The holiday season is full of good cheer, good company, and, unfortunately, stress. Just as the darkest time of the year arrives, so does the holiday frenzy of shopping for presents and wrapping up year-end details. As our bodies yearn for extra rest, our culture directs us toward more activity. Massage is the perfect tool for staying healthy throughout the holiday season. But it’s not always easy to make time for massage. In this post, we’re reflecting on why massage is especially important during the holidays. We also provide tips to help LMTs and consumers alike work massage into their holiday schedules.
3 Benefits of Massage During the Holiday Season
- Massage lowers blood pressure.
A 2004 study published in Circulation found a 5% increase of heart-related deaths during the holiday season. Cold weather increases strain on the heart. Researchers also suggest that emotional stress and overindulgence also contribute to heart attack spikes on Christmas and New Year’s Day. Massage lowers blood pressure, keeping heart healthier throughout the holidays.
- Massage lowers pain and tension.
During the winter months, cold temperatures exacerbate certain joint problems. Massage can help alleviate pain stemming from joint disorders such as arthritis.
- Massage relieves stress.
According to a 2006 American Psychological Association study, 61% of Americans experience stress during the holidays. Moreover, 38% of those surveyed reported their stress levels increasing during the holiday season. Massage can help offset holiday stress. As the American Massage Therapy Association reports, massage reduces stress “significantly on physical and psychological levels.”
How to Set Aside Time for Massage This Holiday Season
—Schedule a massage for yourself while organizing holiday presents, cards, and so forth. Treat this important task as a crucial part of your planning for the holiday season. Oregon massage schools (including our own student clinic) may allow you to schedule your personal holiday massage online.
—Request massage as an employee wellness benefit. Companies can hire massage therapists to give chair massages at company holiday parties and/or in the office during the last few days before the holiday break.
–LMTs can trade with other massage therapist professionals to keep their bodies in good working order at this busy time of the year. Receiving regular massage yourself is a great way to support your massage therapy career.
–Suggest massage work as a family outing during the holidays. We’ve booked three generations in our clinic for simultaneous massage. Massage is an excellent way to keep tempers even during family visits.
—Give massage to others, and you’ll be more likely to receive massage gift certificates yourself. Be sure to include massage on your gift list. LMTs may also request vouchers for massage therapy continuing education.
Because massages make great gifts, the holidays are often busy for massage therapists. To vouchsafe your self-care this holiday season, book your massages early.