It is hard to believe that we are already into February but here we are! February brings about Valentine’s Day as well as ‘Heart Health’ awareness month, so it seems appropriate to talk about our hearts.
The heart sits behind a protective layer of muscle, bone, and connective tissue. It is the size of a closed fist and beats to a steady rhythm. When the heart beats ,it pushes blood through the arteries of the body to supply it with fresh oxygenated blood. This blood being pushed through arteries is where we get blood pressure, and blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood pushed out combined in relation to the resistance it encounters.
One major lifestyle factor that affects blood pressure is stress. When the body is under stress, either physical or psychological, the heart responds by increasing muscle tension, heart rate and therefore blood pressure. This is where massage therapy can be of great help. A massage therapist uses Swedish massage techniques such as petrissage to help decrease muscle tension and any pain associated with the stress. This decrease of muscle tension and pain will allow the body to reduce the stress response and therefore the heart rate and blood pressure.
If you are a little overwhelmed this month and under some stress, give your massage therapist a call and book an appointment to start your body on the path of recovery.