Winter is a time when we are more likely to acquire viruses and colds, get muscle stiffness and dry skin, become lazier with the weather cooling down and we put aside physical activities. But it can be also a very cosy “me time” season, if we use the smart resources we have available, like warming up ourselves with a nice cup of tea, enjoying a good book wrapped up in a soft blanket, cooking some comfort food and, why not, have a great massage.
As well as helping with motivation, massage plays a role in our psychological aspect improving self-esteem and a sense of well-being, it can help with emotional balance and increasing a positive disposition. There is also the functional aspect, of better mobility and flexibility in the joints, maintaining posture and increasing the ability for coordinated movements.
Untighten the muscles
One of the likely causes of pain and stiffness on cold days is that low temperatures cause vascular constriction and impair blood circulation in the body.
Massage helps to eliminate body aches by improving blood flow, stimulating the release of toxins in muscles and tissues, and can also activate the production and reduction of some hormones that help in reducing the sensation of pain.
Give your immune system a hand
To assist in protecting us against cold and flu, massage has been proven to increase the level of white cells in our body, responsible for the defence of invading organisms, and the drop in the level of cortisol, the stress hormone, which makes our immune system stronger.
Help with anxiety
Some people get more anxiety and depression during wintertime. Researchers have found that the sunlight affects our hormones, but some people are more sensitive than others, justifying the reason why part of the population get so affected when winter comes.
Massage has been used as a treatment for anxiety for a long time, as it brings our body to parasympathetic nervous system, which is state of relaxation.
It has been reported that massage brings cortisol, the stress hormone, down by up to 30 per cent in only one session, bringing a sensation of calm and rest.
Nourish your skin
So many people complain about dry skin during winter, and sometimes it feels like we could embark on an endless moisturising routine and it would be never enough. Apart from the muscular and biomechanical benefits of massage, it is also a great way to moisturize the skin by applying gentle deep strokes of oils and creams with specific properties that helps to maintain a smoother, hydrated and wrinkle-free skin.
Coconut oil is one of the massage therapists favourite because it is natural and has properties to reduce inflammation, calms down allergies, is rich in vitamin E and essential amino acids.
Why not try warming up your winter with a good massage? 😊
By Isabella Carvalho