How Massage Can Help Get You Through the Holidays
By Rieva Lesonsky
The holidays are a time of fun, family and festivity—but for many of us, they’re also a time of high stress. Hosting holiday events, managing a jam-packed schedule, running around town looking for the perfect gift, working long hours so we can take time off at the holidays—it all adds up. Stress manifests itself in a variety of ways, from back pain and headaches to insomnia and anxiety. Unless you take steps to manage stress, your attitude toward the holidays can quickly turn from “Ho, ho, ho” to “Bah, humbug.”
Massage can help you handle holiday stress so you can truly enjoy this special season of the year. “I don’t have time to get a massage now—I’m too busy!” you may be scoffing. But consider the value of massage as a stress reliever, and you’ll see why it’s important to make time.
- Massage keeps you healthy. Too much stress weakens your immune system and can literally make you sick. Cold and flu season combined with stress can put you out of commission—and who wants to miss all the holiday fun? Massage helps align your body, improve circulation, stimulate your lymphatic system and promote a good night’s sleep. All of this helps boost your immunity.
- Massage helps you relax. Are you overwhelmed by your huge to-do list and overscheduled calendar? Do you lie awake at night worrying about your Thanksgiving menu? Massage calms down your nervous system, helping you unwind. For an hour or so, there’s nothing to do but unplug completely, relax and enjoy the sensations.
- Massage energizes you. Massage isn’t just about relaxation. Depending on what type of massage you choose, it can also stimulate you, replenishing your energy. With stress, pain and discomfort relieved, you’ll tackle your to-do list with renewed enthusiasm.
- Massage increases emotional resilience. If you’re dealing with difficult relatives, family conflicts or loss of a loved one, the holidays can be a painful time. Massage can restore your spirit; in fact, it has been shown to help reduce anxiety and depression.
How can you make the most of the many benefits of massage during the holidays?
- Schedule holiday massage appointments ahead of time. Get some regular massage appointments on your calendar now, before the holiday craziness really hits. Knowing you have these precious, peaceful hours to look forward to will help you get through hectic times.
- Choose the right type of massage for your particular issue. Spa staff can help guide you to the kind of massage that will work best, whether it’s the relaxation provided by a hot stone massage; a classic Swedish massage to energize you; or a head, neck and shoulder massage to relieve pain and stiffness caused by long hours at work (or shopping online).
- Reward yourself. Choose a massage spa conveniently located near shopping centers so you can put in a full day of shopping and then unwind with a relaxing massage before heading home.
- Give the gift of massage. Now that you appreciate all massage can do for you, don’t you want to share that feeling with your friends and family? Next time you get a massage, be sure to buy a gift card or two for someone special.
Massage isn’t just for the holiday season. Once you experience the benefits of regular massage, you’ll want to keep the great feeling going well into the New Year. After all, stress doesn’t stop on January 1…and neither should your massage appointments.
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