Massage For Stress and Cramps

Atlas Massage is often seen as a natural treatment for pain and cramps. This is probably because it increases the supply of blood travelling around the body, bringing fresh nutrients into cells and removing waste.


There are several theories about how massage interrupts pain signals in the brain. One is that it stimulates nerves that send positive impulses to the brain.

Stress is a feeling and can be caused by anything from work to health issues. Stress can cause physical symptoms like muscle tension and fatigue but also psychological symptoms including anxiety and irritability. Studies have shown that massage reduces both the psychological and physical effects of stress. A massage stimulates the autonomic nervous system, increasing feel good hormones and encouraging the body to relax.

One of the most important things a massage does is lower cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is the stress hormone that increases glucose in the bloodstream and curbs functions that aren’t essential in a fight-or-flight situation. A one-hour massage can decrease cortisol by as much as 30 percent. A massage can also increase serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that reduces depression and encourages relaxation.

Another way a massage decreases stress is by reducing muscle tension. When muscles are tense they restrict movement, increase pain and prevent injuries from healing. A massage aims to relieve this tension by creating friction between the skin and fingers during a rubdown. This causes the skin temperature to rise and increases tissue elasticity. This allows the muscles to loosen up, decreasing stress, pain and stiffness.

A massage can also help to decrease stress through its impact on the reproductive system. Chronically stressed people experience decreased sperm production in men and reduced fertility in women. A massage can lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, reduce heart rate, and increase circulation which all lead to a reduction in stress.

A study has shown that 10 minutes of massage or relaxation can activate the body’s built-in system for overcoming stress, which is called the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS). This shift from the “fight or flight” mode to the “rest and digest” mode can decrease stress and anxiety, promote a sense of calmness and wellbeing and increase a person’s ability to recover from injury.

Decreases Anxiety

A major cause of anxiety is tension-related, and massage helps relax those tense muscles that tighten during stressful times. A good massage can also improve circulation, which also lowers blood pressure. This in turn can reduce anxiety symptoms and decrease the risk of heart attack, which is another common symptom of anxiety.

During a massage, the body releases chemicals called endorphins that stimulate the brain’s reward centers and give the person a sense of well-being and happiness. These hormones are produced by the parasympathetic nervous system, which acts automatically to calm the body and mind during stress. Massage therapy has been shown to be effective in reducing anxiety, and the effects can last even after the session is over.

Studies have shown that the calming effects of massage can help people with anxiety disorders to fall asleep more easily and have fewer sleep disturbances. The reason is that when the body is stressed and anxious, it often tense up the muscles in an attempt to protect itself. This makes it hard to fall asleep. The body needs to release those tense muscles in order to get back to its natural state of relaxation and balance. This is why getting regular massages can help people with anxiety to sleep better and overcome their anxieties.

Many types of massage have been reported to relieve anxiety, including the “push-pull” style techniques used in Western remedial massage, as well as Chinese massage and reflexology which uses acupressure points on the feet, hands and back to relieve tension. Although these particular types of massage have been studied more than others, results show that any type of remedial massage can be helpful in lowering anxiety levels.

For some, an hour on the massage table can feel like an hourlong hug from a loved one and can meet the need for human contact that is so important to people with anxiety disorders. It also forces the person to stop focusing on their worries and shifts them to enjoying the moment. It can be a challenge to do this, but with practice, the benefits of a massage become more apparent and long-lasting.

Improves Sleep

For those struggling with sleep disorders like insomnia and restless legs syndrome, massage can be beneficial. Studies show that people who receive massage therapy on a regular basis have better quality of sleep than those who do not. The reason for this is that massage soothes the factors that lead to insomnia, such as stress, pain, anxiety and tension. In addition, massage decreases cortisol levels and increases the production of melatonin, which is responsible for setting your body’s circadian rhythm and regulating your sleep cycle.

During a massage, the client is in a dark and quiet environment, which naturally helps to calm the mind. This makes it easier to fall asleep and to stay asleep, which results in a full night of restful sleep that promotes health and wellbeing.

In addition to these benefits, the therapist can also help improve the quality of your sleep by massaging the areas that are most affected by a sleep disorder, such as the back, neck and shoulders. Choosing the right type of massage is important to achieve this goal. In general, a relaxation or Swedish massage is recommended as it is gentle and soothing to the muscles and joints. However, if you are struggling with an area that is sore or stiff, then deep tissue massage might be a more suitable option as it gets into the layers of muscles and releases them, which can provide relief from pain and discomfort.

Massage isn’t only beneficial during a professional massage, it can also be used as a form of self-massage. There are a number of ways to perform a self-massage to aid your sleep, and the most effective methods will depend on the area you need to focus on and the amount of time you have available. One simple technique is to stroke the muscles of your back in a downward direction, away from the heart. To do this, start at the upper back on either side of your spine and gently press your palms down, then move down to your lower back and repeat as needed.

Reduces Pain

A massage breaks down the painful cycle that develops when a body feels pain. Pain signals are sent to the brain when receptors within the skin detect damaged tissue. These messages may be hypersensitive, resulting in a feeling of pain that is exaggerated compared to the actual damage. Massage disrupts these pathways by sending other messages to the brain that decrease pain.

During a massage, friction between the skin and fingers increases blood flow to the treatment area. This increases oxygen and nutrients to muscle tissues which is beneficial for reducing inflammation and healing injuries. Massage also improves circulation to the lymphatic system, which helps remove cellular waste and reduces swelling.

Massage is thought to decrease the production of inflammatory chemicals called cytokines which can cause pain and swelling in soft tissue. It may also increase the elasticity of muscle tissues which can decrease the tension that causes pain.

Another reason that massage decreases pain is the fact that it reduces stress. This is accomplished by decreasing levels of cortisol, a hormone that increases with chronic pain and anxiety. This reduction in cortisol allows the nervous system to rest and relax which decreases pain symptoms.

It has also been found that the touch from a massage can improve blood flow to the muscles which can help heal tissue and break down adhesions. This effect on blood flow is believed to be partly because massage can physically manipulate the soft tissue, and partly because of the chemicals released during a massage that cause blood vessels to dilate.

In addition to the effects of massage on blood flow, a massage can also increase range of motion. This occurs because a massage can loosen muscles that have tightened around the painful area to protect it. These tight muscles restrict movement which causes pain to increase along with the restriction.

The results of a meta analysis on musculoskeletal pain populations showed that massage decreased pain, anxiety and overall health related quality of life. This was achieved by comparing massage with either sham or active comparators. While the results indicate that massage is an effective treatment for reducing pain, there is limited evidence on whether certain types of massage are more beneficial than others.