What is it that keeps you from sleeping? While sleep is an important component of good health, there is no consensus regarding the amount of sleep people require. We do know, however, that getting too little sleep is associated with a number of medical conditions, negatively impacting your health.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that lack of sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression. But now there is research helping to shed some light on how massage therapy can help with sleep deprivation. One study deals with how massage therapy benefits those with lower back pain and sleep disturbances. It found that the massage therapy group experienced less pain, depression, anxiety and sleep disturbance when compared to the group using only relaxation therapy.
The study included 30 adults suffering from low back pain for at least six months randomly assigned to either massage therapy or relaxation therapy. Each group had 30-minute sessions, twice a week for five weeks. On the first and last day of the five-week study, participants completed questionnaires and were evaluated for range of motion. Along with the benefits for depression, anxiety and sleep disturbance, the massage therapy group also showed improved trunk and pain flexion performance.
A 2010 study investigated the effects of massage therapy for sleep quality on patients who had coronary artery bypass graft surgery, evaluating whether massage therapy would be effective in improving sleep quality in patients. The 40 participants were randomly assigned to a control group or massage therapy group following discharge from the intensive care unit. For three nights, the massage therapy group received massage, while the control group did not. The patients were evaluated the following morning using a visual analogue scale for pain in the chest, back and shoulders, as well as fatigue and sleep.
Interestingly enough, all these symptoms decreased significantly for both groups from day one to day three. The participants in the massage therapy group, however, had fewer complaints of fatigue on day one and day two, and reported more effective sleep during all three days.
If you are having sleep issues, don’t hesitate to tell me about them when you arrive for your massage. Let’s discuss the type of massage that can aid in relaxation and help regulate your sleep cycles. When you are deprived of deep sleep, certain kinds of pain chemicals are released. Massage can help change that, whether for insomnia or increased flexibility or greater relaxation.The release of serotonin (the body's natural production of anti-pain chemicals) happens with massage manipulation and can be very effective at increasing deep sleep.