I Need A Massage Honey, My BP is HighREGULAR neck massages can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease, research suggests. High blood pressure, which often has no symptoms, doubles the risk of dying from one of the conditions and affects a third of adults.
Researchers from Leeds University found signals from the neck play a key role in helping the brain maintain blood pressure, heart rate and breathing when we change posture, for instance by standing up. When these signals stop - perhaps because the neck is stiff and not being moved - we can suffer from problems with blood pressure and balance.
The findings could explain research showing that easing pain by 'cracking' the neck lowers blood pressure. Neck pain, often caused by stress, affects one in ten Britons at any one time, with three- quarters of us suffering at some point in our lives.
Writing in the Journal of Neuroscience, Professor Jim Deuchars said the breakthrough could also explain why those with whiplash injuries can experience a change in their blood pressure. 'This work also contributes to the understanding of postural hypotension - fainting which can be caused by standing up too fast,' he added.
'The neck muscles could be part of the system which normally prevents this from happening by sending signals to the brain that posture has changed.'