Can Getting A Massage Helps Me Sleep Better?
There is no better feeling in the world than to wake up refreshed and revitalized after a full night of healthy sleep. However, this is difficult for some people to achieve. They toss and turn, struggling for a comfortable position or are unable to shut out the worries of the day to come. Over-the-counter remedies are available, but our bodies work best when a natural alternative is available. Thankfully, massage therapy is a proven solution to this problem.
How Massage Therapy Works
Massage therapy is proven to increase the level of serotonin, a hormone found in our body’s system. This increase in serotonin raises levels of melatonin and resets the body’s circadian rhythms. These rhythms control our waking and sleeping patterns. Once these rhythms are disturbed, our inner biological clock prevents falling asleep quickly or even entirely.
The resulting tossing and turning increases stress levels and leave you exhausted. It does not take long for a person deprived of healthy sleep to notice a breakdown in their ability to handle stress. A prolonged lack of sleep will render the immune system unable to perform properly. You are unable to think clearly and your emotional health suffers. Studies have even shown that lack of healthy sleep can even contribute to weight gain.
Massage therapy greatly reduces muscle tension and allows your tired body to relax more easily. Increased blood circulation is another healthy benefit of massage therapy and delivers increased healing to your body’s soft muscle tissues, joints, and tendons.
Massage Therapy And Treatment Of Sleep Disorder
Millions of Americans struggle with sleep disorders. These disorders include restless leg syndrome, snoring, sleep apnea and narcolepsy.
- Restless Leg Syndrome: Also known as RLS, this is a disorder of the nervous system that results in uncomfortable sensations in the legs, and sometimes arms, that creates an urge to move them. The interruption in sleep is why this is considered a sleep disorder.
- Snoring: Snoring is caused by a vibration of extra tissues in your throat when you breathe in and out. Loud snoring disturbs the sleep of others and has even been known to wake the person snoring up. The extra bulky tissue in the throat may be caused by genetics, obesity, pregnancy or even the common cold.
- Sleep apnea: Sleep apnea is a serious disorder where you experience shallow breaths or pauses in breathing. This disorder is often accompanied with snoring and choking sounds
- Narcolepsy: Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that disrupts the brain’s ability to control your sleep-wake cycles. Sufferers of narcolepsy experience sleep deprivation their entire lives and may fall asleep several times a day but never experience a deep restorative sleep.
If you suspect you may suffer from any of these disorders, consult your physician. Then call a reputable and board certified massage therapist. The massage therapist will create and discuss a treatment plan for the disorder you have. Tell your massage therapist about any medications you are taking. Expect to be amazed at the results that consistent massage therapy for good sleep will bring you.
What to Expect During A Massage Therapy Session
You will begin your session with privacy so you may disrobe to your level of comfort. You will either lay face up or down on the massage table. You will be covered at all times by either a towel or cloth except for the area your therapist is working on at the moment.
Your therapist will work on those areas she determined to be of most benefit to you during the original assessment. The following areas are typical of most full body massages: neck, shoulders, back, arms, hands, legs, feet, buttocks and abdomen.
Additionally, your massage therapist may incorporate any of the following massage oils in your treatment plan:
- Cold pressed extra virgin oil
- Sweet almond oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Sunflower oil
- Sandalwood oil
- Coconut oil
- Jojoba oil
These are known as carrier oils. The main purpose of these oils is to reduce friction between your skin and that of your therapist’s. These oils also hydrate the skin and when paired with a pleasant aroma, enhance your massage therapy session.
You can create your own massage oils, allowing you to personalize your experience and take an active role in it with the addition of essential oils and other ingredients.
Here Is A Recipe That Helps Induce Relaxation And Sleep: Sleepy Time Massage Oil
- Ingredients: Chinese Rose – two drops, Valerian Root – six drops, Lavender – twelve drops, Sandalwood – three drops, Mandarin Orange – two drops, Grapeseed oil – one cup
- Directions: Combine the ingredients and gently mix contents until thoroughly combined. Test the oil on a cotton ball and make changes according to your preference.
Massage therapy for better sleep does require consistency. Do not be tempted to cease your sessions once you experience significant results. But, by all means, enjoy the benefits (and there will be many) that you enjoy from massage therapy. You are, after all, worth it.