According to The Mayo Clinic, risk factors for elevated blood pressure include:
- Being overweight or obese. A primary risk factor is being overweight. The greater your body mass, the more blood you need to supply oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. As the volume of blood circulated through your blood vessels increases, so does the force on your artery walls.
- Age. Many older adults have progressed from elevated blood pressure to high blood pressure, and the risk of high blood pressure increases as you age.
- Sex. High blood pressure is more common in men than in women. Through about age 64, high blood pressure is more common in men. Women are more likely to develop high blood pressure after age 65.
- Race. High blood pressure is particularly common among people of African heritage, often developing at an earlier age than it does in white people.
- Family history of high blood pressure. High blood pressure tends to run in families. If a first-degree relative, such as a parent or sibling, has high blood pressure, you’re more likely to develop the condition.
- Not being physically active. Not exercising can increase your risk of high blood pressure and increase your risk of being overweight.
- Diet high in salt (sodium) or low in potassium. Sodium and potassium are two key nutrients in the way your body regulates your blood pressure. If you have too much sodium or too little potassium in your diet, you’re more likely to have high blood pressure.
- Tobacco use. Smoking cigarettes, chewing tobacco or even being around other people who are smoking (secondhand smoke) can increase your blood pressure.
- Drinking too much alcohol. Drinking more than two drinks a day if you’re a man or more than one drink a day if you’re a woman can increase your blood pressure. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.
- Certain chronic conditions. Certain chronic conditions — including kidney disease, diabetes and sleep apnea — may increase the risk of elevated blood pressure.
Massage and High Blood Pressure
While massage alone probably won’t control diagnosed high blood pressure, it can certainly be part of an overall treatment plan. Often times stress is also a contributing factor to elevated blood pressure–so finding healthy ways to relax and find balance and calm will help. Massage can help with a wide range of issues and symptoms having to do with a lot of conditions, not just high blood pressure.
Be sure to talk with your physician before scheduling a massage if you are being treated for high blood pressure. It is always a good idea to inform your primary care doctor of all other medical or natural treatments you are receiving.
Relaxation, stress management, and better sleep can all be achieved through massage. This can also potentially lead to lower blood pressure.
Call to schedule a massage today or check out our online calendar. Your heart will thank you for it!