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Massage and Sleep: What’s the Connection

11 Aug Posted by in Blog, Massage | Comments Off on Massage and Sleep: What’s the Connection

swedish relaxation massageWhile most people have heard of the wide ranging benefits of a thorough massage from a trained massage therapist, few know how a massage can positively impact one’s sleeping patterns. Massage therapy puts people at ease, eliminates headaches, promotes blood flow, lowers the heart rate, reduces stress and releases happy chemicals in the brain called endorphins. The cumulative result is improved sleep.

Numerous studies have shown that individuals who undergo massage therapy attain significantly more time in the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep that is critical to physical and mental health. The REM sleep stage is a very deep and peaceful period of rest that is crucial to they body’s restoration. During this period, the body barely moves but regenerates itself in what is best described as a miraculous fashion. Those who fail to attain REM sleep are typically fatigued throughout the day and are more likely to succumb to sickness at a higher than normal frequency. This is just part of the reason why massage therapy is so important to sleep and overall health.

One commonly cited study that links massage therapy to better sleep shows that individuals who receive massage therapy for 30 minutes sessions, three to five times a week, over the course of five weeks sleep almost an hour longer than they did at the beginning of the study.

Increased sleep has been shown to cut down on the body’s production of substance P, a key neurotransmitter that is closely linked to pain. Those who fail to get the proper amount of sleep will end up with more substance P emitted in their bodies and consequently, more pain. It is a vicious cycle, as more pain leads to less sleep and sleep of a lower quality. Break the cycle today with an intensive therapeutic massage.