Massage and Other Natural Treatments for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

December 19, 2017 / Ed Graef  / 

Seasons are interesting things. Each person has their own preference, and people’s experiences of the seasons vary widely. For some, Winter is a jolly time for cozy hot chocolate, snow-covered landscapes, and Winter sports. However, for 6% of the population, Winter brings on a depressive condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and truth be told, and even larger portion of the population most likely experiences some depressive symptoms during the Winter.

While there are a variety of methods that people have to deal with SAD, such as antidepressant pharmaceuticals or light visors which stimulate the brain in a way that simulates sunlight, one palliative solution that many people may not think of is massage. While a good massage is always relaxing, there are also certain types of massage which have specifically antidepressant qualities.

One great example is Japanese Trigger-Point Massage, which actually utilizes “trigger points” along the body, which can have wide-ranging effects on the total physiology and bodily functioning. Some of these trigger points actually help to stimulate the brain’s own natural antidepressant chemicals, such as dopamine. In a session with this goal in mind, a Trigger-Point Masseuse will focus on these special areas, to provide clients with some extra relief from their seasonal blues.

Doesn’t that sound better than taking a pill? Especially or those of us who prefer natural solutions when possible, while massage likely won’t make your Winter gloom feel like a green Summer’s day, it can really help to take the edge off, and provide you with some relief, in conjunction with other therapies you may be practicing.

Naturally, there are also more mechanical Winter issues which quality massage can help to alleviate. These can include injuries or soreness from Skiing or Snowboarding, or simply seasonal aches and pains which many of us get with cold weather, especially as we ripen into our golden years.

On top of that, the stresses of daily life can seem even worse for some, when they can’t be followed by a relieving walk in the park, or some yoga in the sun. For many, Winter has us feeling trapped indoors, which means whatever stress we are carrying can be even greater. All the more reason to utilize massage for Winter depression to help you overcome your SAD.

Here are some other tips, which can serve as complementary therapeutic solutions for SAD along with massage:

  • Aromatherapy – This natural method has been proven to have antidepressive effects!
  • Get Some Sun – Even if you can’t be outside, find a location in your home or elsewhere, where perhaps there are large windows, and on days when the sun does shine, spend as much time there as you can.
  • Supplements – Try some vitamin D, St. John’s Wart, and other natural supplements that contribute to happy chemicals in your brain.
  • Talk to Your Doctor – Of course we always recommend trying natural methods first, but if your depression is severely affecting your life, you may want to also consult with your physician.

Thanks for reading, I hope that this post is helpful for you, and may the Springtime live always within your heart, no matter the weather!