Nursing Blogs

How Massage Can Help Nurses Recover from Burnout and Fatigue


Nurses are facing their biggest crisis in years. Studies show around one in five healthcare workers left the field since the start of the pandemic, leaving many hospitals short staffed while the virus continues to rage. From personal attacks to safety concerns and mass burnout and fatigue, nurses just can’t seem to catch a break. All that extra stress only puts more pressure on nurses. So, how can nurses make the best of this difficult situation?

Nurses may not have the power to hire more staff or improve working conditions, but they can help protect themselves from burnout and fatigue by practicing self-care. When the work is brutal, nurses should consider treating themselves to a massage to help relieve stress, pain, and fatigue.

The Benefits of Massage

A massage may seem like an extravagant luxury, but it’s actually a vital medical treatment. Studies show 43% of Americans receiving a massage reported they did so for health conditions such as pain management, injury rehabilitation, migraine control, or overall wellness, according to the National Institute of Health. A whopping 88% of consumers agree that massage can be effective in reducing pain.   

Other benefits include:

  • Increased flexibility
  • Reduced stress
  • Better night’s sleep
  • Increased energy and alertness
  • Increased immunity

Nurses are no strangers to pain. According to a 2019 study on the effects of pain on nurses’ health, 45% to 76% of nurses reported having back pain over a 12-month period, 28% to 60% had neck pain, 35% had shoulder pain, and 22% had knee pain. Additionally, 85% of nurses develop musculoskeletal symptoms. Massage can help relieve muscle aches, improve circulation, and reduce inflammation, so nurses don’t have to live in pain on or off the job.

Studies show nurses also face a higher risk of developing sleep disorders, including insomnia, compared to the general public. Around 31% of nurses reported having symptoms consistent with chronic insomnia, while 4.5% reported excessive daytime sleepiness. Insomnia and drowsiness can be a danger to both nurses and patients.

Many people use melatonin to fall asleep, but the body produces it naturally. Studies show regular massage increases the immediate production of melatonin which leads to better sleep quality and has the effect of eliminating insomnia.

Nurses are also worried about their personal health and safety on the job, especially when working around COVID-19 patients. A massage won’t stop the virus from spreading, but it can help bolster the body’s immune system. Getting a massage increases circulation, which helps the body get rid of toxins. Massage also increases the activity of white blood cells that help the body fight diseases and may help with reduction of cortisol.

Nurses also live with the near-daily threat of violence. There has been a sharp increase in the number of reported attacks on healthcare workers. For example, healthcare workers at Scripps Health in San Diego experienced 17% more verbal and physical acts of violence from patients in 2021, compared to the previous year.

They’re not alone. Living with this threat can be emotionally and physically exhausting.

Providers can’t afford to neglect their physical and mental health during this painful time. Getting a massage may not seem like a priority, especially when nurses are working back-to-back 12-hour shifts, but a little bit of self-care can go a long way.

Nurses can get a massage in College Area, San Diego at Mellow Massage. They specialize in various forms of massage, including hot stone, lymphatic, Swedish and deep tissue massage. Their licensed massage therapists create a soothing atmosphere to help their patients relax.

When it feels like everything is harder than it used to be, nurses should treat themselves to a massage in San Diego. Contact Mellow Massage in La Mesa to schedule an appointment today.

Steven Briggs
Steven Briggs is a healthcare writer for Scrubs Magazine, hailing from Brooklyn, NY. With both of his parents working in the healthcare industry, Steven writes about the various issues and concerns facing the industry today.

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