Regular massage therapy sessions have been found to decrease anxiety levels and improve sleep quality, perhaps because they trigger the release of serotonin which is a neurotransmitter that can help you feel calm.
Sleep isn’t just nice, It’s a necessity for our body. “Sleep is extremely important”. “Sleep is the time when our body is repairing itself; if you’re not getting enough deep sleep, then you’re compromising your ability to repair the damage that’s been done to your body.”
sleep disorders also can interfere with memory, impair immune function, and interrupt the body’s production and regulation of hormones and neurotransmitters. “It’s almost impossible to be a healthy individual if you’re not getting good, restful sleep.”
Of course, everyone experiences sleep disruption at some point. When sleeplessness lasts for longer than a few days, however, what began as a sleep disturbance instead becomes a sleep disorder.
sleep disorders can be rooted in both psychology and physiology. Take the most common sleep disorder—insomnia. A catch-all term that describes the inability to initiate or maintain sleep, it could have mental underpinnings—depression or anxiety, for example—or physical ones, such as medication, substance abuse, or a chronic illness like diabetes, arthritis, cancer, or heart disease.
Treatment can vary depending on the disorder and its underlying cause. Options might include medication, including sedatives like Ambien; supplements, such as melatonin; cognitive behavior therapy, which helps individuals control or eliminate the negative thoughts and actions that keep them awake; and, for obstructive sleep apnea, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine that uses air pressure to keep airways open during sleep.
Whether someone is experiencing temporary or chronic sleeplessness, the best way to assess whether massage might help is to determine its underlying cause—for example, pain. Insomnia is usually a secondary symptom of something else—including pain and if you can relieve the pain, you can alleviate the sleep issue.”
Massage is hugely helpful at relieving pain and discomfort. It’s an anti-inflammatory treatment. One way that massage might help pain is by increasing circulation and lymphatic drainage.
“When the body’s in pain, it will often lock down an area. The ligaments and tendons around the area will have a reduced ability to stretch, and that isolates the area. One of the things those areas really need is increased blood flow, but what you actually end up getting is ischemia, which propagates the problem. Massage forces blood flow into the area and reduces ischemia.
But pain is just one potential cause of sleeplessness. Another cause is stress. People usually carry their stress in certain parts of their body, and massage works wonders to help undo that stress … Massage therapy can reduce spasm around connective tissue, which can cause subtle rearrangements in circulation or nervous system activity that impact not just pain, but also a range of motion and lymphatic drainage. In fact, if you have limited lymphatic drainage in a limb, a massage that’s dedicated to improving lymphatic flow will help edema in that limb and the deep ache that’s often associated with it.”
some researches have shown that twice-weekly massage for five weeks increased neurotransmitters that stimulate parasympathetic activity, like oxytocin, and decreased neurotransmitters that inhibit it, like the stress hormone cortisol.
Massage therapy is a smart, healthy, and medication-free option that has helped many people overcome insomnia. Because melatonin influences the sleep stage of an individual’s circadian rhythm, a natural way of boosting serotonin is a positive sleep-inducing option. This connection calls for further research showing the direct effects massage therapy has on serotonin and sleep. In the meantime, the existing evidence is enough to recommend regular massages for sleepless patients.