Along with other healthy sleep habits, such as an effective wind-down routine, meditation, and exercise, there are two forms of wellness therapy that may help you to finally get some well-deserved shut-eye: massage and acupuncture. Here are some of the health benefits of these two practices as well as how they can help you get better sleep at night.
Benefits of Massage
Along with the more commonly known reasons for getting a massage, like relaxation and relieving stress, here are some other lesser known benefits.
- Increased Immunity
Massage therapy boosts your white blood cell count, protecting you from disease.
- Relief from Migraines
A study from the University of Auckland revealed that after several weeks of massage therapy, those suffering from migraines had fewer headaches and got more restful sleep.
- A More Youthful Look
According to skin care expert Kimara Ahnert from Women’s Health, massage increases blood flow and “adds vitality to a dull complexion.”
Benefits of Acupuncture
Although the idea of needles may turn some away from acupuncture, here are some of its many health benefits.
- Enhanced Mental Clarity
Along with improved mental clarity, patients report higher energy levels.
- Increased Immunity
Acupuncture also boosts your immune system and can reduce the duration of colds and relieve their symptoms.
- Reduced Stress
Stress is the number one reason people seek acupuncture treatment, which lowers cortisol and stabilizes mood.
Common Reasons for Poor Sleep
On average, adults should be getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep at night, but according to the CDC, many people aren’t getting enough sleep. Some of the reasons for this include eating too close to bedtime, exercising to close to bedtime, drinking caffeine in the evening, and consuming too much alcohol. Mental health issues can also lead to poor sleep, as can using technology too close to bedtime. Finally, issues like sleep apnea and other diagnosed sleep disorders can lead to poor sleep.
How Massage and Acupuncture Can Benefit Sleep
Both massage and acupuncture help you to relax as they alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with certain illnesses that may keep you up at night. As mentioned, massage can help to relieve migraines and acupuncture is also used to treat tough headaches. Massage relieves sore muscles due to exercise, as well as relieving pain due to fibromyalgia, arthritis, and other illnesses.
Acupuncture is an excellent treatment for pain that can affect your sleep because of how the needles stimulate the body’s pain relief responses and increase circulation. This is done by stimulating muscles, tissue, and nerves at specific pressure points. Other illnesses and health issues that massage and acupuncture treat to relieve symptoms that can contribute to insomnia include:
- Chronic pain
- Respiratory disorders
- Skin conditions
- Digestive disorders
- Anxiety and depression
- Stroke recovery
- Among others
Massage therapy and acupuncture work naturally with your body to relieve the symptoms of injury and illness that can keep you up at night, making them effective long-term solutions for insomnia.
Article written by Amanda Lasater – Writer and Sleep Researcher of Mattress Advisor