Support Your Body in the Wintertime

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If you are one of the many people who have found themselves saying “I’m so over this weather!”, I have a solution for you.  Use one of these massage and bodywork approaches to help you feel your vitality again.

Use These to Warm Up

If you have joint problems or a previous injury, you have likely experienced the soothing relief that comes from applying heat to the old injury or chronic aching joint.  In your next bodywork session, ask for a heated stone massage, add hydrotherapy treatments such as moist heated towels, a warm foot bath, or moist hot packs, or give paraffin wax treatments a shot for providing relief to specific aching joints.  Moist heat easily penetrates the body’s tissues, providing better movement of fluids into, out of, and around the body’s cells.  With freer movement of fluids in the body, fresh, oxygenated and nutrient rich blood circulates, as well as lymphatic fluid to boost your immunity.

Use These to Avoid Getting Sick

The lymphatic system removes waste from the body and creates cells that specialize in fighting germs.  One of the natural biological changes that occurs in the wintertime is an increase in the production of these specialized cells that circulate in your body like little police officers looking for intruders.  The problem is that lymphatic fluid is circulated mostly by mechanical movement, primarily muscle contraction.  In cooler temperatures, we tend toward hibernation rather than motivation, so while the body’s processes are ready to rock and roll, most people don’t take action to support those processes.  Find a practitioner who is trained in manual lymphatic drainage therapy.  Specific techniques are used to move fluid toward lymph nodes, which are the body’s filters that help to remove unwanted toxins while also enhancing your energy and vitality.  Exercise is another great way to support these processes.

Use These to Get Energized

If your bodywork sessions tend to be slow-paced and soothing, ask to stir things up!  Bodywork styles which focus on movement and faster-paced massage techniques are useful approaches to relieving stress, tension, pain, and low immunity.

Deane Juhan, author of Job’s Body: A Handbook for Bodywork explains that “Connective tissue shares with many other gels a phenomenon called thixotropy:  It becomes more fluid when it is stirred up, and more solid when it sits without being disturbed.  Skillful manipulation (manual therapy) simply raises energy levels and creates a greater degree of fluidity in organic systems that are already there, but are behaving sluggishly.”

There are excellent bodywork approaches to facilitate this kind of internal stirring and fluidity.  Trager Method utilizes gentle, passive body movement to release deep physical, mental, and emotional patterns in the body; Thai Yoga Massage involves the massage therapist moving the client into passive yoga postures in order to free up stagnate energy and blood/lymph flow along designated meridians in the body; or Swedish Massage, especially when applied briskly, enhances the body’s circulatory processes and induces warmth through friction of the tissues, reducing stagnation and sluggishness.

Inducing heat, movement, and circulation are all key factors in supporting the body’s natural processes that are designed to keep us healthy, happy, and vital on all levels, especially in the colder months.

Want to support others in their health and wellness? Become a massage therapist at Indiana Academy of Massage, conveniently located on the north side of Indianapolis in beautiful Zionsville!

Contact us today to start bringing your visions of a massage therapy career to life.

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