Summary: One in three Canadian adults are not getting enough sleep. In fact, 50% are experiencing insomnia. Luckily, massage therapy can help. Research shows that massage therapy can improve quality and duration of sleep, and decrease pain levels associated with a variety of health conditions.
Getting a good night’s sleep helps everyone feel better. But how many of us are getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night? (Hirshkowitz) It turns out one in three Canadian adults are not getting enough sleep; and one out of two adults experience insomnia. Sound familiar?
So what is insomnia? And how can massage help?
Insomnia is trouble going to sleep or staying asleep (Government of Canada). It’s common to experience short-term insomnia due to stress, worry or drinking too much coffee but when insomnia lasts for weeks or months on end, it can take a toll on our quality of life. Lack of sleep also leads to chemical changes in the body. This can lead to increased pain levels (Moyer) and exacerbate other health conditions.
Thankfully massage therapy can help. Research demonstrates that massage therapy can help improve quality and duration of sleep, and decrease pain levels associated with a variety of health conditions (Moyer, Field, Jane, Oliveira, Baker, David). In fact, by promoting more restorative sleep, massage can indirectly reduce pain levels in the body (Jane).
“After the car accident I was in a lot of pain. At one point I was only sleeping for 3-4 hours a night which was making my pain and anxiety worse. I started weekly massage therapy sessions and calm breathing exercises. I began to notice that I could fall asleep more easily and stay asleep longer. I had more energy during the day which helped me to move around more. My pain levels started going down, which made it easier to get more sleep.” —SL
In addition to massage therapy, check out the following practices and tips for getting a good night’s sleep:
Summary: Massage Therapists are increasingly recognizing the importance of providing trauma-informed care, however it’s not taught in most massage programs. This article lists our top 5 recommendations for learning about trauma-informed care and how to apply it in your practice. There is no regulation for using the phrase “trauma-informed”
Massage therapy can reduce anxiety, depression, pain and improve quality and duration of sleep. Improvements in sleep, mood and pain levels can create windows of opportunity where you feel better and can move and socialize more.
Summary: Trauma-informed massage therapy is an approach to practice and not a massage technique. It’s built upon four principles: trauma awareness, safety and trust, collaborative choice and connection, and strength-based skill-building. Registered Massage Therapists working in this area don’t have to be experts in trauma, but can respond
With great respect and gratitude, we practice massage therapy on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples –Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) And Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.