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 zap 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. Studies 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!