Medical research scientists have identified over 85 types of sleep disorders. Insomnia, or the simple inability to sleep, is the mildest form. Insomnia produces a list of adverse health conditions, which include weight gain, increased cortisol secretion, headaches and back pain. The other sleep disorders can be life threatening. The results of several studies indicate that massage therapy can help mitigate sleep disorders.
Massage Therapy for Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless leg syndrome is a neurological issue that can disrupt your quality of life. As its name implies, an unrelenting desire to move your legs characterizes this problem. Itching, twitching and crawling sensations are also present. Although research on the causes and effective treatment is limited, one study examined the potential benefits of massage therapy. The author reported that:
1. There is a natural release of dopamine after massage, which might benefit anyone suffering from restless leg syndrome.
-Massage therapy could stimulate to the cerebral cortex and reduce its vulnerability to restless leg syndrome episodes
-Massage might also activate the thalamus, which can contribute to the severity and frequency of restless leg syndrome.
Massage Therapy and Clinical Pilates for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that causes the structures in your throat to collapse and briefly block your air passageways. Symptoms include a cessation in breathing lasting a few seconds. A loud, snoring gasp immediately ensues. The resulting oxygen deprivation can contribute to severe morning migraines. Obstructive sleep apnea might indicate another medical condition. Your doctor might prescribe a sleep study, in order to determine your overnight pulse oxygen level.
Obstructive sleep apnea sometimes occurs after coronary artery bypass graft surgery. A 2010 study, performed in Sao Paolo Brazil, found that massage therapy improved the quality of sleep in patients during the recovery period following coronary artery bypass surgery.
Another interesting study, published in 1998 in the European Journal of Orthodontics found a possible correlation between obstructive sleep apnea and a forward head position postural alignment. A combination of massage therapy, Clinical Pilates and physiotherapy can correct your head and neck alignment, and potentially provide a cure for obstructive sleep apnea.
Whilst most researchers have a relatively clear understanding of the benefits of massage therapy for insomnia, more research is needed about its ability to treat the more serious sleep disorders. Even if massage does not cure the condition, the overall health benefits can at least help you manage the symptoms. As always, speak with your doctor before trying any alternative treatment.
Do you have either of these Sleep Disorders? Talk to one of our Physios now! You don’t have to suffer any longer. Call Happy Physio on (08) 9272 7359.