Get More Sleep with Massage for Insomnia – Massage Continuing Education

What is Insomnia?


Insomnia is sleep disorder, which could make it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep, or cause you to wake up too early. Around 60 million people are affected by insomnia a year. Adults should be getting around 7-9 hours of sleep a night. While you can probably function if you only get 5 hours of sleep ONE night, it’s best to avoid disrupting your sleep schedule and continue 7-9 hours a night. Even if you are getting your full recommended hours in a night, if you have poor sleep quality, those hours won’t seem as though they were enough.


There are two different types of insomnia:

  • Acute: this is a short-term insomnia. It is usually onset by stress
  • Chronic: This is a more long-term insomnia, usually resulting from a medical condition or maybe a medication you are currently taking.


Side Effects of Insomnia

Insomnia Work

Insomnia can affect your life in many ways. Not getting enough sleep is detrimental to one’s health. Here are some side effects of insomnia:

  • Low performance at work/school
  • Increased chances of getting sick due to a low immune system
  • Difficulty managing weight
  • Increased chances of depression/anxiety
  • Reduced mental, emotional, and physical well-being.


Causes of Insomnia

Insomnia Causes

There is a chance that insomnia is being caused by an underlying condition or medication. However, if it is not, you probably are suffering from chronic insomnia. Causes of insomnia are:

  • Stress: worries keep your mind active, especially at night
  • Work schedule: disrupting your internal clock & working an either late or early shift
  • Sleep Habits: using electronics before bed and not having a set sleep schedule.
  • Mental Health: Anxiety and depression can negatively affect your sleep.


Massage Therapy for Insomnia

Massage For Insomnia

We all know and love massages for how relaxing they are. We know that massages help with back pain. But did you know that massages are helpful for people battling insomnia? Massage can benefit the body in so many ways related to insomnia. First, massage therapy can help loosen your tight muscles and reestablishes circulation to these muscles. Also, massage therapy can help to relax and dilate one’s arteries, which in turn, will make the heart work easier, in cases of an accelerated heart rate. Serotonin levels also be heightened through massage therapy. The best part of massage therapy for insomnia, it requires no medication and it has no side effects.


Benefits of Massage Therapy for Insomnia:

  • Relax the mind and body
  • Eases stress, depression, and anxiety
  • Reduces signs and symptoms of insomnia
  • Increases serotonin levels


Massage Therapy & Essential Oils – Guaranteed Sleep

Massage Therapy with Essential Oils

Essential oils alone are already known to help people fall asleep, so adding essential oils to an already relaxing massage, is a sure-fire way to get some sleep. There are a few different oils that can help:

  • Lavender
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Valerian
  • Vetiver
  • Cedarwood


Self-Massage Techniques to Try at Home

Self Massage at Home

Massages can be costly and our busy schedules can’t always fit them in. Here are some at home massage techniques that you can try to help with insomnia:

  • Center of the sole of the foot:

You begin by using hot water on your feet then using both thumbs at the arch of your foot, move in a circulation motion about 90 times.

  • The Head:

Rub your palms together until they feel hot, then rub your face with your palms 10-20 times. Then, using your tip of your middle finger, massage between your eyebrows approximately 30 times.

  • The abdomen:

Again, rub your palms together until they are hot, then massage your abdomen clockwise with one pam approximately 20 times. Repeat counterclockwise.



Zeel: What Is It & How Does It Relate to Insomnia?

Zeel At Home Massage

Zeel is essentially an App that you can book massage therapists to come to your home, office, or hotel. They provide the massage table and sheets, unless you prefer your own sheets. You choose the duration of your massage: 30, 60, or 90 minutes. If you are having issues falling asleep, you can book a massage right before bed. You don’t have to leave the comfort of your home, so you can just crawl right into bed afterwards.

This can be essential to someone dealing with insomnia as a relaxing massage is known to help with insomnia. There is no deep tissue work done. The massage is described as using long, gliding, relaxing strokes up and down the back, by the developer of Zeel, Eva Carey. These relaxing techniques can help soothe you before bed.




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Swedish Massage

10 Most Popular Types of Massage & Their Benefits – Massage CEUs

Swedish Massage

Swedish Massage

A Swedish massage is the most popular and well-known type of massage. This type of massage is a full body massage and usually takes between 60-90 minutes. It is best known and used for promoting relaxation and releasing muscle tension. Massage therapists use kneading, long strokes, deep circular movements, and passive joint movements during this treatment. Before your massage begins, make sure to tell your massage therapist if there are any areas that you feel definitely need to be targeted so that you get the best possible experience and come out feeling refreshed.


Benefits of Swedish Massage:

  • Pain management
  • Increased Blood Flow
  • Rehabilitation for muscle injuries
  • Increased flexibility
  • Reduced stress
  • Improved immune system



Hot Stone Massage 

Hot Stone Massage

A hot stone massage is just a massage implementing the usage of hot stones, typically made from a volcanic rock type called basalt. The massage therapist will emerge the stones into hot water and then they will apply them to the specific area that they are needed most. These stones can be applied to your back, stomach, face, hands, and feet. Massage therapists also can hold the stones in their hands while they are massaging to help get deep into the muscles. While hot stone massages are very popular today, it does require a lot of skill so it’s important to make sure that the massage therapist is reputable and is knowledgeable in hot stone massages.


Benefits of Hot Stone Massage:

  • Pain relief
  • Stress relief
  • Increased joint flexibility
  • Decreased muscle spasms and tension
  • Better sleep

Hot stone massages are not recommended for everyone. Here are some circumstances when a hot stone massage is not the best option for you:

  • Breaks in the skin
  • Infection/Illness
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • If you have used drugs or alcohol prior to beginning treatment
  • Pregnancy



Aromatherapy Massage

Aromatherapy Massage

An aromatherapy massage is essentially a Swedish massage using essential oils in a massage oil or lotion. Aromatherapy uses these essential oils to help improve the mind, body, and spirit. An aromatherapy massage is used to treat the same areas as a Swedish massage such as back, neck, and shoulder muscles. It is important to make sure that the massage therapist you are using is knowledgeable and is using quality essential oils. If the quality of the oil is low, it probably is not going to give you the results that you came in for.


Most Common Essential Oils Used:

  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Sage
  • Rose
  • Rosemary
  • Eucalyptus
  • Pine
  • Tea Tree Oil

While the effectiveness is still unknown, aromatherapy massages are currently being tested to help with anxiety, dementia, depression, insomnia, and menstrual pain.



Deep Tissue Massage

Deep Tissue Massage

A deep tissue massage works to manipulate the deep layers of your muscles and soft tissues. The massage therapist will use techniques such as stripping and friction during a deep tissue massage. The massage will begin lightly to prepare your muscles, as your muscles may tighten up further if they feel as though you are experiencing too much pain.


Conditions that a Deep Tissue Massage Can Help With:

  • Low back pain
  • Limited mobility
  • Osteoarthritis pain
  • Sciatica
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Fibromyalgia


Sports Massage 

Sports Massage

Sports massages have been growing in popularity over the years for how effective they are before and after someone is participating in a game or a run, etc. After exercising or playing a sport, your body has to recover from the stress of the activity. After the event, this is going to combat the metabolic build up and muscle spasms. Also, getting regular sports massage will help speed up the healing process if you are to get hurt during your event or sport.


Benefits of Sports Massage:

  • Reduce the chance of injury
  • Improve range of motion
  • Shorten recovery time



Trigger Point MassageTrigger Point Massage

Trigger points are described as small, tight knots that develop in your muscles. These knots can cause pain in other areas of your body. This type of massage focuses on applying pressure onto your trigger points to get the knot out. Because they are knots in your muscles, this pressure can be painful, so do not expect this to be a relaxing massage. While it is not as relaxing as others, it will definitely give you the relief that you need to function better after those knots are gone.


Trigger Point Massage Can Help Relieve:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Sciatica
  • Muscle Pain
  • Joint Pain


Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu Massage 1

A Shiatsu massage uses fingers, thumbs, and palms to apply pressure onto specific areas, or points, on the body. By using these points, the massage therapist can attain Qi by using the vital points. Shiatsu massage is a specialized area of massage, so be sure that you find someone who specializes in this specifically. Only a trained Shiatsu massage therapist can recognize patterns of disharmony.


Conditions that Benefit from a Shiatsu Massage:

  • Constipation
  • Migraines
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Menstrual Cramps
  • Insomnia
  • Sciatica


Thai Massage 

Thai massages are very different from the traditional type of massage we think of. This technique is done by the massage therapist using stretching, pulling, and rocking techniques, which helps relieve tension and enhances range of motion. When you think of Thai massage, think of yoga. Instead of you doing the poses yourself, the massage therapist uses their arms and legs to move you into these yoga-like stretches. While doing so, they are also applying a deep muscle compression and acupressure.


Benefits of a Thai Massage:

  • Relives stress
  • Improve range of motion
  • Relieve tension headaches
  • Reduce back pain
  • Relieve muscle pain
  • Boost energy


Chair Massage

Chair Massage

A chair massage is a pretty basic massage. It’s used for convenience, especially if you don’t have time to sit for an hour-long massage. These massages typically last 15-30 minutes. The chair massage usually is not deep tissue related, just a quick massage meant for relaxation on the go. Not only can you have a massage done by a massage therapist at their office, you can use a massage chair which is conveniently located in many places. The massage chair is made to do your shoulders, necks, and upper backs, sometimes including your arms and lower back. You can find these massage therapists or chairs at a small or airport. Some nail salons even have them as their chair for people receiving pedicures.


Prenatal Massage

Prenatal Massage

During pregnancy, your body is constantly in pain it feels like. The added weight of the baby definitely doesn’t help. A prenatal massage is a safe and easy way to help dull those aches. This type of massage is similar to a Swedish massage. During this massage, it’s best to lay on your side or on your stomach. The massage chair should have an area with a cut out for your stomach. Laying on your back isn’t safe because it compresses blood vessels and reduces the circulation to your placenta. You should not get a prenatal massage until you have passed your first trimester to avoid any chance of miscarriage.


Benefits of a Prenatal Massage:

  • Hormone Regulation
  • Reduction of Swelling
  • Improvement of Nerve Pain
  • Reduced Back Pain



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Massage PTSD

Veterans & PTSD – How Massage Therapy Can Help – Massage CEU

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

PTSD is defined as a mental health condition that is brought on by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. It has been said that 70% of adults in the U.S have been through drama to cause PTSD. Most of the time PTSD is associated with the war, but anyone can develop PTSD. Abuse victims, people involved in natural disasters, police officers and ambulance personnel who arrive on a traumatic scene, and people who are involved in any other type of traumatic event such as a car accident can also experience PTSD.



What are symptoms of PTSD?

It’s hard for some people to admit or understand that they are dealing with PTSD, as they can think that the traumatic event couldn’t affect them in that way. But it’s never a safe bet to ignore signs and symptoms of PTSD and if you are showing symptoms, it’s best to talk to your doctor to be properly diagnosed. There are certain signs and symptoms to look out for such as:

  • Memories or Intrusive Thoughts: This consists of flashbacks of the traumatic event. These can appear suddenly while you’re out living your day-to-day life, or it can be seen in reoccurring dreams or nightmares. These can cause feelings of nervousness, fear, guilt, or suspicion.
  • Avoidance of reminders: Certain places, objects, or people can serve as triggers to your painful memories. Some people think that avoiding these things will slowly make the PTSD go away, but it’s a bad coping mechanism of dealing with it. They may also not want to discuss the traumatic event and pretend like it never happened.
  • Negative thoughts: Negative thoughts can be about themselves or about other people. They may feel as though they cannot trust people and this makes them detach from the world. They lose interest in their favorite activities and they live in a constant fear.
  • Reactive symptoms: This can be seen in mood changes, such as extreme outbursts of anger or in reckless behavior, such as driving recklessly and not caring about a possible negative outcome.



A Massage Therapist’s Approach on Battling PTSD       

Massage PTSD

Massage therapy can promote better sleep patterns, relax tension, and promote circulation. Massage therapists can help these PTSD victims with stress relief, decreasing anxiety, reducing depression, and improving their mood. The main reason someone with PTSD seeks out help from massage is because of their problem with dissociation. They want to find themselves again and massage therapy can help them. These people have been through so much trauma and a massage session can truly give them a sense of comfort, safety, and control that they feel as though they’ve lost.

In a 2012 research study, researchers were focused on finding out which therapies could best help veterans dealing with PTSD. Massage therapy reported the most significant reductions in physical pain, tension, irritability, anxiety/worry, and depression.


Trauma Touch Therapy

Trauma Touch Therapy

Chris Smith, a massage therapist, had been seeing PTSD patients for a while. She had so many patients who just broke down on her table during a massage and she wanted to get more information on ways to deal with this. She then founded Trauma Touch Therapy.

The goal of trauma touch therapy is to help these patients work through their needs by the massage therapist letting the patient guide the treatment. It is required that the patient is also seeing a psychotherapist. Trauma touch therapy is meant to bring emotions to the surface, but the psychotherapist helps them work through those emotions.

At the beginning of a trauma touch therapy session, the massage therapist will ask basic questions to get to the root of their trauma, while not pressuring them to divulge too much information that they aren’t willing to share. During the massage session, it’s best to make sure it’s okay to touch an area before you do so, as one area might trigger an emotional response.


Research Done on Massage Therapy for Females Battling PTSD

Female PTSD

In a research study, 14 women were either in a control group or a treatment group plus massage therapy. Participants had 8 one hour sessions within a 10-week period. The results of the study? Most of the participants said the massage had a positive effect on their PTSD, one was unsure, and the remaining two had no effect. While it’s still being researched and this was a small study, massage is a safe way to help combat PTSD.


Hands for Heroes – Free Massage & Bodywork Therapy to Veterans Suffering from PTSD

Hands for Heroes

Hands for heroes is an organization that is dedicated to providing Veterans with massage therapy for free. They are constantly working to find more help and to be able to provide help at more health care centers around the world.

Providers will be able to sign up as a Hands for Heroes partner and provide free services at their own practice. Hands for heroes will provide the partner with marketing tools and will be added to a database on the site for veterans to search for providers located around them.

For more information on Hands for Heroes, you can visit their site here.




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Hands for Heroes

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