Massage therapy: Your ticket to better sleep

Many of us struggle with sleep issues. Between our stressful lives, our reliance on caffeine and our tendency toward snuggling into bed with our screens, sleep can often elude many of us on a regular basis. Fortunately, there are non-medicinal things you can do to get a better night’s sleep that go beyond counting sheep. With massage therapy, you can be on your way to better sleep and all of the health benefits thereof in no time.

When performed by a registered massage therapist, massage therapy can help to relax your muscles and prepare your body and mind for sleep. From infants to the elderly, therapeutic touch is a natural way to encourage the body to relax. This is achieved by reducing stress, bolstering circulation, lowering blood pressure and circulation and allowing the mind to let go of the day’s worries.

From a scientific perspective, massage therapy works to relax the body and mind by boosting the brain’s production of serotonin, the “feel good chemical.” Naturally occurring in the brain, serotonin is in charge of keeping the mood stable and the circadian, or sleeping and waking, cycles regular. When something is out of whack with your serotonin levels, your sleep can be negatively affected. Although it is possible to take medication to even out serotonin levels, those medications can have some nasty side effects. Massage therapy, on the other hand, boosts serotonin levels naturally just by encouraging the body to relax.

For best results, your massage therapy appointment should be at least an hour, preferably two, in length. This is because that amount of time will give your therapist ample time to massage the tension out of most of your body, from your head to your toes. This will ensure you get the most of your massage therapy appointment. When the appointment is rushed, you won’t be able to fully relax and get the most out of your treatment.

If you’ve only ever thought of massage therapy as something people do for pain, it’s worth noting that although therapeutic touch is actually very effective at treating various kinds of pain, it is also a very effective, non-medicinal way to treat a variety of sleep problems.

You have nothing to lose by giving it a try! At the very least, you’ll come away from your appointment feeling more relaxed than you did when you went in. But there’s a very good chance you’ll soon be lost in dreamland and on your way to a better, more regular sleep pattern. Lack of good-quality sleep can negatively impact your life in many ways. Your productivity will decrease, your mood will worsen, your immune system will be compromised and your overall health will be at risk. If you’ve tried other methods of sleep therapy and/or are just looking for a natural way to get a better sleep, massage therapy could be the answer you have been looking for. Just be sure you are always being treated by a registered massage therapist, or you could end up being injured.