There is no escaping the truth; winter has certainly made an appearance. The days are getting shorter and the thick jackets and jumpers are now daily essentials. It is not unusual for people to get the ‘winter blues’ – which is a condition many people in the northern hemisphere are afflicted with due to lack of sunlight during the colder and darker winter months.
I certainly find that after the clocks change I want to go into hibernation, eat lots and I struggle to stay awake after it gets dark. This could be due to the lack of vitamin D. Most people need around 20 minutes of unprotected sun exposure a day in order to get their adequate Vitamin D dose. Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body.
Complementary therapy can help increase health happiness for everyone during the cooler months of the year.
This vitamin helps with healthy cell replication and may play a role in protecting against the development of autoimmune conditions in addition to less serious common colds and the flu. Our immune cells contain receptors for vitamin D, and it’s been shown that this vitamin seems to prevent prolonged or excessive inflammatory responses. Studies indicate that inflammation is often at the root of many modern, chronic diseases and autoimmune disorders, including:
- multiple sclerosis
- rheumatoid arthritis
- irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders
- high blood pressure
Vitamin D also helps to facilitate hormone regulation and helps to improve mood because it acts like a hormone within our bodies and affects brain function, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased risk for mood disorders, including depression, seasonal affective disorder, and severe mood problems experienced during PMS, insomnia and anxiety.
Low levels can also interfere with proper testosterone and estrogen production, leading to imbalances that can result in many unwanted symptoms.
The good news for everyone is that complementary therapy can help increase health happiness for everyone during the cooler months of the year.
Reasons Why Complementary Therapy Can Stave Off the Winter Blues
Massage May Help to Banish Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
As I mentioned, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or sometimes known as the winter blues, is a problem for many people when there is less natural sunlight. This is because sunlight causes the brain to release a feel-good chemical called serotonin that improves our mood. When there is less sunlight, less serotonin is produced, which can lead to low mood, lethargy and difficulties in getting out of bed in the morning.
In some people, it can even cause serious depression enough to warrant visiting a doctor. It is not a happy place to be, but the good news is that booking in a regular massage can help to lift a low mood. A regular massage, reflexology or a facial session will help to relax stressed minds and bodies, as well as releasing the serotonin and endorphins, the same chemicals produced by the body when you are happy.
Massage therapy and reflexology may also help boost circulation during a time of the year when nobody wants to get up and go outside for a run. Everybody knows that getting regular exercise helps keep the circulation running smoothly, and also gets the oxygenated blood pumped around our bodies faster. This is all very well, but a lack of movement in the winter months can result in feeling sluggish, while poor circulation can lead to lethargy, aches and pains.
The Benefits of Massage
Here’s where a massage has extra benefits; it can help the blood to pass through any congested areas and boosts overall flow, which also helps the lymphatic system to remove waste that builds up. At the same time, massage is well known to help decrease blood pressure. Less activity can also lead to constipation along with eating more stodgy foods this can lead people to feel bloated and uncomfortable. Massage and reflexology can also act as a digestive aid, in particular, an abdominal massage or where reflexology points associated with digestion are stimulated during a reflexology session.
Massage Helps Your Body to Fight Off Minor Infections
For anyone who is prone to suffering from colds and infections during the winter season, massage might be the way forward. It has been found that massage sessions can help to boost the effectiveness of the immune system, helping to fight off the bugs and viruses that circulate in offices, shops and schools at this time of year.
Massage and the Lymphatic System
A gentle massage of the area around the lymph nodes also encourages white blood cells to circulate, and as this increases blood flow it also stimulates the white blood cells to start fighting any infection in your body. There are also reflexology points associated with the lymphatic system and also the small intestine (where the immune system lives) which can also help improve immunity. I always give self-care tips to help people fight off bugs, for example, pressing the thumb up the underneath of the fingers on the opposite hand can stimulate the sinus reflexology points.
Protecting Our Faces
Our faces are more exposed in the winter months to the various elements, we can get bright sunshine but a bitterly cold wind not to mention, rain, snow, hail and anything in-between! A facial this time of year can really help to brighten the skin leaving it feeling revived and rejuvenated.
Stave Off Your Winter Blues
These are just a few of the many benefits that a massage, a reflexology session or a facial can bring during winter. Of course, there is also the ‘feel-good’ aspect of a warming hot stone massage, delicious aromatic massage oils and even just the act of taking time out to look after yourself when you need it.
If you would like to feel rejuvenated these winter months, why not get in touch to book a massage to see you through the winter blues and increase your winter-time happiness.