We have officially entered the winter doldrums, friends. The days are shorter, and the nights seem endless. Plus those savage winds that swoop down from the North are nothing short of brutal and make it seem so much colder than it actually is. In short, winter is no fun.
Besides not being a fan of cold weather, I have always had a touch of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that is directly related to the change in seasons. Those who are affected by SAD experience it most acutely during the winter with feelings of moodiness, low energy, agitation, oversleeping and weight gain.
When I was in grade school, my parents noticed that I was depressed, less energetic and slept much more when we had a few cloudy days packed together. I still have those symptoms during gloomy weather, especially if I work in a windowless office for too long. Other than exercise, I find that massage is one of the best treatments for my winter blues.
Using Massage to Treat SAD
In my years of experience, professional massage not only decreases pain and stress, it also provides an overall feeling of well-being. Nobody likes feeling cold, irritated and tired, which is why we often feel so miserable during the winter. Massage of course treats many things, but I think it’s especially effective for those suffering from SAD and should be used as regular treatment. Here’s why:
It’s Warm & Relaxing
Cold temperatures cause us to tense up in the neck and shoulder areas, often without us even noticing. A warm, cozy massage table coupled with therapeutic touch relaxes tense muscles and encourages the entire body to relax. There’s a reason why most of my patients fall asleep during a massage—the entire experience is a soothing one that envelops you in warmth and calm.
It Boosts Endorphins
The increased circulation you experience during a massage therapy session also helps to boost your endorphins, those happy chemicals that flood your brain with good feeling and make you feel as if you’re on top of the world! That increased blood flow also improves your immunity, making you more resilient to the illnesses that besiege us during the wintertime.
Another one of the many benefits of improved circulation is that it helps reduce fatigue, gives you more energy and solves that pesky issue of perpetually cold hands and feet. SAD can make you want nothing more than to sleep all day and forego your favorite activities. However, because of the newly increased blood flow during your massage therapy session, you’ll leave feeling re-energized and ready to take on the world.
Arid temperatures and biting winds can cause unpleasantly dry, scaly winter skin. The moisturizing effect of massage oils and lotions drastically improve and refresh ailing skin. You’ll leave your massage session feeling refreshed and less irritated by the itchiness caused by dry skin!
Regular massage therapy during the winter is an effective means of treating your Seasonal Affective Disorder. While it may be tempting to simply hibernate for the remainder of the season, massage allows you to live a healthy, well-balanced life despite the unpleasantness of the season. Don’t let your winter blues get you down—come get a massage instead! Doesn’t that sound better than hibernating?