More than 30 percent of American adults suffer from occasional insomnia—defined not only as difficulty falling asleep but also as trouble staying asleep— and 10 percent of Americans experience insomnia as a chronic condition. Why is losing a little sleep so bad?
For one thing, lingering symptoms of sleep loss can be debilitating. Fatigue, difficulty with concentration and memory, mood swings: all these can have an adverse effect on relationships and work. And in cases of chronic insomnia—poor sleep most nights over a six-month period—other serious health conditions may arise.
Many methods of treating insomnia exist. Lifestyle adjustments, psychological services, as well as Western medical treatments, including pharmaceuticals, all are common. And an important alternative medical choice is massage.
Because insomnia is frequently associated with a lack of serotonin, massage can be effective because it has been shown to increase serotonin levels. In a study on back pain, conducted in January 2000 by the Touch Research Institute in conjunction with the University of Miami School of Medicine and Iris Burman of Miami’s Educating Hands School of Massage, subjects receiving massage therapy demonstrated improved sleep and an increase in serotonin levels.
In addition to increasing relaxation and reducing pain, therefore, massage therapy, including that provided by a premium massage chair, can address insomnia on a biochemical level. Given the well-documented dangers of addiction and abuse of sleeping pills, for many, massage therapy provides an intelligent, healthy, and substance-free choice for relief of insomnia.
Chronic or frequent insomnia should be evaluated by a healthcare professional or a sleep disorder specialist. But keep in mind that a massage chair can provide available, at-home relief for those who suffer symptoms of sleep loss, helping people spend more time in deep, restorative sleep.
Cutler, Nicole. “Insomnia, Serotonin and Massage.” Massage Professionals Update, Institute for Integrative Healthcare, 17 Mar. 2014, opens in a new windowwww.integrativehealthcare.org/mt/archives/2005/08/insomnia_seroto.html.
Kibler, Kray. “Massage Therapy for a Better Night’s Sleep.” Sleep Review, 23 May 2014, www.sleepreviewmag.com/2014/05/massage-therapy-sleep/.