You’ll Thank Me for It Later!

By Katie Tallent

Tis the season to be thankful!  However, as the holidays approach each year stress, anxiety and depression can start to pile on our shoulders.  The big question is: how can we maintain a higher state of happiness despite a constant flow of stress which overwhelms us during the shortest, darkest days of the year?

You can probably guess that my answer will be MASSAGE.  But why massage?  What can massage do during such a stressful season?  We have huge expectations.  They range from creating the perfect meal, to buying the perfect gift, or even the stress of having to spending a holiday alone.  It’s the perfect storm causing us to focus more on what we do not have rather than counting our blessings.

These stresses cause the body to lose its ability to regulate the immune system and thereby creating inflammation which welcomes a whole host of diseases.  Cortisol is the hormone that is partially responsible for reducing inflammation.  But when left to run amuck the body’s tissue becomes less sensitive leaving us open to inflammation which leads to sickness and can lead us to….the dreaded holiday abdominal weight gain!!!!  What a joy the holidays can be, right?

Actually yes!

As a spa manager, you knew my best answer was MASSAGE! (But wait! Why does it work?…) Let me tell you the mechanics of touch and why it is exactly what you need during this season.

The act of intentional, physical touch reduces blood pressure and a potentially high level of cortisol due to stress.  Researchers have found that massage literally increases our white blood cells.  Massage is a mighty enjoyable way to fight colds and flu compared to a needle.  Now while you might want to get a flu shot this year, keep it also in mind, that massage can also help defeat diseases.  How?  It directly reduces those pesky inflammatory cytokines commonly associated with autoimmune diseases….and nobody wants cytokines….right?

GratitudeNow, I know you all of you will be running to your phone to make an appointment because massage is beneficial any time of the year but since we are nearing Thanksgiving I would like to add one other “task” to your holiday list.  I have included a delightful video on the “Science of Happiness- An Experiment in gratitude.” Give it a look-see.   You might shed a tear.  Give me a comment and tell me how much you love it!  I know you’ll thank me for it later!

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33 thoughts on “You’ll Thank Me for It Later!”

  1. I enjoyed the Science of Happiness experiment. It’s not enough to think thoughts of gratitude but to follow through in expressing those thoughts and feelings to the appropriate people. It’s important to speak/say it.

  2. I love this! It really hits home for me. I had an amazing person in my life who had a profound effect on me. Even though she had MS and was a complete quadriplegic she was the happiest person I have ever known.She found something to be grateful for every day.Though she has passed on,the lessons she gave me about the true meaning of life will always be with me.

  3. Wow! This did bring tears to my eyes. My most inspirational person is my mother unfortunately I could not call er but I can write a letter and read it to my siblings which will make them happy. Also my husband is inspiration to me and I plan on doin this soon.

  4. This article meant a lot I have been going through a lot of stress these past two weeks seeing this is going to benefit me now and in the future

  5. Being thankful on the holidays helps with stress, I never thought of massage. I don’t like needles so I will remember to massage my family to keep their stress levels down.

  6. Massages are my go to gift for any gift giving or gift receiving holiday.

    I really enjoy going to get a massage at a spa as I am usually the one giving.

    Giving a massage is always a personal and caring gift.

  7. The holidays are typically the most stressful time of year for everyone. Remembering to think happy thoughts, follow through on those happy thoughts, and take some time to take care of yourself instead of focusing all your energy one others is very important.

  8. I think I am going to need a massage everyday during this years holiday! Stress is an understatement for me. I am trying to stay positive so maybe massage a day will keep the holiday blues away!!

  9. i don’t think I’m going to add it to my holiday list of things to do. But i can see why the holidays would stress people out. luckily my family is a bunch of wiccans/pegans so traditional holidays aren’t a hassle since they’re not celebrated and since neither of my family is English, nor Native American thanksgiving isn’t on the list either. but I’m sure i can find some stressed out friend that needs a massage, before he/she kills someone over a turkey.

  10. This post helped me a lot, as I suffer from anxiety. I think it is important to focus on others and stop thinking so negatively, especially around the holiday season. The video was touching and showed that something as simple as telling people how you feel about them can improve your happiness drastically. I make it a point to do this in my life daily and I think it definitely helps.

  11. this is a very nice article. a massage is a great gift to both give and receive during holiday season. for some holidays are taxing, for others they are a time to seek relaxation. it is proven that incorporating massage in one’s day to day life yields significant benefits from a medical and overall well being perspective

  12. Thanks to everyone for reading! I think making a habit of gratitude can rewire our brains and thereby affect our emotional state. When I am having a moment of gratitude, rather than letting it only goes as far as my thoughts, I try to seize the moment and send a text to that person, or call. Those little moments make the biggest difference!

      1. JOHN! good to hear from you and thank you kindly! I am contemplating having a small schedule come the new year.

  13. I found this blog to be very helpful to me. I have a lot of stress I deal with and on top of that I have anxiety. The holidays are very stressful time of the year for me and most of the world. So if you see someone down give them a massage it will help them and it will help you too.

  14. Great job Katie! I enjoyed reading this very much so. The video was inspirational to view! I would’ve never thought something as simple as showing gratitude, could be such an impact on your happiness percentage. I’m going to try this during the upcoming holidaies! Thank you!

  15. I have always found that during the holidays I get frustrated when I am not prepared. I will for sure add a massage this year!!

  16. Wow, the message in that video was great! Thank you for helping me realize what’s truly important and a way to increase happiness!!

  17. I likes the reading material it was a helpful tip most of all liked the bikini lines on the chicken and the picture of charley brown

  18. I really enjoyed the video. It made me smile and laugh. I also agree that massage can be thought of last or not at all, even though it can be so beneficial. I hope people remember that massage can help keep you in a healthy state of body and mind.

  19. Wow!I was unaware of the intricate science behind massage and immunity. I will definitely be researching more on the subject.

  20. Wow that video was very sweet. Unlike Justin up there, I’ll admit to tearing up lol! Being that I just got out from the Navy, I DO know how it is to miss family, friends and loved ones. In fact, my ship got deployed in August and will be out until March. So I know every single one of them miss the touch of their family. Awesome blog!

  21. The truth is we could all benefit from some kind of stress relieving practices, so it’s time to give yourself a moment to unplug and recharge and have a wonderful massage.

  22. Even though holidays is a stressful time but joyful at the same time. It is all worth it when you find the perfect gift to give and you see there reaction. Showing your appreciation tours someone that you truly care for is very important and should let them know before it is to late. Holidays can be that perfect time when you can show it the most. After all if someone spend time and effort to try to make it a perfect holiday for you why not the same for them.