WHY BE WINTER BLUE?

Are you feeling a little down – or even really down – lately? Have you found yourself loading up on carbohydrates and staying in bed later? Maybe you have a sense of blah you just cannot seem to shake. It sounds as though you may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  According to Mental Health America*, SAD affects four out of five Americans every year, particularly women ages 20 to 30 years. SAD saps your energy, leaving you feeling lethargic.

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HAVING SURGERY? - CONSIDER MASSAGE TO HELP YOU RECOVER

Surgery, while often a necessity, can be a traumatic event, causing pain and discomfort to the body. Research indicates many patients descend into chronic post-surgical pain. This is any pain that lasts two to three months after a surgical procedure. The question has to be asked: How can you manage chronic pain until your body has had a chance to recover from a surgical procedure?

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MASSAGE OFFERS SPECIFIC BENEFITS FOR WOMEN

Are you a woman who gets massages? If so, what is your reason for calling and making that appointment? We all have different reasons as women for seeking massage therapy. Perhaps it is to relax. Maybe it is because you are a mom and you need some mommy time. Maybe you are an active woman and you get massage to aide in your recovery from the gym. Perhaps you are having a difficult monthly cycle and massage helps ease your discomfort.

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EXERCISE AND THE BENEFITS OF MASSAGE

It can be extremely difficult to find and make time for ourselves. Life gets in the way and sometimes other people become more of a priority to us than ourselves. Many people do find and make time for exercise, however. Each of us has our own motivation to stay healthy in our movement and we have our own reasons and desires to make exercise part of our lifestyle.


Get Moving!

Exercise and movement come in many different forms. Sometimes it can look like a stroll through your neighborhood or a hike on the weekends. Maybe it’s a quick walk on your lunch break. Perhaps it is going to the gym on your own, taking a class at the gym or even hiring your own personal trainer. According to a newsletter from the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Edward R. Laskowski says the average healthy adult should participate in 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. This can be broken down to 30 minutes for five days. However you do it, you’ll find movement allows you to reap the many benefits of exercise. Some of these may include an overall decrease in mental stress, the increase of healthy hormones such as dopamine, the decreased risk in cardiovascular disease and many more. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exercise can help:

  1. Control your weight.
  2. Strengthen muscles and bones.
  3. Improve your ability to perform daily activities, improve balance and prevent falls (in the older adult community).


Massage is for more than  just relaxation!

Although these are all positive benefits of exercise and movement, our bodies can develop tension in certain areas with physical impact. This tension may look like a sore muscle, achy joints, limited range of motion or stiffness and more. Massage therapy can assist in many ways to alleviate or improve those ailments caused by physical impact. According to the American Massage Therapy Association, massage therapy can:

  1. Decrease muscle stiffness and fatigue prior to exercise;
  2. Increase range of motion and decrease muscle tension;
  3. Support in physiological recovery;
  4. Prevent exercise induced injuries; and
  5. Enhance athletic performance.


If finding time weekly for exercise and/or movement is something that is in your routine, you can see how massage therapy can only enhance this special time you make for yourself. There are massage facilities all over the city and in the surrounding counties. Each facility has a different price point and different hours, so finding a convenient location and comfortable cost is very possible.


Deep Tissue Only?

There are a few different massage modalities that may be appropriate post exercise. According to Elements Massage (www.elementsmassage.com), some of these modalities may be broken down to help explain the difference. The ever-so-popular deep tissue massage is an option. Deep tissue is a technique using the muscle- specific application of Swedish strokes, such as effleurage, petrissage and compression. These are a combination of long strokes, short and kneading-like strokes and deep and still on single part of a muscle. The therapist can work on specific muscles that may be sore or overworked and increase deeper pressure to access the muscle on a deeper level.


Sports massage is another popular type of massage often sought post exercise. Sports massage is very similar to deep tissue massage with a blend of specific muscles work and passive stretching to relieve tension in the muscle and joint. Whether you choose one of these modalities or something different, the preference is yours. Finding out how your body will respond to these different modalities is important. And finding the right therapist and modality is the key to your massage journey. Communication regarding pressure is also of extreme importance when receiving post-exercise massage. If the pressure seems painful, let your therapist know.


Finally, enjoy! Massage and fitness can add so much to your life. So have fun getting fit and feeling great!


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BRITTANY FATHERGILL

Brittany Fathergill has been a licensed massage therapist (LMT) since 2006. She is part of the administrative team of Lexington Healing Arts Academy. She has completed an associates degree in science and is close to completing her bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science. Brittany is also a certified Health and Wellness Coach.  

more articles by Brittany Fathergill