Massage, Bodywork, Health and Fitness

Can Massage Help You Live Longer

One of the nicest things clients say to me is, “when I win the lottery I will get a massage every day” which is often followed by the comment of “I bet that would make you live longer”.

So I thought I’d look into it. Now I don’t think daily massage is a real possibility for most but what about regular massages? We have all heard that stress contributes to many diseases and massage can decrease stress and anxiety. Stress is one of the most prevalent, but preventable causes of health problems in modern society.  De-stressing is not only a great way to feel better; it also helps you live longer.  If you’ve ever had a massage, you already know how relaxed it makes you feel.  With relaxed muscles, decreased pain, improved circulation, your body lets go of all the daily stress you’ve been holding on to. 

Massage also Decreases blood pressure. There was a study conducted that showed that a simple, short touch can immediately cause a drop in blood pressure.  Combine this with the improved circulation, relaxed muscles, and decreased anxiety and you get a great way to keep your blood pressure low.  You should be careful if you have low pressure to begin with; make sure to get up slowly and take it easy after a massage. source fitwatch

That’s on the physiological side… but what about something you can’t necessarily feel immediately, your genes?

Here are 2 ways massage after exercise effects your genes:

Dr. Tarnopolsky told me that the researchers found two very interesting differences in the muscles that had been massaged…

  • A gene pathway that causes muscle inflammation was “dialed down” in these muscles both immediately after the massage and 2.5 hours after the massage. (Specific genes can be present in our tissues but not always active.) Dr. Tarnopolsky said that this is helpful knowledge because muscle inflammation is a contributor to delayed-onset muscle soreness, so it confirms biologically what we’ve always believed through anecdotal observation—a post-exercise massage can help relieve muscle soreness.
  • Conversely, another sort of gene was “turned on” by the massage—this is a gene that increases the activity of mitochondria in muscle cells. You probably know that mitochondria are considered the “power packs” of our muscles for their role in creating usable energy. Now, it’s true that better mitochondrial functioning has been shown by other studies to help decrease insulin resistance (a key risk factor for type 2 diabetes) and obesity and even to slow aging. When I asked Dr. Tarnopolsky about whether or not it’s a stretch to link post-exercise massage to these benefits, he said that it’s not unreasonable—there is a potential connection, and future research will need to be done to confirm it. source

Any natural treatment that helps reduce inflammation and mitochondria to function better is definitely a good thing after exercise or any time!

I have heard that Bob Hope had a massage every day and he lived to 100 years old. Though he also was a comedian and laughed a lot I’m sure so the best perscription must be to laugh more and get more massage!


Massage Works Los Gatos offers massage therapy that does just that, it works, to help you get relief from chronic or acute pain as well as stress and strain. Our mission is to help active women and men incorporate massage as part of a healthy lifestyle to live with positive energy and vitality. Our skilled massage therapists help you get relief from problems such as headaches, carpal tunnel, knee pain and sciatica.

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