Give the Gift of Massage Therapy This Holiday Season

By Joe Neely, Massagetique Correspondent
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The holiday season is a busy time for many people. Whether you’re planning, cooking, entertaining, traveling, or shopping, you may be more likely to feel stressed around this time of the year. Massage therapy is a great way to dial down that stress, and it can also make a great gift for loved ones.

Do Massage Gift Cards Make Good Holiday Presents?

Many people wish they could enjoy more frequent massages, but it can be difficult to rationalize the cost. Paying for a massage session can feel like a splurge, especially around the holidays when many may feel guilty for spending money on themselves rather than putting it toward gifts for others.

For those in your life who could use a little extra pampering and self-care, a massage gift card makes a caring and thoughtful present. Even if the people on your list have already discovered massage and keep regular appointments, your gift could allow them to try a new therapist or a new type of massage.

Receiving a massage gift card is a great excuse for your loved ones to take time off, focus on self-care, and relax during an incredibly busy season.

What Are the Health Benefits of Massage Therapy?

According to the American Massage Therapy Association, 52% of people get massages to improve their health. The physical and mental health benefits of massage can last long after their treatment sessions.

For example, a team of researchers at Spain’s University of Almeria found people who received massage had less anxiety and depression, slept better, and experienced pain relief for a month after treatment. The researchers noted a few of the effects of massage, including better sleep quality, lasted more than six months.

Previous research has identified many positive effects of massage therapy, including:

  • General pain relief and management
  • Increased flexibility, range of motion, and posture
  • Sports injury recovery
  • Disease management and rehabilitation
  • Relief from migraines and tension headaches
  • Improved sleep
  • Better digestion
  • TMJ pain management
  • Fibromyalgia and myofascial pain relief

Massage therapy can also be an effective complementary treatment for people with diabetes, heart disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions.

Massage Therapy for Holiday Stress

Many people start to feel frazzled when the many social obligations and financial pressures of the holiday season arise. Some may also experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during the dark and cold winter months, though SAD can occur at any time of the year.

People with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and stress often respond well to massage therapy. This treatment generally has few side effects and may also make an effective complementary treatment to medical interventions or pharmaceuticals. However, it is important to consult your physician before adding massage to your treatment plan.

Giving your loved ones the gift of massage can help them beat stress, feel better, and relax around the holidays.

The Gift of Massage Therapy

Unlike so many other gifts, you can order massage therapy gift cards or certificates from home without having to worry about sizes, colors, or fashion trends. Your recipient can choose the type of massage they prefer or you can surprise them with something you think they are likely to enjoy.

Massage can also be a great gift for last-minute buyers. If you’re scratching your head in the final days of the holiday season and wondering what to get for family members or friends, massage therapy can make a special and thoughtful gift that shows you care about your loved one’s health and happiness.

References:

  1. Castro-Sánchez, A., Matarán-Peñarrocha, G., Granero-Molina, J., Aguilera-Manrique, G., Quesada-Rubio, J., & Moreno-Lorenzo, C. (2011). Benefits of massage-myofascial release therapy on pain, anxiety, quality of sleep, depression, and quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia. Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. doi:10.1155/2011/561753
  2. Lushniak, B. (2013). Surgeon general’s perspectives. Public Health Reports, 128(6): 434–435.RADM, U.S. Public Health Service Acting Surgeon General
  3. Mayo Clinic. (2015). Massage: Get in touch with its many benefits. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/massage/art-20045743

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