Massage Can Help with Seasonal Affective Disorder

Massage Can Help with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

We recently wrote about how massage chairs can help anyone overcome the impact—physical and emotional—created by the shift away from daylight savings. After the time change, after the clocks and your body have adjusted, there is a long winter season ahead— a time that affects one in five Americans with Seasonal Affect Disorder, or more commonly SAD.  A less severe form of seasonal mood disorder, known as the winter blues, impacts an even larger portion of the population.

The acronym may suggest that there is something mildly amusing about the condition, and yet for those with the disorder, SAD can prove to be a serious form of depression and reduce the quality of life. Symptoms include reduced energy, difficulty rising in the morning, and a tendency to eat more, especially sweets and starches.

Massage Therapy Can Help

Because the loss of daylight hours triggers SAD, it makes sense that light therapy is one of the primary countermeasures suggested by physicians. Certain dietary changes and exercise can also be beneficial. And massage, including massage chair therapy, is among helpful strategies as well.

Jeff Smoot, 2015 President of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) recently noted, “As we approach the colder, darker months, massage therapy may be an effective method of deflecting common seasonal challenges. Massage benefits the way our bodies react to negative influences, whether that’s weather, anxieties or disorders.”

The Benefits of Massage

A recent article from the American Massage Therapy Association cites several proven ways in which massage therapy can counteract physiological mood factors that often accompany SAD. According to the AMTA, massage can:

  1. Reduce anxiety and depression with a course of care providing benefits similar in magnitude to those of psychotherapy.
  2. Increase neurotransmitters associated with lowering anxiety and decrease hormones associated with increasing anxiety.
  3. Significantly decrease heart rate, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure.
  4. Improve mental health by reducing depression in individuals with HIV, lessen anxiety in cancer patients, reduce anxiety and depression in military veterans, and lower work-related stress for nurses.

Your At-Home Strategy

As we know only too well, along with the reduced light of winter can come inclement weather. Driving can be dangerous, and in fact, the symptoms of the disorder may make leaving home for a massage a difficult choice. One way to ensure that a remedy for SAD is available, even in times of poor weather is to have a massage chair in your home, ready for immediate use.

We can’t do anything about the weather or make the seasons go by any faster. But we’re not helpless. Slip into the arms of a premium massage chair and discover a reliable, always-available source of comfort and relief.  We offer a range of chairs to fit your budget and your specific preferences. Check out the Positive Posture Sol and the Panasonic MAJ7 for an affordable way to help you through the long winter. And the OHCO M.8LE may make you glad for those dark and stormy days and decide that staying home is a much better option.
We’re here to answer your questions and find the right chair for you.

“Massage Can Help Those with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) | National University of Health Sciences.” National University of Health Sciences – Illinois & Florida | National University of Health Sciences, 20 Jan. 2015, National University of Health Sciences.
“Research Roundup: Massage Therapy Can Help Reduce Winter Blues | American Massage Therapy Association.” Certification, Licensing and Accreditation for Massage Therapists | AMTA – American Massage Therapy Association,