Do Massages Reduce Holiday Stress?
The magical time of the year that occurs in November and December can stress out the most stoic among us in San Marcos California and beyond due to high expectations, family gatherings, and monetary concerns. If you find your stress level and your blood pressure mounting, take some time out for a massage. Yes, a relaxing massage can help alleviate your holiday stress levels and restore your physical and mental equilibrium. We also offer stress reducing sauna sessions as well:
Although many people consider massage as a luxury or a treat, it actually has many health benefits for the entire body. Many insurance plans now cover massage therapy sessions and many doctors now recognize therapeutic massage as a valid treatment option for their patients. Since stress is directly linked to the majority of doctor visits, more than 75 percent of them, according to statistics, a massage can reduce your stress level as well as your visits to your doctor.
Massage stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is often referred to as the rest and digest system. It’s responsible for the autonomic functions of the body such as breathing, and for slowing down the heart rate, for relaxing the body, and so forth. Massage also releases endorphins, which are the body’s mood boosters, and include dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin. These hormones calm your nerves, provide you with a boost of self-confidence, and alleviate depression.
The holidays emphasize the need to give to others, which is admirable and something we should all endeavor to do on a daily basis. However, it’s easy to become so involved in giving to others that we neglect to give to ourselves. Practicing proper self-care is essential if we are to remain able to give to and care for others.
Having a regular massage can boost your immune system so that you are less susceptible to colds and flu. Illness places additional stress on the body, and at the holidays, more stress is the last thing you need.
Massage can help lower your blood pressure too, which can skyrocket due to holiday stress. High blood pressure can be responsible for headaches, chest pain, gastrointestinal disorders, and more. A relaxing massage can help keep these annoyances out of your life in a very pleasant manner.
Even with the best of intentions, sometimes we run out of time and can’t work in a massage. If this happens, you can perform some self-massage in the interim but it shouldn’t take the place of a professional massage.
Massage your scalp with your fingertips using a circular motion and a firm pressure. Your skin should move with your fingertips. If not, use a firmer pressure. Rub your fingertips all over your scalp making sure to use your fingertips, not your fingernails. Massaging in this manner for a few minutes is very relaxing and soothing. Rubbing your temples can help allay headaches, and placing circular pressure on the inside tip of your eyebrow can ease sinus tension.
Using a firm pressure, run your fingertips down the side of your neck and across the top of your shoulders toward your arm. Do this several times on each side, and then massage your neck with each hand. Easing tension in these muscles will lower your stress level and improve your mood.
Feet are some of the most neglected parts of the body and the most used. Remove your shoes and socks, then massage the balls of your feet using a circular motion, massage the arches using a long stroke, and massage the tips of your toes by rubbing back and forth. Use a firm pressure and in minutes, you’ll feel better.
Using a very firm pressure, massage the joint area on the palm of your hand, just under your fingers. Then, use your thumb to make a line up to the area between your fingers and back down, starting at the wrist. Make this line for each finger. Next, squeeze your hand firmly, hold for a few seconds, then release and squeeze your fingers firmly. Release and repeat for the other hand.
The gluteal muscles are the most overworked and under appreciated group of muscles in the body. Whether you’re sitting, standing, or lying down, you’re using your glutes. If you find your glutes are sore, make a fist with one hand, reach behind yourself, and massage in the center of the muscle. Use a very firm pressure. Sore glutes can indicate the presence of other muscle issues, so be sure to inform your massage therapist if you have them.
These small rejuvenators are intended as temporary measures only. Professional massage therapists undergo hundreds of hours of classroom and practical training in massage before they earn their license. A massage therapist can locate knots, trigger points, and other areas that need attention and you’ll leave your massage with reduced stress and an enhanced sense of well being.
By taking time out for yourself, you’ll not feel as overwhelmed and/or neglected during the festivities and be more able to enjoy yourself.