As the temperature drops and the threat of snow draws near, you might be thinking of curling up in a blanket and hibernating all through the winter. I don’t blame you. But you shouldn’t let the weather changes disrupt your regular massage appointments. Winter is the exact time of year when you want to be coming in for regular bodywork. Here are a few major reasons not to skip your November and December appointments.

Give your immune system a much-needed boost.

When you come in for a bodywork session, the gentle stretching and surface movement stimulates your lymphatic system. Increasing this lymphatic flow helps your body disperse fluid and toxin build-up, creating a detoxifying effect. This is a well-documented facet of massage therapy. And when you stimulate your lymphatic system in this way, it doesn’t just detoxify your body. It also has another important benefit: it increases your body’s production of lymphocytes (or white blood cells). Increased white blood cells create more infection-fighting capabilities – a necessity during cold and flu season. Even better, deep massage isn’t required to get these benefits to your lymphatic system, as most of your lymphatic vessels lie just beneath the skin. So even if you suffer from chronic pain that prevents deep tissue work, you can reap the benefits of lymphatic massage and keep your immune system strong.

Help fight off dry, itchy skin.

We all love the moisturizing feel of lotion and body oil during massage. These benefits are especially needed during the winter, when the cold air turns our skin dry and flaky. And while it’s nice to moisturize ourselves as we step out of the shower and get ready for the day, the circulation boost that comes from massage can help our skin better absorb the vitamins and moisture. This creates a longer-lasting and deeper moisture in your skin.

At my practice, I use a pain-relieving massage creme formula that includes glucosamine (to support healthy tissue), arnica (for pain relief and skin circulation), Devil’s Claw, and other botanicals (to reduce inflammation). It’s deeply moisturizing and has non-greasy finish that will keep you comfortable once you’re clothed again. If you’d like to try it for yourself, I offer small samples to my clients. (I’ve not yet had a client who didn’t enjoy the moisturizing benefits of this smooth lotion during their session.)

Keep your muscles warm, despite the cold.

Many of us become more sedentary during the winter, making our muscles get stiff and weak. Rather than setting a trend that keeps your muscles tight and more prone to strain, you can take steps to keep your muscles loose and warm. (Plus, bodywork loosening your muscles can help prevent injury when you finally have to go out and dig your car out of the driveway.)

Beat the winter blues.

When the sun tucks itself away for the winter, many of us are deeply affected by the lack of Vitamin D. An hour spent of my massage table (with the table warmer keeping you toasty) can help you fight off seasonal depression and give you the warm, cozy feeling you’re looking for.

Additionally, the holidays can be a high-stress time. Between the travel and family gatherings, you might be feeling exhausted. A little rejuvenation on the massage table can give you the boost you need to make it to the New Year.

Practice self care.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that self care is important, no matter the season. Even though winter is a busy time for us all, it’s important to continue habits that will help you stay healthy and happy during the holidays. If you don’t let your health slip during the holidays, you can certainly keep the momentum going into the New Year. I look forward to seeing you during the holiday season. As usual, if you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, you can call or book online. And now is the perfect time to remind you that I offer gift certificates – and they make great gifts for the women in your life. I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season!