For many, winter is a time that would be better with a fast-forward button. From seasonal pains, to flaky skin, to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), the colder months can really bring you down both physically and mentally.
Luckily, massage is here to help. The benefits of massage therapy during winter should not be overlooked, and may be exactly what you need to make it through to spring:
Massage combats seasonal aches and pains
Winter equals snow, and with it comes many labor-intestive activities your body may not be used to. Shoveling, scraping, plowing, and trudging through snow can take a toll on your lower back, shoulders, forearms, and joints. Not to mention the cold air often causes stiff, achy joints, even without the added work. Massage is a great way to relieve these aches and pains and give you energy to make it through until the thaw.
Massage reduces dry skin
When you think of massage, you don’t often think of it as a treatment for dry skin. Think again! Regular massage therapy promotes your skin’s production of collagen, making it more moisturized and elastic. Massages also come with massage oils – coconut oil, milk, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, and aloe are just a few that can be used to keep your skin soft, supple, and hydrated.
Massage improves circulation
Massage is well-known for improving circulation, which (among other things) can make you less likely to feel cold when the temperatures drop. Increased circulation can also prevent muscle contraction, which is very common during the winter months.
Massage improves mental health
If you suffer from winter-related mental struggles (feeling down, dreary, unmotivated, fatigued, or depression, such as SAD), massage may be the answer to brighter days. Massage helps your body release endorphins and serotonin, two chemicals that increase feelings of happiness and reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. In general, massage has been shown to improve hormonal health and balance, which are responsible for the majority of your emotions, mood, and personality.
Massage fights diseases
During the sick season, anything that helps boost your immune system is a good thing. Massage helps heal damage to your nervous system, which in turn increases the flow of white blood cells. Better flow means a better chance of recovering from illness faster (or avoiding getting sick in the first place).