Many people swear by it. Massage. Whether it’s a facial, a back and shoulder, or a specialty massage such as reflexology or hot stones, massages have become increasingly popular. Though not a good fit for everyone, massage can be quite beneficial in relaxing the recipients and ultimately helping them sleep. How do massages work?
Massage is defined by M-W as “manipulation of tissues (as by rubbing, kneading, or tapping) with the hand or an instrument for relaxation or therapeutic purposes”. There are a variety of massage types. Some were previously mentioned, but there are also deep tissue, prenatal, Swedish, and of course more. The ultimate goal of a massage is most often to ease tension, minimize pain, and/or provide a feeling of relaxation. Knowing this, can they also help people with their sleep?
It makes sense that massage assists those with painful Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, and Fibromyalgia. But there are some studies which are finding that massage can actually benefit people who suffer from some other chronic health conditions such as asthma, digestive disorders, and high blood pressure, to name a few. Another major benefit of massage is that it is drug-free. No need to inject or ingest anything in order to reap the benefits that massage can bring.
Massage is not risk-free. Though typically unlikely, it is possible to have a massage result in soreness or another injury. It’s important if you are pregnant or if you have any other medical condition that you check with your doctor before getting any type of massage. Also, in the states that require certification, make sure that your masseuse is a trained and licensed professional. If you are located in a state where certification is not a requirement, you can still look for someone whose credentials and training can be verified.
If you have less tension, less pain, and/or feel relaxed, then sleep should come more easily to you. For these reasons alone, massage can be beneficial in helping someone to sleep better. In addition, it is believed that massages release serotonin and lowers cortisol levels, which in turn can help you feel a sense of calmness.