29 Mar 2012 Can massage help with insomnia?
Very likely, according to a study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience. Insomnia is associated with a lack in serotonin, and massage has been shown to increase serotonin levels.
More and more clients come to see us with problems either falling asleep, or staying asleep. Insomnia can be associated with other health problems, or be a standalone problem. If it persists for most nights for more than six months, it’s chronic. It is important to consult a medical practitioner about recurring insomnia.
Insomnia affects our well-being, our mood and our productivity, and can lead to extreme exhaustion. What helps? Lifestyle adjustments, psychological support, as well as Western and complementary therapies. Massage is often sought by those who suffer with insomnia.
Studies have shown the importance of the neurotransmitter serotonin in sleep. Serotonin is a precursor to melatonin, a hormone released by the pineal gland to quiet and reset the part of the brain that triggers sleep. The Touch Research Institute in collaboration with the University of Miami School of Medicine and Iris Burman of Miami’s Educating Hands School of Massage carried out a study on back pain, which showed that in addition to a decrease in long-term pain after receiving massage, participants experienced improved sleep and an increase in serotonin levels. The results of this study were originally published in the International Journal of Neuroscience in 2001, opening the path for further research.
Our clients often said that they slept better after their treatments, in particular after Thai Foot Massage – although we recommend to simply choose your favourite treatment. The advantage of massage is that it feels good and doesn’t introduce any substances to the body, so it may well be worth planning a few sessions if you need help with sleep.