The role of medical massage in fighting pandemics of hypertension.

Hypertension is a very dangerous disorder. It literally endangers life. This disorder could lead to strokes, heart attacks, peripheral arteries diseases and to many other diseases.

Hypertension has some known causes such as kidney disorders, tumor on adrenalin gland, narrowing of aorta and some others. All the mentioned above causes of blood pressure are not difficult to diagnose with various blood tests and radiological means. Yet they represent only 8%-10% of all the people suffering from hypertension. Cases of unknown causes fall into the category called Essential Hypertension.

As any other disease the hypertensive disease, once diagnosed, can be treated with medications.  If a patient responds to a medication than doctors can control such condition.  In other word blood pressure, although higher than normal, could be held within a not dangerous range such as under 140 systolic and under 85 diastolic.  Needless to say these medications have side effects, which initiate other health problems, but of course prevents hypertension from causing instant death.

People who don’t respond to medications well have to look for some other means to control hypertension.  Very often people could suffer from high blood pressure/essential hypertension tremendously.  At times it could be as high as 220 to 120, people could be hospitalized for hypertonic crises and yet medications could not make a decisive difference.

In 1973 the professor I studied from, Alexander Dembo MD PhD, paid attention that people who suffer from non-responsive to medication high blood pressure also suffered from neck disorders, tension, discomfort in the neck area, etc. As a result he came to the conclusion that hypertension in this case is a secondary to the vertebral artery syndrome.

The answer to why people, suffering from Vertebral Artery Syndrome, secondary develop high blood pressure, is pretty simple. The moment when the Vertebral Artery is compressed and the blood supply to the brain is obstructed, the blood pressure is raised to compensate for its deficiency. 

Recently, the second time in the US, I was involved in the hypertension related clinical experiment. Ten patients where privately referred to me to perform massage protocols for Vertebral artery syndrome. All the ten subjects didn’t respond well to medications. i.e. taking hypertensive medications didn’t affect them at all. As well all 10 of them suffered from some neck pain and dysfunctions.

Usually an application of Dembo’s protocol delivers 80 percent success rate.  In this case all ten of the subjects sustained the successful outcome, controlled hypertension.  Forty five days ago I had completed providing 15 treatments for each of them. Being in touch with these patients, I know that it is already been more than 45 days and their blood pressure is under control. To all of them I recommended self massage home programs.

It is important to mention that, in average, most of the patients couldn't control hypertension using medications for 3+ years. Some of them suffered heart attacks, as well as according to MRI, minor strokes.

Interestingly enough, the doctors who referred these patients for treatment, said that although clinical proof was undisputable, it was not enough to claim that massage protocols work. Something like this was said: ”We need to understand this process on a much deeper level before making claims.”

I can understand and appreciate their drive. I love to have scientific explanation for everything.  For example in my 10 years old article, I have provided detailed explanation in regards to hypertension secondary to Vertebral artery syndrome.

In general, however, I am more clinically oriented.  To me it is much more important to help a real person in the field than to be able to explain in a scientific paper ”on a much deeper level” why what I do works.

When I put my hands on a person, who has a neck problem, accompanied by high blood pressure and who is not responding to medications, I do the step by step massage protocol designed by professor Dembo and I reach results, such as less pain, tensions and discomfort within the neck area, as well as normalization of blood pressure.

I understand scientist’s curiosity, but it is somewhat irritating to hear “yes, but” all the time.

Once I asked the group of doctors the question regarding “can anyone of you explain the reason why walls of vertebral arteries have their own sympathetic plexus innervation, regulating their constriction and dilation?”

There was silence.

“When we will find the answer to why the Vertebral Artery have their own sympathetic plexus innervation, then we will find the answers to why Dembo’s protocol reduces the blood pressure.”

To me as a clinician the issue of publishing well supported scientific paper and that explain the phenomenon ”on a much deeper level” carries much lesser weight than saving lives.

Hypertension is a terrible disease, a very dangerous when a person is not responsive to hypertensive medication.  In such a case it’s the question of “when” rather than “if” the hypertonic crisis will strike.

One of the patients, a fairly wealthy man whom I helped to control his blood pressure, will privately sponsor large-scale studies. I will work hard at this studies and, of course, will be delighted if scientists will find more explanation why Prof. Dembo’s protocol since 1973 is clinically proven as working.

As far as I know, an appropriately applied protocol of medical massage in the case of the Vertebral Artery syndrome is the most powerful clinically and scientifically proven methodology of treatment and this is the privilege of massage therapist to possibly save people’s life in this case.

I suspect that the desire of ”being able to explain on a much deeper level,” aims at the development of medications that will work in cases of nonresponsive to medication hypertension, secondary to Vertebral Artery syndrome. This is my private opinion, of course.

Don’t take me wrong. It’s ok with me if doctors want “to understand on a much deeper levels.” In my opinion, though, we don't have enough massage therapists prepared to confront this hypertensive pandemics right now. Therefore, in the meantime, I'm encouraging everyone to study this protocols, and to implement it.

On my medical massage educational video #2 I explain the full protocol for vertebral artery in detail. The explanation given is similar to my article but more directed to hands on detailed performance. Much other material and individual protocols are also presented on this medical massage educational video, To learn more on multiple protocols presented on the medical massage educational video #2 please click follow this link.

You're welcome to ask any questions, as well as to post comments.

Best wishes.


  1. As you will understand from my article, that other type of essential hypertension that is not secondary to Vertebral  artery syndrome, can also be successfully managed by full body medical stress management massage, as I am presenting step-by-step protocol on medical massage educational video #2.
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