Earlier health experts have warned the public that the flu could make a comeback this winter. ((2021, October 10). CTVNews. https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/experts-warn-the-flu-could-make-a-comeback-this-winter-1.5618763))

Moreover, the cold weather can also affect our heart’s health. We can observe a higher blood pressure in the winter season than in summer. Low temperatures make blood vessels and arteries narrow, restricting blood flow and reducing oxygen in our heart. ((Heart. (2014, October 29). How Cold Weather Affects Your Heart and Circulatory System. UPMC HealthBeat; UPMC HealthBeat. https://share.upmc.com/2014/10/cold-weather-effects-heart-circulatory-system/))

For that reason, it can increase our heart rate and blood pressure. Additionally, if increasing blood pressure is paired with physical activities outdoors, it can lead to serious heart health issues such as chest pain, heart attack, and stroke.

Furthermore, many health issues can occur during cold months, such as joint pain, arthritis((Alexandra McCray. (n.d.). What Causes Knee Pain in Cold Weather? WebMD. Retrieved January 1, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/knee-pain/knee-pain-weather)), dry skin((Publishing, H. H. (n.d.). What to do about dry skin in winter. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/what-to-do-about-dry-skin-in-winter)), sudden weight gain((https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/publications/health-matters/winter-weight-gain-why-it-happens-what-to-do)), winter blues or Seasonal affective disorder ((Winter blues? More common than you think. (2021, December 31). The Toronto Star. https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2021/12/31/winter-blues-more-common-than-you-think.html)), and many others.

But don’t worry, a therapeutic massage is highly beneficial during this season.

Let’s find out the top benefits of regular massage therapy during the colder months.

Surprising Benefits of Massage Therapy during Winter

Massage can Boost Your Immunity

Massage therapy can provide a significant change in the lymphocytes based on a 2013 study ((Adults demonstrate modified immune response after receiving massage, researchers show. (n.d.). ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 1, 2022, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100908094809.htm)). The lymphocyte numbers and white blood cells percentages play a large role in the body’s immune system.

Getting massage therapy can increase the lymph flow, which is beneficial to fight off infections and bacteria. Thus, massage therapy in the cold months boosts your immune system.

Improves Skin Hydrations with a Regular Massage Therapy

During winter, the dry air can affect our skin. It can make your skin dry.

Massage therapy is vital for your skin hydration; it can stabilize collagen in the skin. This is essential to maintain skin elasticity. Moreover, it can prevent your skin from getting dry and cracking.

If it seems that your skin is getting drier during the colder months, definitely a relaxing and therapeutic massage is an ideal option.

Massage Therapy can Increase Blood Circulation

During colder months, the low temperatures can cause the blood vessels to constrict. This can decrease blood circulation and increase blood pressure.

However, applying massage therapy can improve blood flow. A study showed that it improves vascular function even in people who do not exercise. ((Massage therapy improves circulation, alleviates muscle soreness. (n.d.). ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140416125434.htm))

Reduce Winter Blues with Massage

Being in colder temperatures and experiencing shorter days can give you a feeling of being depressed, stressed, sad and lethargic.

Changes in season can also bring Seasonal affective disorder or SAD. This is a type of depression that is related to the recurrent seasonal pattern. Its symptoms may last for about 4 to 5 months each year. ((Seasonal Affective Disorder. (n.d.). National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Retrieved January 2, 2022, from https://nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/seasonal-affective-disorder))

Moreover, SAD may usually begin in the fall and last through winter. However, it may also happen in summer. ((Canadian Mental Health Association. (2013). Seasonal Affective Disorder | CMHA British Columbia. Cmha.bc.ca. https://cmha.bc.ca/documents/seasonal-affective-disorder-2/))

The symptoms of Winter-pattern SAD:

  • Oversleeping
  • Craving for more sugary and starchy foods or carbohydrates
  • Weight gain
  • Social withdrawal or something like Hibernating

Please take note that it is essential to consult regarding SAD.

Massage therapy can help to improve mood and elevate your energy levels.  Massage can help to boost your serotonin levels.

So, if you are feeling low or need to reduce your winter blues, you can opt for massage therapy.

Massage Can Help With Your Joint Pain, Stiffness and Arthritis

The colder weather cannot only change our mood but may cause joint pain, aches, and arthritis.

However, regular massage therapy can help to increase blood flow. It can naturally lower blood pressure, increase body temperature and improve body function.

A 2017 study shows that massage therapy can help improve the quality of life in osteoarthritis of the knee. Participants have an improved ability to perform activities of daily living after they have massage therapy. ((Ali, A., Rosenberger, L., Weiss, T. R., Milak, C., & Perlman, A. I. (2017). Massage Therapy and Quality of Life in Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Qualitative Study. Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.), 18(6), 1168–1175. https://doi.org/10.1093/pm/pnw217))

Moreover, a 2019 study shows that weekly massage therapy provides an attractive short-term treatment option for knee osteoarthritis. ((Perlman, A., Fogerite, S. G., Glass, O., Bechard, E., Ali, A., Njike, V. Y., Pieper, C., Dmitrieva, N. O., Luciano, A., Rosenberger, L., Keever, T., Milak, C., Finkelstein, E. A., Mahon, G., Campanile, G., Cotter, A., & Katz, D. L. (2019). Efficacy and Safety of Massage for Osteoarthritis of the Knee: a Randomized Clinical Trial. Journal of general internal medicine, 34(3), 379–386. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-018-4763-5))

Additionally, based on numerous studies, massage therapy can help in various pain syndrome including muscle pain, labor pain, foot, pelvic pain, carpal tunnel, hand pain, neck pain, back pain, different joints, and fibromyalgia. ((Field T. (2016). Massage therapy research review. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 24, 19–31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctcp.2016.04.005))

Massage can Aid with Weight Loss

During the winter, you may observe that weight gain.   A 2018 study shows that fat cells can shrink when exposed to blue light emitted by the sun. ((New discovery may explain winter weight gain: UAlberta researchers make first-ever observation that fat cells are sensitive to sunlight. (n.d.). ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 2, 2022, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180110113007.htm)) This implies that lack of sunlight can increase the cells’ ability to store fats.

Massage cannot only help with circulation and joint pain. Regular massage therapy can also boost your metabolism.

By improving the blood flow in the body, the nutrients are maintained at optimal levels.

As a result, massage therapy can assist in tissue metabolism. Furthermore, it allows muscles to burn more calories.

Maintain Healthy Muscles with Massage

When the days are short and cold, you may feel tired, and lazy to do some exercise. As a result, you may experience some muscle pain and a feeling of hibernating. It can be tougher to find the motivation to exercise and stay active.

Massage therapy can help you maintain healthy muscles. Your muscles are stretched and hydrated. It will ensure that you can be fit and healthy while in the colder months.

A 2012 study, finds that a 10-minute massage can reduce muscle inflammation.

Learn more about the research-based benefits of massage therapy here.

The Bottom Line

In general, massage is beneficial for all season. But it is important to get one during winter season since it provides various benefits to the body.

At Evergreen Rehab & Wellness – Coquitlam, we have Registered Massage Therapists (RMT) that will help you achieve your health and wellness goals.

We don’t only have Registered Massage Therapists in Coquitlam, we also have Registered Massage Therapists in Surrey that are always ready to provide patients in these areas with custom and high-quality care.

Moreover, we also have Registered Massage Therapists in Langley that can help you.

Achieve your health and wellness goals today!

Schedule an appointment today at any of our clinics, where our practitioners are ready to assist you in achieving your health and wellness objectives.

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