So winter is here and hopefully you're enjoying the novelty of wrapping up warm and getting outside in the beautiful cold weather. Maybe you're savouring the pleasure of welcoming in the winter evenings inside a warm house with plenty of hot food and drink to nourish and comfort you.
However, the effects of the cold, short days, long nights and low light can be hard for some of us. Winter can lead to using our bodies less, or using more energy to stay warm and meet the continual demands of modern day life.
Maybe you pick up more bugs, suffer from dry skin, tight, sore muscles, stiff joints, or your mood feels lower and energy less vibrant. How ever this season affects you, massage can offer a supportive tonic to help you through the challenges of the season.
When thinking of the natural world in winter, we think of the trees letting go of their leaves, shutting down to conserve and restore energy, so as to be ready for the return of the activity and growth of spring. A treatment session can aim to compliment this natural inclination to rest, slow down and take stock at this time of year. It offers you an invitation to relax, encouraging your mind to become stiller and more aware of your immediate experience, enabling you to be more in tune with how you feel both physically and mentally. This can then give you ideas on what would feel good, in terms of ways to care for yourself during the winter, thereby positively influencing how you cope with it.
On a restorative note, massage is great for encouraging a sense of vitality, especially when energy levels are low. Touch that feels pleasant to you sends a message to the brain that it is safe for the body and mind to relax. The part of the nervous system in charge of rest and repair then activates, sending nurturing signals to the body to care for parts of it that may have been compromised by stress. This slows down the heart and breathing rates, increases circulation to the digestive system and skin and temporarily switches off the stress response, which if activated regularly can compromise the health of the body.
Massage stretches out and enlivens skin and muscles and increases circulation to these structures. This enables a more efficient supply of nutrients and oxygen to the muscles and skin and speeds up the removal of waste products. These actions together reduce soreness in muscles and improve the functioning of both systems. Free and mobile skin also allows muscles to move more freely. An added bonus is that the oils used offer moisturising qualities, which is a much needed gift to the skin at this time.
Mobilising the joints not only stimulates the production of synovial fluid, bringing an increase in lubrication to them, but also aims to create a sense of space and encourage freer movement.
By moving the muscles, massage can increase the flow of lymph through the lymphatic system, which is responsible for carrying white blood cells that fight infection around the body, thereby having a positive effect on the functioning of the immune system.
If any of this resonates with you and you would like to come for some individually tailored massage treatment, please do book in.
With best wishes for a mindfully paced, restful and enriching winter season.
“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”