Massage Therapy and Heart Disease


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Ellie Dukes

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February is National Heart Disease Awareness Month. The term “heart disease” encompasses many cardiovascular diseases whose symptoms vary depending on the condition.

Examples of these diseases include:

  • High blood pressure, also known as hypertension. This is a condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is consistently elevated.
  • Stroke. A stroke occurs when there is brain damage due to lack of supply to the area.
  • Heart failure is a chronic condition where the heart doesn’t pump blood as well as it should.
  • Heart attack, also known myocardial infarction, occurs when there is a blockage of blood flow to the heart.
  • Arrhythmia is when the heart is beating irregularly, too slow, or too fast.
  • Angina is chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart.

According to the American Heart Association, over 82 million Americans are living with one or more types of heart disease. There are many medical and preventive holistic measures those with heart disease can take in order to live a healthy, happy life! Here are some ways that you can contribute to better heart health:

  • Start a smoking cessation program. Check with your insurance provider to see if they offer one included in your premium.
  • Clean up your diet! Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and nuts can be great for heart health.
  • Get plenty of exercise. Working out 3-5 days per week can improve the function of your heart. Check with your physician before starting a new exercise regime…especially if you already live with heart disease.
  • Come get a massage! Here’s why…

How Massage Therapy Helps with Heart Function:

  • Improved circulation, especially when Swedish massage strokes are incorporated. Swedish massage strokes, effleurage a.k.a. gliding strokes in particular, can assist in venous blood return to the heart.
  • According to a study published in, receiving back massages helps to lower anxiety in those living with congestive heart failure.
  • Massage therapy has been found to decrease pain, anxiety, and overall tension after heart surgery.
  • Research has shown that Thai massage can help improve muscle function and overall quality of life in elderly stroke patients.

Important Considerations:

  • Massage therapy naturally lowers blood pressure. If your blood pressure is lower than normal, please consult your physician before scheduling a massage.
  • Deep abdominal work is not recommended for clients with hypertension.

When to See a Doctor:

  • Chest pain
  • Fainting
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • Fever
  • Swelling in legs or abdomen

How Can I Help?

If you or a loved one wants to support heart health and cardiovascular circulation, come schedule a Swedish massage with me. Give me a call at 267-584-3015 or email to discuss your needs beforehand.

Yours in Health,


If you are looking for someone with massage therapy expertise, who also knows the ins and outs of pain relief…look no further! I’m Ellie Dukes, Licensed Massage Therapist-specializing in prenatal and oncology massage therapy for 12 years. Visit me at Trinity Massage Haven in Blue Bell PA. Schedule your appointment today at 267-584-3015 or

Resources: American Heart Association
A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology by Ruth Werner
U.S. National Library of Medicine National Health Institutes

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