Massage Therapy Can Enhance Sleep Quality, MASSAGE MagazineHouston, TX. Massage therapy has been shown to induce relaxation and calm, and it can also lead to a better night’s sleep, according to CG Funk, a licensed massage therapist and vice president of industry relations and product development for Massage Envy Spas.

“Massage therapy leads to a feeling of relaxation and calm, and clients often report a sense of clarity and perspective. Not only does massage therapy feel good physically, but it also seems to hit a mental ‘reset button,’ leading to clearer thoughts and enhanced sleep,” says Funk. “Massage therapy can also manage two common sleep stealers: stress and pain. Massage therapy tackles stress on the physical level by easing muscle tightness and on the biochemical level by lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol–prompting the release of endorphins, which make us feel good.

“Massage therapy has been shown to mediate pain, which is very good news for people living with fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis,” Funk continues. “The pain-lessening benefits of regular massage therapy lead to better sleep. Better sleep will ultimately give your body time to restore and heal.”

Swedish massage therapy is what comes to mind when most people think about massage. One of the primary goals of Swedish massage is to relax the entire body, which is accomplished by rubbing the muscles with long gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart. But Swedish massage is also exceptionally beneficial for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins and improving circulation and flexibility while easing tension.

A study conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and published in The New York Times, found that volunteers who received a 45-minute Swedish massage experienced significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol, as well as arginine vasopressin–a hormone that can lead to increases in cortisol. Volunteers also had increases in the number of lymphocytes–white blood cells that are part of the immune system, and a boost in the immune cells that may help fight colds and the flu.

Swedish massage techniques also include circular pressure applied by the hands and palms, firm kneading, percussion-like tapping, bending and stretching. Before and during a Swedish massage session, talking to the massage therapist will allow the massage to be customized.

To take relaxation a step further, Massage Envy Spa suggests enhancing your massage with Lavender Garden AromaTherapy to help reduce inflammation, calm the mind and promote restful sleep. Lavender Garden’s foundation of patchouli, grapefruit and sweet orange highlight two unique lavender oils. First, English true lavender is used to both reduce pain and inflammation, and act as a mild antidepressant and calming agent. Next, lavender helps support the respiratory system, aid in natural detoxification and promote restful sleep.

A wide variety of massage services are available at Massage Envy Spas, including Swedish massage, deep-tissue massage, reflexology, Hot Stone Envy, trigger point therapy, sports massage, Deep Muscle Therapy, cranial sacral therapy, prenatal massage, geriatric massage, AromaTherapy and sugar foot scrub.

In addition, 15 Houston Massage Envy Spas offer Healthy Skin facial treatments using Murad skin care products, which are specifically formulated to nourish skin and address disorders and concerns, such as anti-aging, sensitive skin, acne/blemishes and environmental damage.

At Massage Envy Spa, an introductory, a one-hour massage session (a 50-minute massage and time for consultation and dressing) is just $49.99 and a one-hour Healthy Skin facial session is $59.99. Memberships are available for $59.99 per month and include a one-hour massage session. Members can enjoy unlimited additional one-hour massage sessions at the $39.99 member rate or a one-hour Healthy Skin facial session for $49.99.

About Massage Envy Spa

Massage Envy Spa, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, is a national franchisor, and through its franchised locations, is the leading provider of therapeutic massage in the U.S. The national franchise is dedicated to providing professional and affordable therapeutic massage and spa services to members and guests with busy lifestyles at convenient times and locations. Founded in 2002, Massage Envy Spa has more than 950 franchise locations in 48 states and 1.45 million members.  For more information, visit www.massageenvy.com

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