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How Massage Therapy Can Help You Get Better Sleep

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Alicia Divico

Licensed Mental Health Counselor specializing in addiction therapy

Massage Therapy for better Sleep
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As you probably know, quality sleep is vital to living a healthy life. During recent years, research has shown that massage therapy can help you improve it.

To learn exactly how it helps, we need to explain first what the autonomic system is.

In short, the autonomic system is part of the peripheral nervous system that regulates involuntary physiologic processes including heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, digestion, and sexual arousal.

It contains two anatomically distinct divisions: the sympathetic and parasympathetic system.

When you are stressed, the sympathetic system is triggered and you will feel the sensation of fight or flight. On the other hand, the parasympathetic system is activated during a massage and allows your body to slow down and relax. This leads to lower cortisol levels (the stress hormone), hence a better sleep.

This explains why many people actually fall asleep while having a professional massage.

Why You Should Care About Your Sleep

The answer is pretty simple. Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting insufficient amounts of it, is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions, including here diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression just to name a few.

While people nowadays have access to unlimited resources of information, which means they can educate themselves about this topic…there is a huge disadvantage to that.

How Massage Therapy helps with sleep

Sure, the internet and thousands of articles online give them instant convenience, instant solutions and instant results among so many others. But, amidst all the advantages it gives to people, it also brings a lot of overwhelm, confusion and stress that hinders them to get better sleep.

Studies show that the most common cause of today’s health problems is lack of sleep that can be caused by too much stress.

Luckily, there is an awesome stress-reduction method that doesn’t require any sort of tablet, capsule or oral medicament. And that is massage therapy.

What Is Massage Therapy (+ Its Benefits)

By definition, massage therapy is a hands-on manipulation of the soft tissues of our bodies (ex: our muscles).

Apart from decreasing muscular tension and increasing the removal of metabolic waste, massage therapy also promotes nutrient delivery to healing tissue caused by extended periods of stress and will eventually help a person to get better sleep.

The Wonders Of Massage Therapy

Recently, massage therapy has become a significant part of general health care for many people living in today’s stressful world.

Numerous professionals and even traditional healthcare systems throughout the world recognize that massage therapy can play an important role in treating chronic ailments and contribute to a higher sense of general well-being since it greatly helps people get better sleep.

Here are some of the ways:

Massage therapy helps combat stress by trying to reduce the tension build up in the muscles

Aside from boosting the body’s immune system, massage therapy prevents the decrease in circulation and nutrient delivery to tissues. Known as one of the ultimate stress reducers, more professionals are advising their patients to include massage therapy in their health care treatment plans.

People, especially those who live by the rule of stress and don’t have enough sleep, find massage therapy very helpful in so many ways. Among the extensive benefits of massage therapy, most people consider the therapeutic effect of the treatment on their bodies. Since massage therapy causes diverse physiological effects due to the therapist’s hands moving over the body, its therapeutic effect is proven to improve health by acting directly on the muscular, nervous, circulatory and immune systems.

Massage therapy relieves and prevents physical dysfunction and pain.

Massage therapy also relaxes tight and tense muscles while improving circulation, recovery time, and immune system function, which reduce overall stress and improve sleep.

And with the continuing research on the beneficial effects of massage therapy, its effectiveness was also discovered in controlling chronic or acute pain.

What Are Some Different Types Of Therapeutic Massage Techniques That Can Help?


This type of massage focuses on specific ‘reflex zones’ on your feet. This type of massage relieves tension and pain and improves circulation in certain areas of your body.

Sports Massage

As the name depicts, sports massage is recommended usually to athletes and increases performance and endurance by massaging specific muscles, tendons and ligaments.


This massage has a smooth and flowing style. It focuses on overall relaxation, circulation, and range of motion and relieves muscular tension.

After a relaxing massage, sleep will be restored as a time of rest instead as a time of restlessness. Be sure to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and help with the release and filtration of toxins.

You will feel more relaxed with reduced stress and tension and be able to sleep all night long. You will wake up refreshed and ready to start a new day.

Why Elementary Knowledge Of Massage Therapy Is Not Enough?

Far from the common conception, elementary knowledge of massage therapy is not enough for ordinary individuals to practice it.

Being a regulated health profession, massage therapy requires professionals who have completed hours of education at accredited schools and have extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology.

That’s why at South Tampa every single staff member is highly experienced and licensed.

They know when massage therapy is suitable or not.

Go schedule your appointment and see how we can help you.

 FAQ – Message Therapy

How Does Massage Therapy Improve Sleep?

Massage therapy helps improve sleep by activating the parasympathetic system, leading to relaxation and reduced cortisol levels. This relaxation of muscles and decrease in stress and tension enables better quality sleep. Additionally, massage therapy can alleviate physical pain and discomfort, which are common barriers to good sleep.

What Are the Different Types of Massage Therapy Available?

here are several types of massage therapy, each with unique benefits:

Reflexology: Focuses on reflex zones in the feet to relieve tension and improve circulation.
Sports Massage: Targets specific muscles, tendons, and ligaments, enhancing performance and endurance in athletes.
Aromatherapy Massage: Emphasizes overall relaxation and muscle tension relief, improving circulation and range of motion.

What Are the Overall Benefits of Massage Therapy?

Massage therapy offers a range of benefits, including reduced muscle tension, improved circulation, faster recovery from stress, enhanced immune system function, and effective chronic or acute pain management. These contribute to a person's overall well-being and can significantly improve sleep quality.

Why Is Professional Massage Therapy Important?

Professional massage therapy requires extensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and specific techniques. It is a regulated health profession, and practitioners at accredited institutions undergo rigorous training. Amateur or elementary knowledge of massage therapy is insufficient for practice, as professional therapists are trained to determine when massage therapy is suitable or not.

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