How Massage Therapy Helps You Sleep Better at Night
By Krista Harper
According to the CDC more than thirty-percent of American adults don’t get the recommended seven plus hours of sleep each night. There are a lot of reasons why Americans don’t get enough sleep ranging from long work hours, social behaviors, and family lifestyle to mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression and insomnia.
The stressors we put on our body have a clear correlation to lack of sleep. Luckily, most people have the ability to manage their lives in a way to promote better quality sleep. One way is utilizing massage therapy.
Here are three ways massage therapy can improve your sleep.
People who experience chronic pain such as with post-operative surgery, arthritis, and Fibromyalgia are often prescribed massage therapy to help reduce the pain and improve sleep. Massage therapy helps to reduce inflammation in muscles and joints, increase range of motion, and relax muscle tissue. For chronic pain, massage therapy has been proven to reduce the frequent and painful muscle spasms and cramps that contribute to extreme bouts of pain throughout the night. This is especially helpful for people who suffer from tonic muscle spasms which are sustained periods of painful contraction.
Reduces Anxiety and Depression
There are several types of massage therapy that range from deep tissue to soft and soothing. In addition to the massage, most therapists will also incorporate soothing music, different body oils, and aromatherapy. All of this is designed to calm your nerves and provide a soothing affect not only on your muscles and joints, but also on your mind.
Most Americans who suffer from sleep deprivation or insomnia do so because their mind is so fixated on what has happened earlier in the day or concerned about what may happen in the future. Even missing as much as two hours of sleep each night can lead to chronic sleep deprivation which affects how you process thoughts, your memory, emotions, and your mood.
This state of calm helps to relax your mind and reduce the effects of anxiety and depression by putting you into a state of “now” which is often compared to the state of being experienced in yoga and other meditative practices.
Helps regulate hormones
While most people consider massage therapy an external remedy, it has also been shown to reduce cortisol levels. Cortisol is known as a stress hormone, which is essentially your body’s alarm system to alert the brain that you are stressed. While the hormone is necessary, it also can increase your energy level and overtake relaxing hormones. While massage therapy reduces cortisol production it elevates production of dopamine and serotonin, both of which help to relax the body and promote sleep.
Massage Therapy is a great way to reduce the stressors in your everyday life to help calm your nerves, relax your muscle tissue, and provide greater support to your joints. In addition to the physical benefits, massage therapy plays a role in releasing calming hormones to inhibit better quality sleep and stave off negative effects associated with chronic pain such as muscle spasms.
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