Warm summer weather is here and you are off – grilling, gardening, traveling, running the kids around, the list goes on. So often the busy times in life are the times we stop taking care of our selves. However, the summer months are when your body may need massage the most.
We asked our team of therapists why you should get massage in the summer and here is what they had to say:
- Massage Is “You Time”
During summer, you are busy with plans and activities more than other times of the year. The kids are home from school and need to be taxied to and from camp and other activities. Hikes, picnics and park trips become the norm. “You time” shouldn’t be put on hold just because it’s summer. Yes, you’re busy. However, making yourself a priority during these summer months is more important than ever when you are stretched so thin.
- Massage Soothes Exercise Pain
Many people are more physically active in the summer, when nice weather makes being outdoors easy. Whether your exercise of choice is running, swimming, golf, hiking with the family, or playing organized sports, you’re likely more active this time of year.Increased activity can lead to strains and pulls even if you properly stretch and stay hydrated. Massage can help ease pain from problems as well as make them less likely to occur. Massages helps your muscles to stay limber and reduces inflammation. Here is a great article from the New York Times on research that has gone into getting a massage after exercise. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/06/how-massage-heals-sore-muscles/
- Massage Erases Yard Work Stiffness
In Minnesota, we may find ourselves scrambling to create lush green lawns and blooming gardens in the short growing season we have. Mowing, raking, pulling weeds, and gardening can lead to a sore low back and shoulders from being hunched over. Massage therapy can help reduce inflammation in these areas and relieve pain. Specific trigger point therapy can offer significant pain relief for these areas and get you back out in the yard in no time.
- Massage Reduces Swelling in Joints and Limbs
Summer heat and humidity tends to lead to swelling and discomfort, due to static accumulation of fluids. Many people will get swelling in their legs and ankles but edema can happen anywhere. Massage can help increase blood flow, reduce swelling and make movement more comfortable, even during the height of heat.
- Massage Relieves Stress
The summer can be particularly stressful for some people. You may have kids home from school, family vacations, get aways, visiting family, parties, etc. One of massage’s big benefits is it reduces stress. Your body releases endorphins and dopamine when you get a massage which are the “feel good” chemicals in your body. Massage reduces the stress hormone cortisol, lowering blood pressure, and reducing heart rate. Massage clears thinking and makes it easier for you to stay on top of everything you need to do without feeling stressed out. Even going once every month or two can have brain boosting benefits.
Bonus Benefit: Massage helps boost your immune system, because nothing shuts down summer fun faster than summer sickness.
The truth is, there is really no bad time to get a massage (certain medical conditions aside). However, the summer is often one of the busier times of year. Plans and activities seem to fill every box of the calendar, giving yourself little time for TLC. Massage not only feels great, it is like medicine for your muscles and tendons, minus the actual medicine. Not that we recommend that you replace your regular medical care with massage, but if massage allowed you to take fewer pain management pills, wouldn’t it be worth it? Plus, after all of your hard work, you definitely deserve a soothing massage.
Now is a great time to book a massage for you time. Relax, it’s summer!