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October 2015

Welcome to this month’s article! How are you sleeping? Much of this month’s issue touches on the importance of quality sleep to support good health.

In the article Massage Therapy for a Better Night’s Sleep, found online at, author Kray Kibler shares some of the reasons massage can help you improve your health through proper rest. Here are some excerpts:

The National Institutes of Health has advised that massage therapy can reduce fatigue and improve sleep and, based on research gathered by the American Massage Therapy Association, massage has been shown to improve sleep in infants, children, adults, and the elderly alike, as well as individuals with psychiatric disorders, fibromyalgia, cancer, heart disease, lower back pain, cerebral palsy, and breast disease.

Anne Williams, director of education, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, and author of Spa Bodywork and Teaching Massage, says, “Massage helps people spend more time in deep sleep, the restorative stage in which the body barely moves, which reduces the neurotransmitter associated with pain.”

Enjoy the rest of this issue; see you soon for your next soothing massage!

Massages Relieve Stress, Promote Health ...
by Gina Kraman

Ridding their bodies of stress, relieving muscle pain, and feeling rejuvenated in less than one hour—without calories, exertion, alcohol, or drugs: these are reasons people sign up for massage therapy.

The health and pampering benefits of massage therapy have been scientifically proven. According to, “Basic research has shown that touch is neurologically complex, and has many physiological effects. In 2009, Swedish researchers identified specialized nerve fibers that respond only to light stroking of a certain speed.”

Massage researcher and psychologist Dr. Christopher Moyer adds that massage therapy offers emotional benefits by reducing depression and anxiety. He says that single sessions of massage therapy “significantly reduce ‘state’ anxiety, the momentary emotional experiences of apprehension, tension, and worry in both adults and children. Multiple sessions of massage therapy, performed over a period of days or weeks, significantly reduces” other forms of anxiety.

Additional studies show that massage therapy reduces blood pressure, promotes nighttime sleeping, and reduces lower back pain.

WedMD reports that almost one quarter of all adult Americans have had at least one massage in a particular year.


Why Is Sleep Important?

Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.

The damage from sleep deficiency can occur in an instant (such as a car crash), or it can harm you over time. For example, ongoing sleep deficiency can raise your risk for some chronic health problems. It also can affect how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others.

Healthy Brain Function and Emotional Well-Being

Studies show that a good night's sleep helps enhance your learning and problem-solving skills. Sleep also helps you pay attention, make decisions, and be creative.

Studies also show that sleep deficiency alters activity in some parts of the brain. If you're sleep deficient, you may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling your emotions and behavior, and coping with change. Sleep deficiency also has been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior.

Physical Health

Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.

Sleep deficiency also increases the risk of obesity. For example, one study of teenagers showed that with each hour of sleep lost, the odds of becoming obese went up. Sleep deficiency increases the risk of obesity in other age groups as well.

Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry or full.

Sleep also affects how your body reacts to insulin, the hormone that controls your blood glucose (sugar) level. Sleep deficiency results in a higher than normal blood sugar level, which may increase your risk for diabetes.

Sleep also supports healthy growth and development. Deep sleep triggers the body to release the hormone that promotes normal growth in children and teens. This hormone also boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues in children, teens, and adults.

Your immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy. This system defends your body against foreign or harmful substances. Ongoing sleep deficiency can change the way in which your immune system responds. For example, if you're sleep deficient, you may have trouble fighting common infections.


Sleep, TV, and Alzheimer’s—

Physicians warn that adults who average less than seven hours of sleep at night have a higher risk of mental impairment, cardiovascular disease, and other illnesses. Now new research suggests that sleep deprivation may also be a factor in Alzheimer’s disease, reports One hallmark of Alzheimer’s is the buildup of a sticky protein, called beta amyloid, in the brain. Researchers say a lack of deep sleep may abet this process and help explain how this plaque starts to cause damage long before memory problems develop. “It’s very clear that sleep disruption is an underappreciated factor,” says co-author Matthew Walker of the University of California at Berkeley. And while people up their sack time, they might also want to cut back on television. A separate California study offers evidence that four hours of TV daily could also increase Alzheimer’s risk. The researchers found that young adults who spend long periods glued to a screen performed worse on cognitive tests by middle age. It’s unclear whether the real threat is TV or the sedentary nature of watching it. Either way, says author Kristine Yaffe, “this is something you can do something about.”

The WEEK Aug. 6, 2015

[Sleep is] the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.
— Thomas Dekker

Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.
— Anthony Burgess

The content of this article is not designed to replace professional medical advice. If you’re ill, consult a physician.
© 2015 Massage Marketing. Used with permission; all rights reserved.

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