My Tonalli Healing Ritual Experience

While in Mexico this past week I visited the local spa to receive a traditional healing ritual called Tonalli. In the Aztec wisdom, Tonalli means “luminous essence,” from the belief that the breath of life is the essence that brings One love, One energy, One purifying light to all living things our One world. In reverence to this tradition, the Tonalli ritual awakens the One purifying light in your body through successive steps of cleansing.

My therapist’s name was Rosa and she thoughtfully walked me through the treatments and explained each step. With her soothing voice, she guided me through a short meditation to bring One love to myself. She indicated that One love begins with loving yourself, and she is so correct.

With my hands over my heart I listened to her voice which lulled me to a calm place. Next, with dried herbs in hand, Rosa cleansed my aura (our energy field that surrounds us). I sat and she placed my feet into a bowl of warmed water while she scrubbed and then dried them. When she was finished, I laid on the warm massage table and was surrounded by a warm herbal body wrap with the intention that your body absorbs nature’s light and life. With firm pressure, she massaged my scalp and used a trigger point massage technique on my face. The wrap was removed and followed by the use of obsidian stones. These stones contain anti-inflammatory powers when gently massaged over the body. Rosa used the stones on my tight muscles to rebalance my body’s energetic flow.

The combination of these healing properties of the stone, massage movements and heat delivered a healing experience that cleanses the spirit and energizes the body and mind.

I’m sharing this experience with you because this day in the spa was the perfect example of taking time out of my busy life to show my body, mind, and spirit some self-care. We talk about the importance of taking care of your self all time at Nature’s Touch but we all know it’s easier said than done. I always like to think of it this way, how can you fully take care of others – whether it’s your spouse, children, an elderly parent, or friend – if you aren’t healthy and happy and fully capable in the first place?

Not everyone will has the availability to utilize a spa in Mexico, but there are so many ways you bring a little bit of this Tonalli experience to your home. Meditate, kick your feet up, get a massage! Anything to help you relax, get centered, and de-stress. Your body will thank you later.

5 Self-Care Tips to Staying Healthy This Holiday Season

The holidays can be one of the best times of the year but also one of the most daunting. Especially living in colder climates, stress and the elements can take their toll on the body. While we all know eating right and exercising regularly are important, it seems doing these things are often put on the back burner during busy times. So what else can you do to prevent holiday burnout? Try these five self-care tips to stay on top of your game:

1. Meditate

It’s inexpensive, simple, and can be done anywhere! Meditation is something I suggest anyone of any walk of life practice. Taking 10-15 minutes out of the day, either first thing in the morning, on your lunch break, or before bed, can dramatically reduce stress and calm the mind. It may sound simple, but during busy times it can be incredibly difficult to truly relax. Taking a few minutes for you to center yourself will create a sense of peace and help keep stress-levels at bay.

2. Get Salty

Have you ever wondered why people living near the sea seem to be naturally more vibrant or happy? While living near the ocean has endless benefits, one of the biggest is salt.  More and more studies are showing the positive benefits of salt inhalation. Salt balances positive and negative ions in the air improving the immune system and mood. Other benefits include reducing inflammation, improving respiratory conditions, and promoting better sleep. Because of the wide-spread benefits of salt therapy, more and more spa’s or wellness centers are making salt caves available to the public. If you don’t have access to a salt, try purchasing a salt lamp or two for your home.

3. Practice Gratitude

With the presents, shopping, and parties, it can be very easy to forget what the holidays are truly about. Taking the time appreciate the season and all you have to be thankful for is an easy way to improve your health. Depression and anxiety seem to creep in as the temperatures dip or during high-stress times. Reminding yourself to be positive and thankful for the good in your life can improve your mood, help you deal with adversity, maintain strong relationships, and simply make you happier.

4. Self-Massage

Give yourself a little rub down when you can. Massage therapy improves circulation in your body, reducing inflammation, promoting flexibly, and flushes toxins out. While we can’t all get a massage everyday, you can massage small areas of your body on your own. Working on your own hands, feet, and legs and have positive benefits on your health. A technique we like to use for self-massage is called the Melt Method. The MELT Method is an exceptionally easy yet highly effective therapy to help reduce pain, inflammation, and tenderness. Using a small, soft ball (about the size of a tennis ball) you simply roll the ball under your feet and massage the tender areas. This massaging motion helps re-hydrate connective tissue and tendons promoting flexibility and proper nerve flow.

5. Skip the Sugar

So we know avoiding indulgent foods is next to impossible, especially when it seems like holiday treats are everywhere we turn. Trying to diet or obsessing over what you are eating can put a lot of stress on the body. Instead of avoiding these treats all together, avoid the high-sugar or processed ones. Grandma’s homemade recipes with real ingredients are probably a better option than highly refined, store-bought options. Load up on healthy fats that will satiate your taste buds while nourishing your body. And don’t be so hard on yourself if you do indulge! Practice self-love and forgiveness and know you can always try to get back on track tomorrow.

Massage & Breast Cancer

Often we find our lives so busy we forget about taking care of ourselves. With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, it’s the perfect time to remind ourselves that monthly breast checks are a critical component to women’s health.

In the United States, about 1 in 8 women develop invasive breast cancer at some point in their lifetime. According to the Susan G. Komen, most breast cancers grow slowly and by the time women finally notice a lump, the cancer is very aggressive.

No one wants to look for cancer, but incorporating the thought process of checking yourself routinely could save your life. In fact, a recent study found that 40% of breast cancers are diagnosed after a woman has felt a lump in her breast on her own, without having a mammogram. To help get in this mindset, don’t think of this as an exam—think of it as a massage instead.

Breast self-massage offers a way to let go of tension and get the lymph fluids flowing. It can be done simply by lying down on your back. The breast tissue will then spread out evenly along the chest wall.

Place a pillow under your right shoulder so it can relax, and your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move the pads of your fingers around your right breast gently in small circular motions covering the entire breast area and armpit. Use light to firm pressure. Work around the outside starting at the armpit, under part, and then inner part of your breast, around the nipple, and back toward the armpit. Now repeat the self-massage on your left breast in the same manner. Using a bit of oil such as coconut oil will help your fingers glide better.

This self-massage technique can be done anytime. During certain times of the month our breast may become more lumpy than others, so know that it may take more time to get to know ourselves and the changes that our breast go through at different times during the month. If there’s something that catches your attention, give your healthcare provider a call and make an appointment. Have a yearly mammogram done in addition to your self-massage sessions. Take action and take care of your-self. Exercise, eat right, de-stress, be in nature, and enjoy your life!

Fall In Love With These Fall Treatments

At Nature’s Touch, we offer relaxing massage therapy services all year-round, but as the season’s change, so do our clients preferences. And as we enter into autumn, warm, cozy treatments begin to sound as irresistible as a pumpkin spice latte. Help us embrace the season with these fall spa favorites:

Hot Stone Massage

What doesn’t sound more relaxing than hot stones designed to melt your tension away? This treatment is performed with the application of smooth basalt lava stones that have been heated to just the right temperature and placed on the areas of your body that are tight or sore. Once your muscles are nice and relaxed, the same stones are oiled and used in flowing strokes by your therapist to complete your massage.

Bamboo Infusion Massage

Bamboo Infusion Massage is a unique and innovative method of performing a deep tissue massage. Using heated bamboo to roll and knead tissue, this treatment creates an extreme sensation of relaxation. The smooth edges of the bamboo sticks allow for more penetrating maneuvers to work through all angles of your aches and pains. Many clients report that the benefits of this type of treatment last even longer than regular deep tissue massage. How wonderful does that sound!

Steam Tent Therapy

As the weather starts to cool down, you may be finding yourself more prone to catching colds and getting sick. The perfect way to give your immune system a boost and warm up from the chilly weather is with a session in our steam tent. The steam tent is like a relaxing sauna that helps the body to sweat out toxins. As it heats the body, it acts as an artificial fever that kills off unwanted invaders and puts your body into healing-mode. Many people who incorporate regular steam tent sessions into their life notice significant improvement in congestion, headaches and difficulty sleeping.

Facial Toning

Face Toning Massage is a stimulating and vigorous method of treating the problem of aging skin. But what many people do not know is that it’s just as relaxing as any other massage. Using hot towels at various points of the session, it feels like a luxurious and cozy facial.

Reflexology

Reflexology is a non-invasive treatment performed on the feet and hands to promote movement of energy along pathways. We combine this treatment with various essential oils to stimulate your senses, uplift your spirit, balance, and re-energize you. Especially during fall, we use scents of the season to give you the full autumn-time experience.

To book your fall massage therapy session, contact Nature’s Touch Massage & Wellness Center today!

The Surprising Benefits of Foot Care

During my studies as a massage therapist, I’ve done extensive research on all areas of the body to understand how every inch of the human frame is connected. And at the base of it all are the feet.

The feet are the foundation of the entire body. There are located at the bottom of the skeletal system, so if the bones, muscles, or tendons become injured in some way, the rest of the body must compensate and adjust for the imbalance.

So it should come to no surprise that wearing non-supportive shoes, like flip flops during the summer months, or having a labor intensive job, can put a strain on the feet, leading to overuse of the muscles and potentially trigger more serious problems like tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, or chronic pain.

So what can you do to protect your feet but still enjoy wearing those summer sandals or work your job? Give them the care and attention they need with these simple practices:

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is not only for your upper body. It’s for your feet too. Massage therapy on your feet helps increase circulation, pushing toxins out, and allowing fresh blood to easily flow into the injured or tense areas. Kneading and stretching muscles can reduce inflammation to allow vital nutrients to flow back through the area and promote healing to the tissue.

Reflexology

Similar to regular massage, Reflexology is a specialized, non-invasive treatment performed on the feet or hands. This holistic therapy uses thumb and finger pressure of varying degrees, focusing on areas that correspond with all body parts. The pressure applied during Reflexology stimulates the movement of energy along the pathways. Its benefits range far and wide from emotional release to physical relief. It can ease pain, reduce stress, improve circulation, stimulate the nervous system, uplift your spirit, balance and energize you.

The MELT Method

When you wear flip flops or other shoes that don’t offer much support, your toes are forced to squeeze and grip the shoe. And without padding, your heel and arches are exposed to pressure and force from the weight of your body. The MELT Method is an exceptionally easy yet highly effective therapy to help reduce pain, inflammation, and tenderness. Using a small, soft ball (about the size of a tennis ball) you simply roll the ball under your feet and massage the tender areas. This massaging motion helps re-hydrate connective tissue and tendons promoting flexibility and proper nerve flow.

Kick Your Feet Up

Simply elevating your feet at the end of the day for short periods of time can help remove pressure and reduce swelling after a hard day’s work. Before bed, prop your feet up on a few pillows or on the side of the couch and let them rest for 15-20 minutes. This will help keep inflammation at bay and give your feet the break they need.

Go Barefoot

Have you ever heard of “earthing” or “grounding?” Earthing is the practice of putting your body in direct contact with the Earth. Because your feet are at the base of your body and in closest contact with Mother Nature, one of the easiest ways to “earth” is to simply walk barefoot on soil or sand. The Earth has a mild negative charge, sending positive energy throughout the body and soil. While scientific researching is still being done on all the benefits, people who regularly practice this often experience less pain, reduced inflammation, better sleep, increased immunity, and an overall more positive outlook on life.

Practicing these simple techniques everyday will not only do wonders for your feet but for your entire body as well. During your next massage appointment, ask your therapist to show your feet a little TLC. 

Five Reasons Your Dad Deserves A Massage

Massage therapy has a long history of benefits and extends far beyond just a relaxing day at the spa. Whether it is relief from pain, increase in circulation, mental health issues, or even to promote anti-aging, massage therapy can have a positive impact on many different facets of ones health. Yet, often times massage therapy seems to be geared more towards women or women’s health issues when in fact, massage therapy can have equal benefits on men’s health as well.

At Nature’s Touch, we are putting the emphasis back on men to show that massage therapy can have equally positive health benefits. More and more men are finding therapeutic massage alleviates their stress, sore muscles, and promotes a sense of relaxation.

Father’s Day is the perfect time for us to start Dad’s summer off right! Check out my top five reasons why your Dad, husband, or other special guy in your life deserves a massage:

Shoulder & Back Pain

With yard-work in full force and the golf clubs dusted off, Dad’s body may be feeling a little tight, overworked and sore. His muscles have been over used and overstretched!

Often times those small aches and pains begin to feel normal because they are manageable,  but living in that nagging discomfort is not normal! Massage therapy can ease the soreness in Dad’s back and especially around the shoulders where tightness is most common.

Heart Health

Diet and exercise are by far the best ways to maintain a healthy heart, but research has shown that incorporating regular therapeutic massage into a healthy lifestyle can benefit cardiovascular health.

Massage therapy can help reduce stress which in turn can help maintain a normal blood pressure. It also helps keep inflammation at bay, keeping us from having to take pain medications or other prescription pills that can have negative side effects.

Stress

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the best way to cope with stress is by taking care of your body, and we couldn’t agree more. When your body is physically healthy, it makes everything else easier.

We hold stress in our bodies in the form of muscle tightness. When muscles are tight, it’s not only uncomfortable, it causes a decrease in circulation which can trigger a chain reaction of problems. It can affect sleep patterns, cause headaches, anxiety, digestive issues, and ultimately weaken the immune system causing you to become sick more often.

Flexibility

Let’s face it, most of us live a very sedentary lifestyle. And for the Dad’s who work in an office-type setting or sit at a desk or drive a truck all day, you may hear them complain of stiffness or tightness when they try to get up and move.

As we age and move less, our joints tend to tighten, restricting range of motion. Kneading and working on muscles and joints can help keep them lubricated, more fluid, and working properly.

Energy

How often do you find your husband or Dad sleepily sipping coffee in the morning on his way to work? Or maybe your he enjoys a cold beer at night or is known to eat a wings and nachos every now and then. Whatever his vice is, he may be in need of a little detox. Our environment, the food we eat, and just normal wear-and-tear on the body build up toxins in our system and clog our elimination systems. These toxins can can lead to decreases in circulation, brain fog, and chronic fatigue.

Massage therapy can help reduce inflammation and promote an increase in circulation to allow fresh blood to easily flow throughout the body. When vital nutrients and oxygen are able to properly nourish our cells, our energy naturally increases.

 

Massage is a valuable form of therapeutic relief and offers several health benefits. There are also many different types of massage. Whether dad is looking for a Deep Tissue or Sports Massage, or he just wants a Swedish or Relaxation Massage, the therapists at Nature’s Touch will be sure to match him with the massage session that meets his needs.

Help make your Dad healthier and happier this Father’s Day. Click here to purchase your gift card today. 

 

Turn Back the Hands of Time: Facial Toning Massage

Have you recently looked in the mirror and asked yourself, “When did gravity happen to my face?”

Around the age of 40, many of us start to notice that our eyelids have sagged, our faces look puffy under, or we’ve developed a wattle under our chin. Many women will run to the plastic surgeon and get surgical facelifts; however, there are many of us who do not want to go that route. We would like to lift, tighten and tone what we already have, reduce wrinkles and have healthy, beautiful skin again.

The men and women who belong to Gen X are beginning to turn 40, and their older counterparts, the baby boomers, are well into middle age and beyond. Facial massage represents an appealing way to roll back the years, for consumers in favor of holistic, nonsurgical methods.

Face Toning Massage is a stimulating, vigorous, luxurious, safe and effective method of treating the problem of sluggish, aging and environmentally damaged skin. This method will retrain your facial muscles by firming and lifting them, thereby tightening and toning the skin, especially around the eyes and mouth.

How Does It Work?

Blood circulation is stimulated by massage therapy, which helps the skin cultivate a youthful glow. There are many muscles beneath the skin of the face and head. The muscles of the face are subject to repetitive movements—such as frowning or squinting—that deplete the muscles of energy, and then can develop deep creases on the face. Facial massage is also relaxing, which promotes stress reduction. Clients experience enhanced muscle tone and noticeable improvements to their skin, face and neck with the very first treatment.

What Can I Expect During Treatment? 

After preparing the client’s face for massage by wiping off any makeup with a warm, moist towel and applying lotion, various strokes are applied to the face, eye area, jowls, laugh lines, smile lines, neck and décolletage. This trains and circulates the skin and muscles. It is recommended that you have a series of facial toning massage over six weeks. Before photos without makeup and then another photo after the six weeks is taken so that you can see the visible difference.

You’ll absolutely love how your skin and muscles look after a series. Many clients look like they lost five to 10 years off their faces, and are ecstatic.

What We Offer

We offer a one-hour treatment that includes warm, moist towels for the face and neck. It also includes a hand and foot massage. A package of six one hour treatments is $420. We also offer a 30-minute treatment that focuses just on the facial toning. A package of six half hour sessions is $270.

With regular facial toning massage is you can maintain its elasticity. The not-so-great news?  If you stop the massages, the skin and muscles will forget to stay up and will eventually sag and loosen again. Face Toning Massage should be a regular massage routine for your clients once a week, or every two weeks.

Here at Nature’s Touch, several of our therapists have been trained and certified through Kelly Lott, L.M.T., M.T.I., C.I.M.I., in the techniques of Facial Toning Massage. Call our office to schedule your massage today! 

Prenatal Massage: How Massage Therapy Can Help Support A Healthy Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time of major change in the body as it adapts to growing a new
life from within. Massage is an excellent way to relax, increase energy and relieve the discomforts of pregnancy. The caring touch of our massage therapists can help expectant mothers accept these changes in a positive way.

What Can I Expect During My Session?

During your session, you and your growing belly will be comfortably supported with pillows or cushions. Your massage therapist will talk with you and listen to where you are feeling tension in your body. Careful and thoughtful techniques will be performed for relieve the stress you are feeling, increase circulation, and allow you to unwind and relax.

Essential Oils & Pregnancy

Aromatherapy and the use of essential oils is becoming a popular component in prenatal care. The main benefits of Aromatherapy use during pregnancy are relief of tension and stress, relaxation, relief from minor ailments and may be used in breathing practice for labor. Essential oils and a supportive massage therapist can also offer emotional support to the client and her family. Essential oils can be applied through massage, diffusion, compress and used after your session in a bath.

While there are many benefits of essential oils, certain precautions should be taken before you begin use. Make sure the essential oils you are considering are of a high quality. True therapeutic essential oils present very little hazard compared to synthetic blends. Make sure the chemical composition is not too strong for use during pregnancy because skin is more delicate at this time and some oils may cause irritation. Use of a carrier oil such as coconut oil is advised. Oils containing phenos are an example of a group that is NOT suitable for use during pregnancy so it’s best to stay away from: Oregano, Thyme, Clove, Cinnamon, Cumin, Aniseed, Fennel, Anise, Sweet Birch and Wintergreen.

While most pregnant clients will prefer the citrus-smelling oils, some safe options that can be used are: Bergamot, Black Pepper, Chamomile German, Chamomile Roman, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Geranium, Ginger, Grapefruit, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram Sweet, Neroli, Petitgrain, Rose Otto, Sandalwood, Sweet Orange, Tea Tree and Ylang Ylang.

Your therapist will always check with you before using any oils. When in doubt, always with your main prenatal care provider. Safe use of essential oils and your comfort are number one!

What Are The Benefits of Prenatal Massage?

While there are many benefits of receiving massage therapy during your pregnancy, a few of the top and most important ones are:

  • Reduces muscle cramps and painful trigger points
  • Relieves pain in the muscles and joints and legs, low back, and upper back
  • Increases flexibility, making it easier for the body to adjust to its changing shape
  • Eases constipation, gas, and heartburn
  • Improves circulation and reduces excess fluid retention
  • Slows the progress of varicose veins
  • Relieves headaches
  • Relieves stress and promotes relaxation

Additionally, massage greatly reduces anxiety and negative feelings. In recent studies from the Touch Research Institute at The University of Miami, they found that pregnant women who received one massage per week had lower levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) and increased levels of serotonin and dopamine (the feel-good hormones). Researchers have also linked these positive hormonal changes to fewer complications and healthier pregnancies overall.

Therapeutic massage is also great for the expectant Dad. A combination of deep muscle manipulation and tension relieving strokes will relax and calm the tension Dad feels during this time of emotional and physical change.

Is Prenatal Massage Right for Everyone?

Our massage therapists at Nature’s Touch are specifically trained in providing the most comfortable and effective prenatal massage sessions during normal, healthy pregnancy. We always encourage our prenatal clients to inform their caregivers that they are receiving pre or postnatal massages. Because massage is not appropriate for certain conditions, we encourage our clients to keep us updated about their health. We want to take the best possible care of our clients during this special time in their life.

Nature’s Touch Massage & Wellness Center is an oasis for expectant mothers or new mothers to relieve the aches and pains of physical stress but to de­stress their minds as well. Click here to schedule your appointment or call our office at 330­721­9357 to learn more.

Reflexology For The Mind, Body, & Spirit

From your head to your toes, your entire body is connected, working in-sync to help you live, breathe, and thrive. Every part of your body has a purpose, so it’s no wonder that when one area isn’t functioning properly, your health may start to decline.

Thankfully, there are simple and natural techniques to clear symptom causing blockages in the body and ensure all pathways are working at optimum levels so you can feel your best. One that we offer at Nature’s Touch Massage & Wellness Center is called Reflexology.

What is Reflexology?

Reflexology is a non-invasive treatment performed on the feet and hands. This holistic therapy uses thumb and finger pressure of varying degrees, focusing on areas of the feet that correspond with all body parts. The pressure applied during reflexology stimulates the movement of energy along the pathways.

Every part of the body can be mapped out on the hands and feet. Applying specific techniques of touch to these areas, your reflexologist can stimulate the complex neural pathways linking your body systems, supporting the body’s efforts to function. Stimulating those nerve endings can promote balance and well-being and help everything from sinus congestion, asthma, constipation, to pain and anxiety levels.

What Are The Benefits?

Reflexology will benefit clients both emotionally and physically by promoting natural healing of body, mind and spirit. It is practiced to release tension and stress. Stress is easily built up in the body when not properly managed, it can create energy blockages and lead to endless health concerns. Reflexology works to release this tension, allowing the body to return to a state of equilibrium.

In addition to relieving stress, opening up these blockages increases blood circulation, releasing toxins, and can lead to reduced inflammation. Many people claim to feel less pain after a session and feel an overwhelming sense of peace and calm.

Studies by the National Institute of Health have also found reflexology to cause a significant decrease in pain and anxiety in patients with metastatic cancer, and that it can be safely used by patients who are undergoing chemotherapy.

How Does It Work?

A typical session lasts about 60 minutes. Your reflexologist starts out by working on each hand for about five minutes at a time. Several minutes of Reiki is then practiced at the back of the head to induce a deeper sense of relaxation. The remainder of the time is spent working on the feet.

Your reflexologist will work a specific pattern on each foot hitting areas that lead to pathways reaching the entire body. They will feel or sense changes in the soft tissue of the feet or they will feel some crystalline-like congestion. These sensations indicate that the part of the body reflexively related to that area on the foot is not working in its prime capacity. However, it’s important to keep in mind that if congestion in a certain part is found, it does not mean that there is something really wrong.  It simply means that that part of the body, at this moment in time, is not functioning its best.  And by stimulating the reflex area it can be helped back onto a balanced path.

The reflex areas are mapped out on the foot as much as they are in the body. The toes represent the head, with the big toe having the reflex areas of the brain, pituitary gland, the teeth, jaw, and gums. The other toes contain the reflexes for the sinuses, eyes and ears.

The ball of the foot represents the chest area. Just as the heart is located more to the left side of the body, the heart reflex area is on the left foot.

The upper arch area represents everything above your intestines and below your lungs, such as the liver, kidneys, adrenal glands, pancreas and spleen. The lower arch contains the reflex areas for the large and small intestines.  Looking at the side of the foot, the inside edge of the arch contains the spinal reflex. Remarkably, just as the spine has four curves, so does the inside edge of the arch.

Is Reflexology Right For Me?

The effectiveness of reflexology is recognized worldwide by various national health institutions and the public at large as a distinct complimentary practice within the holistic health field. Because of its non-invasive nature, reflexology can benefit most people suffering from stress, tension, other health concerns, or simply just looking to relax!

Reflexology is an ancient technique that works to bring the whole person – mind, body, and spirit, back into balance.  Call today to schedule your Reflexology treatment!

Fight The Winter Blues With These Tips

Has winter got you down? Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes of the seasons with symptoms starting in the fall and continuing into the winter months. It’s often referred to as the “winter blues” and will sap your energy and make you feel moody. It can also lead to sleep problems caused by a disruption of the circadian rhythms (your body’s clock) due to reduced sunlight during the day. This also causes a drop in serotonin levels which are our mood boosters, and melatonin levels which help us to sleep. Another side effect can be food cravings, especially for sugar, which will increase our weight.

Research suggests that symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression may be positively affected with massage therapy. You can boost your mood and increase your serotonin and melatonin levels with regular massage therapy session. Study show that massage:

o Reduces anxiety and depression with a course of care providing benefits similar in magnitude to those of psychotherapy.

o Increases neurotransmitters associated with lowering anxiety and decrease hormones associated with increasing anxiety.

o Significantly decreases heart rate, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure.

o Massage has been shown to reduce depression in individuals with HIV, lessen anxiety in cancer patients, reduce anxiety and depression in military veterans and lower work-related stress for nurses.

Aromatherapy can be used during your massage and is also helpful in controlling the symptoms of SAD. Smells from essential oils can stimulate positive emotions by affecting our limbic system. The essential oils that treat the symptoms of SAD best include Basil, Orange, Sandalwood, Lemon, Jasmine, Sage, Chamomile, and Peppermint.

For those dreading the remaining winter months, don’t wait to take control of your symptoms. Schedule your next massage at Nature’s Touch Wellness Center, LLC now!