For many people, the winter months are more difficult to get through than other times of the year. With shorter days, less sunlight, colder temperatures, inclement weather and less social interaction, people tend to become depressed as the season of winter approaches. Just like our wild cousins, winter is often a time of hibernation and rejuvenation. But there are ways to combat the winter blues.
One of the best things anybody can do for themselves during the winter months is to get a massage. There are many benefits to regular massage and here are just a few reasons why you should consider booking a session this winter.
Increases Immunity – Regular massage increases circulation in the body and oxygenation of the cells. This can help bolster the body’s immune system, allowing it to heal faster by increasing the amount of lymphocytes in the bloodstream. Lymphocytes are white blood cells that fight off disease and infection. So when the sniffles start circulating in the office, don’t just increase your vitamin C intake. Get thee to a massage therapist…STAT!
Combat Seasonal Depression – The additional hours of sunshine can be a lifesaver for those who suffer from seasonal depression. However, as winter sets in and the days grow shorter, anxiety can increase. The effects of massage can be compared to psychotherapy and studies show that massage increases neurotransmitters that help decrease anxiety. It can also lower your heart rate and allow for more relaxation.
Work Out the Kinks – If you have to spend any time outside during the colder winter months, you may have noticed that after you come back inside and warm up your muscles and joints are sore and tight. This is because of a natural self-defense mechanism – when our bodies are exposed to the cold, the muscles tense up to keep the core warm. This tension can last for several hours after exposure to cold temperatures. Getting a massage can help alleviate the muscle tension and joint pain associated with being out in colder temperatures.
Improves Circulation – When the body is receiving massage, there is an increase of circulation and improved blood flow. When the circulation is improved, the muscles and joints will receive a greater supply and faster delivery of oxygenated blood, and this increased oxygen to the cells helps fight off inflammation. And since more blood is flowing, it makes it tougher for inflammation to begin.
Fights Dry Skin – The combination of blustery winds, cold dry air and being hit by heat can lead to really dry skin during the winter months. Massage therapy can help prevent dry skin. Massage therapists typically use some sort of massage oil to lubricate the skin, and many massage oils contain vitamin E which actually hydrates the skin.
This list gives just a few examples of why massage can be beneficial to everybody during the winter months. So whether you’re suffering from dry skin, sore muscles or seasonal depression, having a massage might be exactly what the doctor ordered. If nothing else, you get a few minutes of relaxation and no worries. Not a bad way to spend an hour.