It’s happened, September is here and the days are shortening, will soon grow cooler, and the season to gather and harvest is upon us. Transitioning between seasons is a natural process, however it requires some adjustments both from our body and mind that we often take for granted but that impact more than we imagine on our overall wellness. This is particularly significant when switching from the warm weather and abundance of light in summer to the first chills and the longer nights in autumn.
Trees will soon begin to release that which they no longer need and nature will become quieter and turn inward. Some nickname this month Stresstember because of all of the changes that it brings, all around us. Summer holidays ending, darker skies, school beginning, leaves changing colors and falling… a somewhat abrupt end to the laid back days and a theme of busyness casts its shadow. Daily schedules get busier and many of us experience lack of sleep and overall feeling of fatigue and tension, due to our muscles tightening up and our heart rate increasing as a response to the external demands.
However, Autumn presents a beautiful opportunity to review and release that which we no longer need. As we shift from lighter clothes, tank tops to sleeves and sweaters, bare feet and sandals to socks and shoes we have the opportunity to also assess those habits, thoughts and beliefs that no longer serve us.
Massage Therapy Does More Than Just Relax You
Are you constantly bogged down at work and struggling to get a good night’s sleep? Already feeling overwhelmed by the impending holiday season? I get it. This time of year can be extremely stressful for people, and it doesn’t take long for it to wipe you out completely. Coupled with the fact that you’ll likely have to spend time out in the yard raking leaves or shoveling snow, you’re looking at a mentally and physically taxing season.
Don’t let the holidays get you down. If you are stressed out or in pain, something as simple as a massage can get you back on track.
Massage Helps to Relieve Stress
When you’re stressed, your body triggers its natural “fight-or-flight” response, elevating your heart rate and causing your muscles to tense up. Massage therapy counteracts these effects. Multiple studies have also shown that participants undergoing massage therapy saw a decrease in the body’s production of cortisol (the stress hormone) and an increase in production of endorphins (your brain’s “feel-good” chemical).
Decrease Anxiety and Depression
If you’ve ever experienced anxiety or depression, you know what a toll they can take. But something as easy as a massage can boost your mood and relieve anxious feelings. When you receive a massage, your body releases serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin is responsible for stabilizing your mood and balancing any excessive stimulating neurotransmitters that cause anxiety and stress. Dopamine, on the other hand, battles depression and helps you focus.
Massage Can Help Boost Immunity
If you never seem to get away from those nasty winter colds, perhaps a massage could help. A study published in the “Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine” found that massage therapy increased the presence of the body’s natural killer cells. These cells act as the immune system’s first line of defense, destroying cells that contain tumors and viruses. This is best BEFORE you feel ill. When you are not feeling well, sure a massage can feel good at the time, however, receiving a massage while you are sick can and most likely will make you feel worse after the massage.
Massage Therapy Helps Improve Sleeping Quality
Changes in schedules, stress and anxiety can make us feel the need of doing more taints in less time, which often impacts on our quality of sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep, you get cranky. But did you also know it can open you up to chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and depression? Sleep plays a vital role in our overall health, but it’s not always easy to get in the recommended eight hours per night. If you find yourself tossing and turning, try massage therapy. Research has shown that massage therapy can improve sleep for just about everyone, including:
people with psychiatric disorders
people who suffer from migraines
people in physical pain
Thanks to the increase in serotonin from your massage, your body has an easier time producing melatonin, a hormone that regulates your sleep cycle. A massage can help you spend more time in the deeper stages of sleep responsible for restoring your body. Even if you have a massage in the morning, its soothing and calming effects on your mind and body will stay until it’s bed time!
Fall on to my massage table this season. Call or text Barbie at 774-487-2611 and check out my website www.calmingwatersmassage.org and Follow me on Facebook- Calming Waters Massage.
Parts of this write up was taken from matrixmassagespa.com originally published on November 12, 2015 and from Fulham Massage & Wellness originally publish October 27, 2021 along with my own input.
My goal is to be your Age Management Retreat. Ladies, I speak your Age! I'm 62 (!) and have encountered, or will soon, the aging skin issues we 'd like to avoid.