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Can a better nights sleep help reduce pain?

Can a better nights sleep help reduce pain?

 
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As a physical therapist practising sports massage, deep tissue treatments and acupressure, I like to understand a little bit about my client’s physical activity, daily routines and life style. Over the past few years it’s struck me that more and more people are sufferings from a direct link between  pain (be that physical or mental) and poor sleep. This is not a ground breaking discovery, as much research already exists in this area. However this has got me thinking about my approach with these individuals.

Primarily, after consultation, I enter into many treatments, with the objective of reducing the symptoms of pain whilst also trying to identify and treat the areas that are coursing the discomfort in the first place. One of the benefits of massage is that it aids relaxation and can reduce anxiety levels. Clients who I treat later in the day often mention to me that they sleep much better after an evening treatment.  My though process now is, by promoting the opportunities for my clients to sleep better, can this also help to reduce their level of pain or discomfort? Could this even accelerate muscle recovery?

Our bodies require long periods of sleep in order to restore and rejuvenate, to grow muscle, repair tissue, and synthesize hormones. Researchers has also shown that after people sleep, they tend to retain information and perform better on memory tasks. There are many other health benefits to a good nights’ sleep which I will explore in future articles. The Sleep Council ‘Toxic Sleep’ Survey suggested that nearly half of us are getting just six hours or less sleep a night. And an alarming four out of five people complain of disturbed or inadequate (toxic) sleep.

So to understand this issue better I am under taking my own Insomnia Case Study in early 2018.  The aims are quite simple:

 

I’m interested to explore different techniques and conditions that could promote better sleep. Participants will be asked to commit to a minimum of four weekly massage sessions followed by feedback and a short questionnaire.

Anybody who might be interested in getting a better nights’ sleep in 2018 should email stuart@motionsportstherapy.co.uk for more information, or 0777 609 2540.

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