Did you know February is Heart Health Awareness Month? At Mindful Touch Massage & Wellness, we care deeply about our clients' overall health and wellness. When I discovered it was Heart Health Awareness Month, I felt compelled to share with you some information about Cardiovascular Disease and how massage therapy can support cardiovascular health. I lost a very close friend last year at this time to Heart Disease, and if spreading this important information can support even one person to make changes in their lives to help reduce the risk, than this blog post will have been successful!
According to the American Heart Association, Heart Disease, Stroke, and other Cardiovascular diseases are the number one killers of men and women in the United States. The AHA states that 836,546 people each year die from these diseases, and they claim more lives than Cancer. The costs to our society are immense. The suffering associated with dealing with a chronic illness and the grief and pain due to loss of life is emotionally and physically painful. There is also a high monetary cost to our society. The AHA claims that the total costs of cardiovascular diseases and stroke are estimated to total more than $329.7 billion; that includes both health expenditures and lost productivity.
This is all sounds very daunting...but there is good news too! There are lifestyle choices that can help us prevent and manage Heart Disease, Stroke, and other Cardiovascular diseases. The AHA recommends:
Reduce blood sugar
Manage blood pressure
Are you ready for the really good news? Massage therapy has been proven to assist in better cardiovascular health!!! What a great incentive to make some lifestyle changes! Changes are hard and require a lot of discipline...but the rewards are great. Imagine… some of the money you save from making lifestyle changes being reinvested in your health in this way. In my mind, it is a win-win situation.
Here is what the research says:
Massage therapy has been proven to reduce blood pressure and heart rate significantly in hypertensive women. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3759268/
Massage therapy reduces the effects of psychological and physical stress on the body. https://www.amtamassage.org/statement2.html
Massage therapy reduces pain, anxiety, and muscular tension in cardiac surgery patients. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2405587516300324
The research is pretty compelling: including regular massage into healthy lifestyle and heart health regimen can have powerful health implications. Massage therapy is gaining recognition in the medical community as a highly supportive therapy for health and wellness, and many insurance companies are starting to realize the cost savings associated with investing supporting and integrative therapies. At this time, most North Carolina medical insurance does not pay for massage therapy, but your Health Savings Account and Flexible Savings Account will. Even if your insurance does not cover massage therapy, I urge you to consider the importance of prioritizing and investing in your health.
If you have suffered or suffer from Cardiovascular Disease, Heart Disease, or Stroke, Mindful Touch Massage & Wellness can support you in your recovery. (As with any major health condition, we recommend you get clearance from your physician first. Be sure to talk with your massage therapist about any health conditions you have.) If you have not suffered from any of these conditions, adding regular massage therapy to your wellness regimen can have powerful effects on your life.
May we all have the courage to make good choices for ourselves!! Namaste, my friends.
In Peace & Health,
Nikki Terry, BA, LMBT
Licensed Massage Therapist
Owner Mindful Touch Massage & Wellness
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