Nov 16

Trouble Sleeping Try a Back Massage

Back massage means only the back is worked on. This technique appeals to people who just do not have the time for a full body massage. The treatment is designed to relax and ease tension in the back where muscle problems most often occur.

The history of massage dates back thousands of years to ancient cultures that believed in its medicinal benefits. The first written records of massage therapy were found in China and Egypt. It is considered one of the earliest forms of pain relief, as well as a way to produce a sense of peace and well-being.

One of the most common and beneficial parts of the body for massage is the back, since the nerves run through the spine. There are several types of massage that are used for the back and these are Swedish massage, deep tissues massage and hot stone massage. These can be used separately or can be combined depending on the individual’s need.

Slow-Stroke Back Massage: 

  • Palm of the hands and fingers are used    slow stroke back massage neck

  • Massage therapist warms their hands

  • Palms of the hands are placed in the sacral area on each side of the spine

  • Gentle pressure is applied

  • Long, slow, rhythmic, circular strokes are used to move upward on each side of the spine toward the base of the neck

  • Then long, slow, rhythmic, circular strokes are used to move downward on each side of the spine toward the sacral area

  • The massage therapist applies 12 to 15 strokes per minute to perform rhythmic movement

  • The massage therapist should continue until completion without removing the hands from the back

The massaging motion works to improve circulation and blood flow to the muscles, bringing nutrients and helping them to remove toxins. In this way, massage not only feels good but is good for you!

Now, let’s find out some information about dementia. Along with advanced age comes a myriad of chronic illnesses, many of which eventually cause dementia. The decreased functional status, changes in cognition and mood, and behavioral disruptions, including sleep disturbances, that are frequently seen in people with dementia place significant stress on the family and caregivers. In fact, many caregivers cite sleep disturbances, including night wandering and confusion, as the reason for institutionalizing the elderly.

Once institutionalized, these elderly residents’ sleep disturbances don’t cease. Two-thirds of those in long-term care facilities suffer from sleeping problems. While tranquilizing drugs may be the drugs of choice at many institutions, these drugs can further confusion and increase the risk for falls.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have an alternative to sleeping pills which we all know have so many side effects? Let’s see how back massage for sleep just might be an alternative to taking medications.

Researchers enrolled 40 persons with dementia with sleep problems. The participants were randomized to an intervention group (n-20) who received the 3 minute slow-stroke back massage and a control group who received usual bedtime care (n-20) with no massage.

The results showed a 36 minute sleep increase in the intervention group in comparison to the control group. These findings indicate the possibility of back massage in the treatment of sleep disorders. This would be a great way of treating sleep issues in the process of illuminating sleep medications!