Winter in Vancouver. The mountains disappear under a cover of grey rain clouds. We trudge under umbrellas and wait for the sun to come out. But let’s face it, folks. We live in a rainforest. And a sunny winter is not in the cards. For all the beauty of our fair region, these long days and weeks of grey skies leave many of us feeling SAD and depressed.
SAD is Seasonal Affective Disorder. It is an appropriate acronym for how we feel when we do not get enough sunshine on our skin. It is also known as winter depression for people who are not normally depressed and is quite common. Are you feeling SAD? You may be if you have some of these signs of depression:
- Less energy than normal
- Find it hard to concentrate
- Beyond tired, you feel fatigued
- An increase in appetite
- Less social and feel like being alone
- Spend more time sleeping
- Start to gain weight
If this sounds like you, it may be time to visit a doctor. There are different ways to help you get through the winter in a brighter mood, such as getting outside more, photo light therapy, exercise or medications. Massage is another popular method to help combat depression.
Before modern medicine, massage was one of the first treatments used for people who were depressed. The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine conducted many research studies and their conclusions support touch therapy. Massage relieves depression and anxiety by affecting the body’s biochemistry. Researchers measured the stress hormone cortisol in participants. Their levels rose by 53% immediately after massage and increased serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that help reduce depression.
If you are feeling SAD, call me and schedule a massage session. I am here to help you feel better, body and mind.