Millions of Americans struggle with insomnia. The standard treatment for insomnia is sleeping pills, but these sleeping pills can be addictive and have many side effects. Americans have increasingly been turning to alternative medicine for healthy ways to address their sleeping problems. Alternative medicine offers many different treatment paths for insomnia, from melatonin supplements to acupuncture and more. One of the most promising ways to get relief from insomnia through alternative medicine, however, is with a therapeutic massage. Read on to learn more about the benefits that a therapeutic massage can have for people with sleep problems.
Reduced Cortisol Levels
One of the most important ways that massage can help with insomnia is through reducing cortisol levels. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone because the body releases it when you are stressed out or anxious. Cortisol makes it harder for your body to relax, which makes it harder to get to sleep. A good massage will reduce cortisol levels, which will help your body and mind relax much more thoroughly. This will have a significant positive impact if you are struggling with insomnia.
Your muscles naturally accumulate tension through your daily activities. This tension can lead to pain and stiffness. Muscle tension can even make you mentally tense. This will make it doubly harder to get to sleep. Therapeutic massage will remove knots and tightness in your muscles, which will help you be more relaxed both physically and mentally. Note that a normal massage will not have the same effects as a therapeutic massage as far as relaxing your muscles. This is why it is so important that you visit a certified massage therapist for treatment rather than going to a massage parlor.
As you may already know, a therapeutic massage will drastically reduce muscle soreness. If your muscles are sore from driving, working out, playing sports, or any other activity, this can make it harder for you to go to sleep. Even if you have a soft memory foam mattress, muscle soreness can make it difficult for you to get comfortable enough to start drifting off. Entrepreneur.com put together a list of the top mattresses in 2023.
This is where a therapeutic massage can help. It will greatly reduce whatever muscular soreness you may be feeling, which could be part of the problem. You will be feeling much less pain as you lay in bed trying to sleep, which will help you drift off peacefully.
Finding The Right Massage Therapist
It’s important to find the right massage therapist if you want to sleep better. As previously mentioned, you cannot simply walk into a normal massage parlor if you hope to get an effective therapeutic massage. You need to find a trained therapist. Thankfully, therapists are pretty easy to find. Many of them will pair up with chiropractors, so you can check the local chiropractic offices in the area and see if any of them have a certified therapist on staff.
While it is proven that it helps in relaxation and can put down stress, the massage is also great for people who struggle with pain in some areas of the body, especially low back pain. There are some reports from people who managed to significantly reduce the pain in their backs with only half-an-hour massages twice a week.
Reduced pain automatically brings up better sleep patterns and rarest situations where you are waking up because of pain. There are also some alternative ways to provide yourself with massages if you are not able to visit a professional masseur. There are many products on the market that work as a replacement for going to the spa center and visiting masseurs, and some of the best are massage-chairs and pillows. However, the best possible alternative would be if your friend or partner knows how to massage properly and provide you with a decent one before sleep from time to time.
Various Types of Massage Therapies
While most of the people are familiar with basic types of massage, the one where you are laying on a table and being treated with oils, many other types could improve your health in various ways. Some of the best types are aromatherapy, craniosacral, deep tissue, hot stone, myofascial, reflexology, reiki, shiatsu, sports massages, and many more.
If you are interested in some of these massages, you can visit spa centers or some therapist offices. Also, chiropractors and physical therapists are competent to provide you with a decent treatment. All of them can improve your sleep by reducing stress levels and pain.
Self-Massage for a Better Sleep
If you think that you are good enough to massage, you can easily improve your sleep by treating yourself with three simple methods. These methods are foot and head massage. Feet treatment is very important because we have more than 15,000 nerves in our feet, which is the reason why that part of the body is most sensitive. You can provide yourself with a decent self-massage of your feet in just three steps. The first step is pressing your feet with moderate pressure, the second step is rotating your thumbs, and third is similar to first, with longer series. You should massage your feet for about 15 to 20 minutes for the best results.
Head massage, which is especially popular in Chinese traditional medicine, which is also important and can improve your sleep if you practice it every night. There are four simple steps for a decent massage of your head. First is by pressing the accupoint on the top of your head, second is messaging your eyebrows, the third step is to press your eyes with light pressure, and the fourth step is covering your eyes with your palms, and apply light pressure for one minute.
You can also reduce your stress levels and improve sleep patterns by massaging your face every time before you go to sleep. Only 20 minutes of this message will reduce your blood pressure and increase the quality of your sleep.