There’s no escaping the truth; winter is coming around again. The days are going to start getting shorter and the sweaters are going to have to come out of the wardrobe. It’s not unusual for people to get the ‘winter blues’ – which is a condition many people in the northern hemisphere are afflicted with due to lack of sunlight during the colder and darker winter months.
The good news for everyone is that massage therapy can help increase health happiness for everyone during the cooler months of the year. Here a few reasons why…
Massage May Help to Banish Seasonal Affective Disorder
As we’ve mentioned, Seasonal Affective Disorder – sometimes known as the winter blues – is a problem for many people when there’s less natural sunlight. This is because sunlight causes the brain to release a feel-good chemical called serotonin that improves our mood. When there’s less sunlight, less serotonin is produced, which can lead to low mood, lethargy and difficulties in getting out of bed in the morning. In some people it can even cause serious depression enough to warrant visiting a doctor. It’s not a happy place to be, but the good news is that booking in a regular massage can help to lift a low mood. A regular massage session will help to relax stressed minds and bodies, as well as releasing the serotonin and endorphins, the same chemicals produced by the body when you’re happy.
It Can Give Your Circulation A Boost
Massage therapy may also help boost circulation during a time of the year when nobody wants to get up and go outside for a run. Everybody knows that getting regular exercise helps keep circulation running smoothly, and also gets the oxygenated blood pumped around our bodies faster. This is all very well, but a lack of movement in the winter months can result in feeling sluggish, while poor circulation can lead to lethargy, aches and pains. Here’s where a massage has extra benefits; it can help blood to pass through any congested areas and boosts overall flow, which also helps the lymphatic system to remove waste that builds up. At the same time, massage is well known to help decrease blood pressure.
It May Help Your Body to Fight Off Minor Infections
For anybody that’s prone to suffering from colds and infections during the winter season, massage might be the way forward. It’s been found that massage sessions can help to boost the effectiveness of the immune system, helping to fight off the bugs and viruses that circulate in offices, shops and schools at this time of year. A gentle massage of the area around the lymph nodes also encourages white blood cells to circulate, and as this increases blood flow it also stimulates the white blood cells to start fighting any infection in your body.
These are just a few of the many benefits that massage therapy can bring during winter. Of course, there’s also the feel-good aspect of a warming hot stone massage, delicious aromatic massage oils and even just the act of taking time out to look after yourself when you need it.
Aromatherapy Blends for Studying and Focus
When you really need an extra hit of concentration it’s tempting to head to the kitchen and make another cup of coffee. While caffeine can be effective, there are much gentler natural ways to jolt your concentration again, and they don’t have to involve double shots of espresso!
Using essential oils can be really beneficial for concentration and focus when studying, and these are much better for kids and teens than artificial stimulants. Some oils are said to have stimulating effects on the brain, which you’ll feel immediately, and they also boost overall mood, which can’t be bad. The emotional center of our our brain is directly linked to the olfactory epithelium in our noses, and this is why sniffing certain smells can have such a powerful effect on the mind. So which oils do you opt for (and blend) for optimum focus?
A study from 2017 found that students who worked in a room filled with rosemary essential oil scent scored 5% to 7% more than other students in memory tests. Rosemary has been associated with
memory for centuries and was even referenced by Shakespeare. The best way to get rosemary’s effects are to dilute a few drops with a carrier oil and rub directly on your wrists or temples, put a few drops in your bath, or use a portable diffuser while studying.
Another essential oil that can improve focus is lavender. Yes, it’s best known for relaxation and helping beat insomnia, but a Japanese study also indicated that people who inhaled lavender essential oil during study breaks carried on studying just as intently after a break, getting straight back to work and not losing any concentration. So, diffusing some lavender essential oil could leave you feeling more motivated to complete the task at hand, ultimately leading to better results.
This fresh scent is definitely a boost – it pops up in commercial shower gels and other cosmetics designed to wake us up so it figures that it’s good for studying and concentration. According to a study from back in 1991, just inhaling peppermint essential oil can help when you need to do a task that requires sustained attention – and studying can get dull, after a while. Pep yourself up with a good deep inhale of peppermint oil or diffuse it in a burner for more sustained effects.
Lastly, who doesn’t love the smell of fresh lemon? This invigorating essential oil has well-proven effects on the mind and its concentration abilities. Another useful study revealed that sniffing lemon essential oil helped improved people’s ability to type, and what’s more, when workers inhaled lemon oil, they made 54% fewer errors. It may also help older people with cognitive skills, and those with Alzheimer’s.
Why not experiment with mixing oils and adding to to your diffuser for a concentration mood boost - include lavender, jasmine, peppermint, and lemon essential oils to help with clear thinking, focus, and concentration in the coming school year.
Ka lani Massage Specialists offer aromatherapy with all our massages. Ask us about adding aromatherapy to your massage the next time you visit us!
~ Nicole Detellis
603-380-7174 13 March Farm Way Unit C
Greenland, NH 03840
Now open-- Portsmouth location
(by appointment only)
6 Greenleaf Woods Drive
Portsmouth NH 03801
Tuesday- Saturday 9am - 9 pm
Sunday & Monday 11 am - 6 pm