A good night’s sleep is paramount to a clear mind and a health body, especially as we age.
Everyone has a sleepless night every now and again, but chronic insomnia is linked to a variety of health concerns. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that insufficient sleep is associated with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression. Insomnia or sleep disorders also can lead to a feeling of “fogginess” or a state of fatigue.
For anyone seeking a nonpharmaceutical treatment for improved sleep, massage therapy has been shown to aid in the resolution of restless sleep and even insomnia, according to the American Massage Therapy Association.
How – and why – does massage help?
One reason is that massage reduces stress in the body and stimulates hormones that result in a good night’s sleep or at least sleep that is less interrupted.
When we are stressed, the body responds by releasing the hormone cortisol. Cortisol affects sleep patterns and diminishes the quality of sleep. Massage therapy increases the release of serotonin and melatonin – hormones that allow the body to reset its circadian rhythm. Serotonin is needed for the body to produce melatonin that induces sleep. The release of serotonin and reduction of cortisol can improve mood and reduce stress levels, too.
The healing touch of a massage therapist stimulates circulation while lowering the heart rate and blood pressure, both of which can be heightened due to stress. Massage therapy focuses on calming the mind, too.
Being able to relax is one of the best things a person can do to improve their sleep. During a massage, as the heart rate and blood pressure lower, a sense of well-being and relaxation is created. Improved sleep generally follows this relaxed state of mind and body, and studies have shown that this relaxed state can last up to 24 hours (or more!) after a massage.
A deep state of relaxation reduces pain and tension in the body as well. Studies show that people living with chronic pain experience a decrease in long-term pain as a result of better sleep, because massage relieves pain caused by tense muscles and inflammation and increases flexibility. Massage promotes circulation, flushes toxins stored in the muscles and promotes the body’s natural ability to heal from pain and injuries.
Massage Concepts offers many types of massage and massage enhancements that promote a deep relaxed state. For more information or to schedule an appointment visit www.massageconceptsdelmar.com or call (858) 847-2777.