Those wishing to fend off those winter blues may find great relief by integrating massage into their regime.
Shorter days and colder temperatures leave many of us feeling low and lethargic, yet studies show that regular massages improve mood and reset circadian rhythms, leading to better sleep and more energy. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is recognized as a major depressive disorder with seasonal patterns. A less severe form of seasonal mood disorder, known as the winter blues, impacts an even larger portion of the population. Symptoms include reduced energy, difficulty rising in the morning and a tendency to eat more, especially sweets and starchy foods. One thing we often do in winter is sit a little too much, whether snuggled up in a blanket watching more tv than usual or generally taking less exercise, which leads to tight taught muscles. Therapeutic massage will help relax your muscles and joints, increase sluggish circulation and keep your body in a healthier state.
There are many things that can help us get out of the “winter gloom” and keep mood and motivation healthy. Of course, getting out and getting a little vitamin D from the sunshine helps. We need to take care of our emotional and psychological wellness in order to stay healthy and stress free. Massage therapy is a wonderful way to aid in this process by releasing serotonins (the 'happy' chemical) into the body. Serotonin is one of the neurotransmitters released by the brain and helps control our mood. We can feel emotionally zapped in the winter and receiving a massage and experiencing touch lifts the mood and helps us tackle those colder winter months! Plus, getting regular monthly massages can prevent depression and stress all year long!