As we age, it may become more difficult to get a full night’s rest. This is caused by many things: changes in your body’s internal clock, spending less time outdoors or moving and a decrease in the hormones that help aid in sleep. It is a common misconception that we need less sleep as we get older. Sleep is still very important. Adults over age 65 should strive to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night.
Swedish massage, which should already be a part of your regular wellness routine, can also help you get a better night’s rest because it helps the body release serotonin and dopamine. These hormones help you relax and feel good, and can help your body achieve more restful sleep.
Another fantastic benefit of Swedish massage is its ability to connect you with your body again. As we age, there is tendency toward less movement. This can be because of injuries, or lack of balance or mobility. When we move less, we become less in tune with our bodies. A huge part of massage is to bring that awareness back.
In addition, humans are social beings and need physical touch. When babies are born they crave being held. The simple act of being carried brings them comfort. We still need this physical connection as we age.
Massage also helps us retain muscle tone. As we age, we naturally lose muscle strength. Swedish massage improves muscle tone by mechanically stimulating the reflexes within the muscle. Muscle tone/strength is important in maintaining balance, which helps in preventing falls, and also increases an overall sense of well-being and vitality. Your body also recovers from a fall faster if you have good muscle tone.
To enhance sleep, reconnect to your body and retain muscle tone, schedule a massage on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis. It really depends on your needs. Massage can be done wherever you feel comfortable — at a massage facility, in your own bed or even a recliner.
Wherever you go, always communicate with your massage therapist. Let him or her know if you are feeling any discomfort from the pressure or the technique. Our goal is to help you feel relaxed and relieved from pain you may be experiencing. Regular massage can help you live a better, happier, more pain-free life.