimized by life’s circumstances leading to a constant state of stress. But relaxation can reverse the ill effects of stress by helping you learn to respond differently. The key is to practice relaxing regularly.

If you take time during your workday for a 15-minute massage, a lunchtime yoga class, or simply breathing slowly and deeply for several minutes, you’ll let go of stress buildup and start to relax. If you make this a regular habit, you can retrain your mind to stay balanced in the face of stress.  Paradoxically as you learn to relax you will no longer feel tired but you will actually have more energy.  Relaxation equals more energy.

So this month get an extra massage, take a yoga class once a week, meditate, learn to breathe consciously.  Not only will you be around longer but you will have more vitality and be happier.  Your heart will thank you!

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