Beating the Winter Blues
Massage is a tonic for winter blues
At Thai Chaba Therapies we all know how important our general well-being is so we would like to share with you our thoughts on this important topic which so many of us suffer in silence.
Most of us tend to hide away in the winter, as the harsher colder weather with less sunlight is not so appetising for moving about and doing our daily chores.
Some of us unfortunately fall into a category called Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. SAD is sometimes known as "winter depression" because the symptoms are more apparent and tend to be more severe during the winter.
The symptoms often begin in the autumn as the days start getting shorter and are typically most severe during December, January and February. SAD often improves and disappears in the spring and summer, although it may return each autumn and winter in a repetitive pattern.
Symptoms of SAD can include:
a persistent low mood
a loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities
feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the day
sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning
craving carbohydrates and gaining weight
For some people, these symptoms can be severe and have a significant impact on their day-to-day activities.
What causes SAD? The exact cause of SAD isn't fully understood, but it's often linked to reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter autumn and winter days. The main theory is that a lack of sunlight might stop a part of the brain called the hypothalamus working properly, which may affect the production of:
Melatonin - melatonin is a hormone that makes you feel sleepy; in people with SAD, the body may produce it in higher than normal levels.
Serotonin – serotonin is a hormone that affects your mood, appetite and sleep; a lack of sunlight may lead to lower serotonin levels, which is linked to feelings of depression.
Body's internal clock (circadian rhythm) – your body uses sunlight to time various important functions, such as when you wake up, so lower light levels during the winter may disrupt your body clock and lead to symptoms of SAD.
Treatments for SAD A range of treatments are available for SAD. Your GP will recommend the most suitable treatment programme for you.
Things you can do to help SAD: Lifestyle measures, including getting as much natural sunlight as possible, exercising regularly and managing your stress levels can be effective ways to relieve mild to moderate sufferers of SAD.
Massage is well know to help relieve symptoms of stress and worry which can be enhanced during a bout of SAD.
Looking forward to positive break in the day that will bring relief and relaxation is a great way to divert your mind to a more positive place.
Traditional Thai massage is a well known for stretching and soothing tight muscles which we can experience more in colder weather. Our warm tranquil therapy room and herbal oils will help to relax your body allowing you to feel more comfortable and able to move outdoors within the colder weather.
If you are looking for a place to gain some extra peace of mind then remember we are always here for you.
http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Seasonal-affective-disorder/Pages/Introduction.aspx Page last reviewed: 01/09/2015
Next review due: 01/09/2018