Vol 25, No 4 (2021)
Original paper
Published online: 2021-10-14

open access

Page views 5620
Article views/downloads 696
Get Citation

Connect on Social Media

Connect on Social Media

Cardiorespiratory effect of Swedish back massage in hypertensive patients: a randomized clinical trial

Mehdi Moghadasi1, Zinat Mohebbi1, Kaynoosh Homayouni2, Mohammad Hossein Nikoo3
Arterial Hypertension 2021;25(4):159-163.


Background: Chronic stress is one of the main risk factors for incident hypertension. Behavioral methodologies, such as unwinding and rub, have a dramatic effect on controlling the individuals’ reaction to stress, diminishing hypertension and heart rate, as well as changing temperature and respiration rate.

Material and methods: 90 patients with primary hypertension were enrolled to this open-label study. The patients have been haphazardly classified into an affect and an intervention cluster. In the two groups, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature and respiratory rate) were measured and recorded two times a week before and after a ten-min Swedish back massage and relaxation for six weeks. The records have been accrued using a questionnaire which includes demographic records, a checklist of vital signs (systolic and diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and respiratory) record, a fixed manometer and thermometer.

Results: Within the experimental group, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory levels reduced to 6.44 and 4.77 mm Hg, 2.9 bpm, 0.94 breaths per minute, respectively (p < 0.001) and temperature increased to 0.08°C after the back massage (p = 0.004).

Conclusion: The obtained results show the effectiveness of back massage in reducing blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory as well as increased temperature in the study participants.

Article available in PDF format

View PDF Download PDF file


  1. Chobanian AV, Bakris GL, Black HR, et al. Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National High Blood Pressure Education Program Coordinating Committee. Seventh report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure. Hypertension. 2003; 42(6): 1206–1252.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Underlying Cause of Death CWODA, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2018. http://wonder.cdc.gov/ucd-icd10.html (March 12, 2020).
  3. Kirkland EB, Heincelman M, Bishu KG, et al. Trends in Healthcare Expenditures Among US Adults With Hypertension: National Estimates, 2003-2014. J Am Heart Assoc. 2018; 7(11).
  4. Kazemi T, Hajihosseini M, Mashreghimoghadam H, et al. Prevalence and Determinants of Hypertension among Iranian Adults, Birjand, Iran. Int J Prev Med. 2017; 8: 36.
  5. Beck M. Theory and practice of therapeutic massage. Cengage Learning, New York 2010: 270–277.
  6. Moyer CA, Rounds J, Hannum JW. A meta-analysis of massage therapy research. Psychol Bull. 2004; 130(1): 3–18.
  7. Verdecchia P, Clement D, Fagard R, et al. Blood Pressure Monitoring. Task force III: Target-organ damage, morbidity and mortality. Blood Press Monit. 1999; 4(6): 303–317.
  8. Osborn K, Wraa C, Watson A. Medical Surgical Nursing Preparation for Practice. Pearson, Boston 2009.
  9. Xiong XJ, Li SJ, Zhang YQ. Massage therapy for essential hypertension: a systematic review. J Hum Hypertens. 2015; 29(3): 143–151.
  10. Hassanvand S, Najafi SS, Forouzi M, et al. [The effect of back massage on blood pressure and radial pulse in Patients with primary hypertensive referred to specialty and subspecialty]. J Lorestan Univ Med Sci. 2010; 12(3): 63.
  11. Mok E, Woo CP. The effects of slow-stroke back massage on anxiety and shoulder pain in elderly stroke patients. Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery. 2004; 10(4): 209–216.
  12. Supa'at I, Zakaria Z, Maskon O, et al. Effects of Swedish massage therapy on blood pressure, heart rate, and inflammatory markers in hypertensive women. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013: 171852.
  13. Walaszek R, Kasperczyk T, Nowak Ł. Influence of classic massage on blood pressure and pulse in 21-26 year olds. Physiotherapy. 2009; 17(1).
  14. Olney CM. The effect of therapeutic back massage in hypertensive persons: a preliminary study. Biol Res Nurs. 2005; 7(2): 98–105.
  15. Yeganehkhah M, Mohammadi SBF, Khankeh H, et al. Effects of slow-stroke back massage on hypertension in elderly. Iran J Nurs. 2008; 21(54): 73–83.
  16. Moeini M, Givi M, Ghasempour Z, et al. The effect of massage therapy on blood pressure of women with pre-hypertension. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2011; 16(1): 61–70.
  17. McNamara ME, Burnham DC, Smith C, et al. The effects of back massage before diagnostic cardiac catheterization. Altern Ther Health Med. 2003; 9(1): 50–57.
  18. Çinar Ş, Eşer İ, Khorshıd L. The Effects of Back Massage on the Vital Signs and Anxiety Level of Elderly Staying in a Rest Home. Hacettepe UniverFac Health Sci Nurs J. 2009; 16(2).
  19. Arslan G, Ceyhan Ö, Mollaoğlu M. The influence of foot and back massage on blood pressure and sleep quality in females with essential hypertension: a randomized controlled study. J Hum Hypertens. 2021; 35(7): 627–637.
  20. Jahdi F, Mehrabadi M, Mortazavi F, et al. The Effect of Slow-Stroke Back Massage on the Anxiety Levels of Iranian Women on the First Postpartum Day. Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2016; 18(8): e34270.
  21. Seyyed Ra, Eskandari M, Alizadeh S, et al. Comparing the effect of massage and inhalation aromatherapy on vital signs of burn patients: a single-blind randomized clinical trial. The J Urmia Nurs Midwifery Fac. 2019; 17(2): 82–90.
  22. Demir B, Saritas S. Effects of massage on vital signs, pain and comfort levels in liver transplant patients. Explore (NY). 2020; 16(3): 178–184.
  23. Gholami-Motlagh F, Jouzi M, Soleymani B. Comparing the effects of two Swedish massage techniques on the vital signs and anxiety of healthy women. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2016; 21(4): 402–409.
  24. Jamali S, Ramezanli S, Jahromi M, et al. Effect of Massage Therapy on Physiologic Responses in Patients with Congestive Heart Failure. Biosci Biotech Res Asia. 2016; 13(1): 383–388.
  25. Farmahini Fa, Shamsikhani S, Norouzi Za, et al. The Effect of of hand massage on anxiety and physiological indicators before surgery. Complement Med J. 2017; 7(1): 1758–66.
  26. Çavdar AU, Yılmaz E, Baydur H. The Effect of Hand Massage Before Cataract Surgery on Patient Anxiety and Comfort: A Randomized Controlled Study. J Perianesth Nurs. 2020; 35(1): 54–59.