Massage therapy has a long history of proven health benefits, from improving your overall fitness to specifically healing heart health.
However, when massage chairs first emerged in the markets, they were thought to be used for rest and relaxation. Well, they do deliver on that objective, but massage chairs can do much more than that.
This article explains how massage chairs benefit heart health, are they safe to use with heart disease, and some specific precautions for using massage chairs for heart patients —in short, we’ve covered it all.
Why Massage Chairs For Heart Diseases?
Heart diseases are striking more people than ever before. Every 1 out of 2 Americans is living with some form of heart disease, squeaks a report by theAmerican Heart Association.
According to areport by CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US —every 30 seconds, an American adult dies of heart disease.
While so many lives are at risk, new research indicates that regular massage therapy can alleviate your risk of heart disease and can effectively complement the treatment for heart diseases.
You may be asking,but why massage chairs and not a masseuse?The answer is simple.
Massage chairs are as effective as a masseuse at delivering every benefit of massage for heart health. But a massage chair has a lot of other perks, ranking it superior to a masseuse. As this is not a debate for this article, we’ve covered it all here
Is It Safe To Use A Massage Chair With A Heart Condition?
We prioritize your safety while using a massage chair. That’s why we recommend consulting a heart specialist to properly evaluate your condition and work out the right massage therapy for cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, arrhythmia, or heart failure. Your cardiologist is the most reliable source of advice about massage treatment.
According to theBritish Heart Foundation, while massage therapy is generally safe for heart health, some heart conditions —such as oedema (fluid collection) in your limbs or abdomen and sudden changes in the blood pressure— require specific precautions.
A randomizedcontrol trial evaluated the safety and benefits of massage for patients after heart surgery. Researchers found that massage therapy is safe in heart patients and reduces the baseline blood pressure in such patients after heart surgery.
To sum it up, using massage chairs is generally all right for heart health; however, it is essential to work out specific benefits and precautions with your doctor.
Heart Health Benefits Of Massage Chairs
It is better to address the disease at its root cause than to keep taking medicines to mask your heart disease symptoms. Regularly using a massage chair for your heart helps you do that effectively.
The general health benefits of massage therapy, such as reduced stress and anxiety, pain relief, and increased range of motion, supplement your heart health in one way or another. Here are some proven mechanisms of how massage chairs keep your heart healthy.
Controls Blood Pressure
It is an estabblished fact that high blood pressure can lead to many other heart diseases such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes, kidney problems, and blindness. Regular use of massage chairs helps effectively control hypertension and its deadly consequences.
According to a2014 study, a 60-minute back-massage session can lower your blood pressure by 10mmHg and reduce your heartbeat by 10 beats per minute. That’s as much as you get from taking antihypertensive medicines for life.
Anotherstudy evaluated the durability of the effects of a massage chair session on blood pressure — i.e. how long the blood pressure stays lower after the massage therapy. Researchers found that the people who get a massage session have significantly lower blood pressure even after three days.
Relieves Stress and Anxiety
The mind-heart-body connection is not a new concept. Consistently higher cortisol and adrenaline levels due tostress can increase yourrisks of heart diseases, such as chest pain (angina), arrhythmia, heart attack, and stroke.
Massage therapy is an excellent tool to relax and relieve stress. It stimulates the release of endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine in your body tolower your stress and calm down your ever-worried brain. According to a report byScience Daily, participants felt relaxed and had significantly lower stress levels after a ten-minute massage session.
Many heart patients who have undergone cardiac surgery feel stress and anxiety about their condition. A2010 study found that regular massage therapy sessions can significantly lower heart patients' pain, stress, and anxiety after cardiothoracic surgery.
Alleviates Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can put substantial psychological stress, increasing the risk of heart disease and complicating existing heart conditions.
Therapeutic massage sessions help relieve chronic pain in many ways, including muscle relaxation, endorphins release, and impeding nerve transmission of pain signals to and from the brain.
A2012 randomized control trial found that massage therapy significantly reduced chest and muscle pain in heart patients who have undergone cardiac surgery.
The mind-heart body connection also validates depression. While having heart disease can lead to depression, depression puts you at a higher risk of heart disease. They are both interconnected.
When helping people recover from heart conditions, it is also vital to address their psychological impacts.A 2012 study evaluated the effects of massage therapy in patients after open-heart surgery. Researchers regarded massage therapy as a simple and cost-effective tool to improve mood and overcome depression among patients after open-heart surgery.
There is no reason to doubt that massage chairs have specific and proven heart health benefits. These benefits compound to help patients rapidly recover from a heart attack, stroke, or cardiac surgery.
5 Precautions To Use Massage Chair For Heart Disease
Massage chair therapy can relieve symptoms of the following heart conditions, but you need to take specific precautions for some conditions. You are recommended to consult your doctor before using a massage chair.
High Blood Pressure Patients
Massage therapy has proven results inlowering blood pressure. It is particularly beneficial for hypertension patients. However, deep fluctuations may lower your blood pressure causing symptoms such as fainting, rapid and shallow breathing, or headaches.
It is better to get your blood pressure checked before and after a massage chair session and seek medical care if it is not within the normal range.
Heart Failure Patients
Heart failure patients may have difficulty breathing, so they are better to avoid back massage. Heart failure patients who are in the recovery phase can benefit from gentle massage on their hands, foot, and neck in a seated position.
Heart Attack Survivors
It isproven by research that massage therapy helps reduce stress and lowers stress. It controls your heart rate and aids heart surgery patients in speedy recovery.
While it seems enticing to enjoy a massage, reduce tension, and speed up the recovery, you are highly recommended to check with your cardiologist to make sure that all wounds have healed before you take a massage session.
Patients with ICD or Pacemaker
It is completely safe to get massage therapy after receiving a pacemaker or ICD (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator) device, provided that your wounds have healed and you’ve checked with your physician first. It is recommended to avoid massaging the chest area where the pacemaker of ICD is implanted.
Arrhythmia or Atrial Fibrillation
Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats) and atrial fibrillation can cause blood clots in your vessels, resulting in blood flow obstruction and other problems. The specific form of neck massage (vagal maneuvers) is well-known to alleviate the symptoms of atrial fibrillation.
However, you are highly recommended to check with a heart specialist to ensure that massage therapy is safe as a part of your treatment.
Stroke is not technically a heart condition as it results from blocked or burst vessels in the brain. But, heart conditions such as high blood pressure and arrhythmia can be a causative factor for stroke.
Massage therapy has dual benefits for stroke patients. It reduces the risk of stroke by improving your heart health and also relieves muscle tension caused by contractions in stroke patients.
General Precautions To Use Massage Chair For Heart Health
There are some general precautions you should follow to maximize your experience with the massage chairs, whether you have specific heart disease or not.
Don’t use a massage chair just after a meal. It can be a discomforting experience.
Don’t drink alcohol before using a massage chair.
Using a massage chair just after drinking coffee can increase your heart rate and cause anxiety.
If you take blood thinner medicines for your heart condition, don’t use deep tissue or a heavy massage mood in your massage chair.
Massage therapy can dislodge the blood clots causing them to move in vessels of your lungs or brain. So you better avoid massage chairs if you have a blood clotting disease.
Don’t use a massage chair consecutively for more than thirty minutes, and don’t massage a body part for more than five minutes.
Bring Massage Chair Home
Investing in a massage chair is a safe and effective way to have a regular massage for improved heart health. Feel free to consult with our certified specialist about your specific needs and find an ideal massage chair for you.