What’s the hardest part of winter for you? Cold air and short days giving you the blues? Parched skin drying out your spirits? That flu you can’t seem to escape? Massage offers countless year-round benefits, but in this trying season, there are even more than you may realize. Here are a few you can’t afford to ignore:
Massage Keeps Your Immune System Strong
It can feel impossible to stay healthy in the winter—holiday drinking, decreased exercise, and swarms of germs all conspire to sabotage our wellness. But research indicates that massage can offer a powerful defense. To start, massage increases lymph flow, dispersing white blood cells that battle viruses and bacteria in the body.
Regular massage also reduces cortisol, that nasty stress hormone linked with high blood pressure, suppressed immune function, and obesity. Even a lack of sleep can be a potent immunity killer, but studies have found that people who get regular massages have better circadian rhythms and spend more time in deep sleep, the most essential restorative stage of the sleep cycle.
Massage Promotes Health From the Inside Out
If your hands and feet are always chilly, or the cold air gives you aches and pains, you may need a circulatory boost. Massage enhances blood flow as it warms the body, delivering more oxygen to muscles, joints, and organs. This naturally lowers blood pressure, reduces pain, and improves overall body function. As an added bonus, improved circulation helps your skin to better absorb the oils used in a massage, along with the nourishing ingredients they contain. So even your dry winter skin will benefit from the inside-out powers of massage.
Massage Thaws Out the Winter Blues
About 5% of Americans suffer from seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression characterized by anxiety, irritability, fatigue, and weight gain during colder months—and plenty more of us simply feel down this time of year. Massage is a great way to combat this phenomenon. In addition to improving overall relaxation and wellbeing, massage stimulates the endocrine system, which is essential in the creation and regulation of hormones. This decreases cortisol and increases oxytocin, leading to the release of serotonin and endorphins that relieve stress and enhance your mood.
Massage Kickstarts Creativity & Productivity
For two decades, studies have been linking massage to improved brain power. If the deep winter has you feeling stuck in a work rut, massage might be just the thing to reboot your superpowers. In addition to giving your body a break, massage quiets the mind, freeing your brain to function more clearly. Looking for the “aha” moment you need to solve a creative problem? Sometimes letting go and relaxing is all that’s needed for the answers to reveal themselves.
That may explain why the number of businesses offering workplace massages to employees is on a rapid incline, and we believe in making it a priority for every business. Zeel@Work provides highly qualified, licensed, and vetted massage therapists and yoga instructors to companies of all kinds in a simple, easy-to-use platform employees and businesses love. Find out more here!