MT for Heart Health

Posted:Saturday, February 24, 2024

February is American Heart Month, established by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to educate the public about heart disease. Did you know that massage can make a positive contribution to heart health and well-being?

For those who are already in good physical health, regular massage can support heart health through proven benefits such as lowering heart rate and blood pressure1, lowering cardiovascular stress and improving blood flow2, and aiding heart rate recovery post-exercise3. Massage Therapy Foundation Research Grants help researchers continue to deepen the knowledge of the beneficial uses of massage.

Massage can also be an important tool for those with pre-existing cardiovascular issues. Studies show that massage therapy can improve the quality of sleep in patients with systolic heart failure4 and congestive heart failure5.

Massage therapy offers a promising avenue for enhancing heart health and overall well-being. Through its ability to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and improve circulation, massage can play a valuable role in both prevention and management of cardiovascular conditions. While further research is needed to most fully understand the mechanisms and long-term effects of massage on heart health, the existing evidence suggests that incorporating regular massage into one’s wellness routine may provide significant benefits for cardiovascular health. As we continue to explore holistic approaches to healthcare, massage therapy stands out as a safe, non-invasive, and potentially transformative practice in promoting heart health and enhancing quality of life.


  1. Effects of Therapeutic Calf Massage on Cardiac Autonomic Function in Healthy Volunteers-A Pilot Study.Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2023 Mar 1;16(1):24-29. doi: 10.3822/ijtmb.v15i1.725. eCollection 2023 Mar.
  2. Acute Self-myofascial Release Modulates Cardiac Autonomic Function and Hemodynamic Parameters at Rest and Reduces Cardiovascular Stress Reaction. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2023 Dec 29. doi: 10.1007/s00421-023-05382-2.
  3. Acute Massage Stimulates Parasympathetic Activation After a Single Exhaustive Muscle Contraction Exercise.J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2022 Apr:30:105-111. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2022.02.016. Epub 2022 Feb 7.
  4. Comparison of the Impacts of Benson Relaxation Technique and Foot Reflexology Massage on Sleep Quality of Patients with Systolic Heart Failure: A Randomized Clinical Trial.Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2023 Jul 24;28(4):448-454. doi: 10.4103/ijnmr.ijnmr_332_21. eCollection 2023 Jul-Aug.
  5. The Effect of Foot Massage Applied to Patients With Congestive Heart Failure on Peripheral Edema and Sleep Quality: A Randomized Controlled Study.Holist Nurs Pract. 2023 May-Jun;37(3):143-152. doi: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000581.