Winter Weather Causing You Pain? Simple At-Home Massage Techniques Can Keep Bodies Feeling Strong All Winter Long
Posted Feb 03 2010 9:55am
Washington DC- With a season of record-breaking snowfalls and seven weeks of winter to go, Washingtonians have become all too familiar with the icy sidewalks, the sore muscles, and the coughs and colds that come along with winter weather. But for those feeling the effects of a recent fall or tighter joints due to a lack of exercise, therapeutic massage – including simple tips you can do at home – can offer much-needed relief.
“We tend to be less active in the cold weather months, catch more colds and flus, and get depressed more easily. Massage is proven to help with all these winter ailments,” says Winston Moore, massage therapist and the Regional Operations Manager for Massage Envy, which has 19 locations in the Baltimore/Washington, DC area. “Massage increases circulation, boosts the immune system and causes your body to release more stress-fighting hormones. With winter not even half over, we can all use that right about now,” adds Moore.
Massage Envy reports a significant increase in clients with aches and pains, and many are weather-related. Integrating therapeutic massage as a regular health practice can not only help alleviate pain but increase overall wellness during the cold weather months and beyond.
But what happens when you’re snowed in? Moore says fighting the winter woes can be easier than you think, and can be had with simple items from around the house. Here are a few simple tips that he recommends:
Simple stretches and movements can help your muscles warm up before you do any activity. Similar to a resistance band, hold the ends of a beach towel in each hand. While standing, place under one foot and pull up until taut to stretch the leg muscles. Stretching is key before any strenuous activity to avoid potential injury.
Stress can play a large role in the quality of your sleep. If you have more trouble falling asleep in the winter, try using a tennis ball to help stretch tense muscles and promote relaxation. While lying face up in bed place a tennis ball in the crook of your neck and apply pressure for about ten minutes.
The feet contain many nerve endings that refer to different parts of the body. To help alleviate pain in your feet, massage a golf ball into each foot while sitting on the couch or at your desk. Remove your shoes and place a golf ball on the ground. Roll along the bottom of the foot while applying pressure. Repeat for 10-15 minutes to help relieve tension and relax your body.
If experiencing strain or soreness, ice is great for soothing muscles. Because pain may indicate injury, be advised that ice should always be applied prior to heat. If applying heat causes more pain to the trouble area, this could indicate something more serious and medical attention should be sought. Try using a bag of frozen vegetables to relieve exacerbated muscle and avoid the mess of ice cubes.
Before trying any of these techniques, Moore suggests an initial professional massage to make sure techniques are being applied properly. To learn more about these techniques, and many others that can be incorporated into an at-home wellness strategy, book an appointment at the Massage Envy near you, at www.MassageEnvy.com.