As a Massage Therapist, I often hear from people that they have difficulty falling asleep. An interrupted sleep pattern can be cause for many other discomforts and have a negative effect on our immune system. Receiving a massage on a regular basis will benefit you in many ways, including regulating your sleep patterns. “A regular basis” for massage varies from person to person. Once a month is an ideal regiment for most people to receive a full body massage, however someone with specific or serious discomforts may find that more often would be more beneficial.
There are several things you can do between your massage appointments to improve your sleep. Controlling your breathing and educating your muscles will help your body get ready for sleep each night.
Controlled breathing is a fantastic way to relax. While you are lying in bed, breathe deeply through your nose into your abdomen. Be sure that your abdomen rises with each inhale, try not to breathe through your chest. Fully and slowly exhale each time. We should relax our muscles as we breathe out. Begin with concentrating on releasing your jaw and the muscles in your face as you exhale. Next, relax your neck and then your upper back. Work your way down your body, exhaling through and relaxing each group of muscles, all the way to your toes.
Another great way to remind your muscles how to “let go“, is to tighten and release them. Begin with flexing your toes and feet and then relaxing them. Follow with your calves and work all the way up to your head. Tighten and release your arms, hands and even your face. Continue with your controlled breathing as you go. Work your way back down to your toes and repeat as many times as you like. You may soon find your way off to a wonderful, relaxed sleep!
In Health and Happiness,
Samantha E. Mullen, LMT
CNY Healing Arts