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.
Over the years many studies have shown a massage has amazing benefits to our overall wellness, such as reduced stress, improved range of motion and reduced pain. However, we rarely have a chance to discuss the benefits of giving a massage. Becoming a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) is an incredible journey, and often, an incredible career. Learning to become a massage therapist can benefit all age groups and walks of life; such as recent high-
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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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. Many sufferers report losing interest in daily activities; even special occasions seem to lack their normal luster. In some cases, SAD can result in severe mood changes, feelings of guilt and anxiety and social anxiety.
Luckily, there are some great treatment options you can discuss with your doctor. The Mayo Clinic reports** many sufferers of SAD utilize phototherapy — purposefully exposing themselves to moderate or intense light — to help improve their mood and kick their sadness. Frequent exercise may help ease some SAD symptoms by improving sleep and alleviating other underlying health conditions.***
Personally, I’ve battled SAD for several years now. And while phototherapy and exercise are a huge part of my self-
also known as Swedish massage, utilizes longer strokes to help ease the body into a state of peaceful bliss. While all forms of massage offer relaxation to the body, Swedish massage has a well-
Massage has other benefits for SAD patients. SAD often results in less energy, making it difficult to do anything but daily mundane tasks. Massage does not require you to expend any energy, except in making your way to the treatment table. After an initial interview with the massage therapist, the client is invited to take a passive role in the treatment. The client lies on a nicely warmed table in clean linens, and the therapist does all the work. The relaxing environment created in most massage treatment rooms adds an extra layer of physical unwinding. Imagine letting someone else nurture your health while you listen to calm music and drift in and out of sleep.
While we’re on the topic, let’s discuss sleep and SAD. One of the major factors in SAD is the disruption of a healthy sleep cycle. Insomnia with feelings of lethargy during the day are common symptoms of the disorder. One of massage’s biggest benefits is improved sleep.***** Getting a full night’s rest can have a positive impact on all forms of depression, even seasonal. It’s one more reason to get on the table for a little relief from the winter blues.
More important, science agrees massage can improve depression. One study, “Treatment Effects of Massage Therapy in Depressed People: A Meta Analysis,”****** looked at most of the major research performed on massage for depression. In every study, massage helped alleviate moderate to severe depression. Receiving routine massages can result in an improvement in quality of life for sufferers of SAD.
If you’re interested in seeing if massage can help with your winter blues, there are some factors to consider. It’s important to talk to your doctor about any long-
One resource you can utilize is the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). Its Web site is www.amtamassage.org. The AMTA has a multitude of articles and other resources accessible to anyone. Or you can call the clinic at Lexington Healing Arts Academy at (859) 252-
* Mental Health America. www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/sad
*** Harvard Health Publishing. www.health.harvard.edu/mind-
**** Livestrong.com www.livestrong.com/article/114831-
***** American Massage Therapy Association. www.amtamassage.org/approved_position_statements/
****** Hou, W.H., Chiang, P.T., Hsu, T.Y., Chiu, S.Y. and Yen, Y.C. (2010). Treatment effects of massage therapy in depressed people: a meta-
Jeff Zutant is a licensed massage therapist (LMT) and a staff member at Lexington Healing Arts Academy. Beyond his role as massage therapist Jeff coordinates the academy's compliance efforts including student retention and placement.