Don’t Let the Sun Set on Your Stress – Get a Massage
It’s a known fact that stress affects how you sleep at night. Over 50-70 million people suffer with insomnia and of those people, over 10 million people take some form of sleep medication. Emergency room visits have spiked over the years due to misuse or reactions from the medications, only to have studies show that they do not increase sleep any more than placebos do.
What exactly happens when you’ve had a stressful day that converts to lack of sleep at night? Your body produces a stress hormone called cortisol, which speeds up metabolism and heart rate, among other things. Because your body is on “high alert”, it slows down the production of the hormone serotonin which is used to slow or calm down the body – preparing it for sleep. Low serotonin levels have also been shown to contribute to depression, as well.
Enter massage therapy. Massage therapy stops cortisol in it’s tracks by flooding the body with endorphins, the body’s natural tranquilizers. When cortisol is shut off, then serotonin production begins to increase. Serotonin is also used in the production of melatonin, the body’s sleep hormone. It slows everything down, including your brain, shutting off the activities and happenings of your stressful day and allowing your body to rest peacefully.
The recommended course of massage treatment for those suffering with insomnia would be a minimum of 30 minutes for 2 times a week for up to 6 weeks. There are many causes of insomnia besides stress, so it is always advisable to consult a physician, especially if there are other health symptoms associated with the insomnia.
Another cause of the insomnia may be that your mattress or pillow is not a good fit for you or is worn out. There are lots of choices out there to replace your current sleep apparatus – how do you choose? Just like shoes, you really need to “try them on”. Just walking into a bedding department or ordering off the internet will not do justice to your neck or back. It is best if you can have someone size your shoulder width and neck length for the correct fitting. Whether you are a side sleeper or sleep on your back there is a pillow for you. Those who sleep with a C-Pap machine or on their stomachs can be a challenge when it comes to finding a good pillow and not finding the pillow on the floor, but it is not impossible.
Finding a reputable and knowledgeable massage and wellness center that can fit you with a good pillow does not have to be challenging. Therapeutic Kneads carries several lines of pillows made for every type of sleeper and has the knowledgeable staff to fit you with the right pillow. You can call for a free pillow consultation and a massage appointment at one convenient place.
In addition to pillow consultations, Therapeutic Kneads is offering a new team approach called a Sleep Protocol. You will meet with 2 team members who do an intake and will make recommendations for treatments that range from Reflexology to Craniosacral Therapy, as well as home care recommendations such as essential oils and nutritional interventions that will get you the rest you “knead”. The sun will shine again tomorrow when you take charge of your sleep and not let the sun set on your stress.
Sandy Saldano, Lic. Massage Therapist
Owner of Therapeutic Kneads, Ltd.