Massage and sleep

Massage therapy has been shown to induce relaxation and calm, and it can also lead to a better night’s sleep.

Massage therapy leads to a feeling of relaxation and calm, and clients often report a sense of clarity and perspective. Not only does massage therapy feel good physically, but it also seems to hit a mental ‘reset button,’ leading to clearer thoughts and enhanced sleep.  Massage therapy can also manage two common sleep stealers: stress and pain. Massage therapy tackles stress on the physical level by easing muscle tightness and on the biochemical level by lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol–prompting the release of endorphins, which make us feel good.

Massage therapy has been shown to mediate pain, which is very good news for people living with fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis.  The pain-lessening benefits of regular massage therapy lead to better sleep. Better sleep will ultimately give your body time to restore and heal.

Swedish massage therapy is what comes to mind when most people think about massage. One of the primary goals of Swedish massage is to relax the entire body, which is accomplished by rubbing the muscles with long gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart. But Swedish massage is also exceptionally beneficial for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins and improving circulation and flexibility while easing tension.

A study conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and published in The New York Times, found that volunteers who received a 45-minute Swedish massage experienced significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol, as well as arginine vasopressin–a hormone that can lead to increases in cortisol. Volunteers also had increases in the number of lymphocytes–white blood cells that are part of the immune system, and a boost in the immune cells that may help fight colds and the flu.

Swedish massage techniques also include circular pressure applied by the hands and palms, firm kneading, percussion-like tapping, bending and stretching. Before and during a Swedish massage session, talking to the massage therapist will allow the massage to be customized.

A wide variety of massage services are available at Widdoss Therapeutic Massage, including Swedish massage, deep-tissue massage, reflexology, trigger point therapy, sports massage, Deep Muscle Therapy, prenatal massage, and AromaTherapy.

Give us a call today at 205-394-5900 and schedule your appointment, then prepare to experience a better nights sleep!