We all come to the Christmas season with different emotions, experiences, and expectations. For some, the days of late November through the New Year are congruent with the words of Andy Williams’ famous song, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” For many, these days tap into a now distant childhood and bring out a youthful excitement that we seldom see the rest of the year. For others, however, this time of year is a dreaded span of time, filled with stress, financial strain, uncomfortable proximity to family dynamics which have caused significant emotional wounds, etc. For a number of people the shortened days and cold weather foster what some refer to as “the blues”…or an even deeper level of emotional discomfort known as Seasonal Affective Disorder.
A growing body of research within psychology has focused on the role of therapeutic touch as it pertains to depression. Psychological research has produced findings which show that the work of massage therapists and spa technicians is more than just for pampering. Massage therapy is also linked to pain relief, increased alertness, diminishing of depression, and the enhancement of immune function.
While the role of professional counseling and social support cannot be overstated. Many healthcare professionals are looking at a holistic approach to dealing with life stressors and depression. Professional counseling relationships, healthy social support, exercise, diet, self-talk, mindfulness….all important facets of healthy lives and emotion management. That holistic approach has also expanded to embrace the role of therapeutic touch, with inpatient facilities offering massage therapy to their patients.
So, if you find yourself experiencing stress and the holiday blues, maybe it would be beneficial to take a time-out for some much needed self-care. Head to Toe Day Spa has a wonderful staff of massage therapists who provide Swedish, Deep Tissue, Prenatal, and Hot Stone Massages. We would love to schedule a session for you, in hopes that it will help your holiday season be a little more enjoyable.
Additionally, Reiki sessions are available in our Medical Spa with our very own Lillianne Kepley, a certified Reiki Master. Reiki is a Japanese technique used to reduce stress and promote relaxation. It helps alleviate tension and pain caused by stress and health related issues. The Reiki session also incorporates elements of therapeutic touch.
Lilli and Denise Coates, massage therapist at Head to Toe, have teamed up to offer clients a package service that marries Reiki and Therapeutic Massage at a significant savings. This package would include one Reiki Session followed by a massage for the incredible price of $65.
If you’re in need of some self-care this holiday season, or for the post holiday crash, consider a massage, a Reiki session, or both. To schedule a consultation or additional information about Reiki, feel free to contact Lilli at 919.368.2163 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org .
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of taking care of oneself, of honoring one’s own needs and taking the steps necessary to ensure peace in one’s life. I hold an MA in Mental Health Counseling… part of the curvaceous, wonderful journey my life has been. I have had experience in the counseling arena, both mental health and educational counseling. While completing my degree, I fulfilled my practicum requirements at the University of Kentucky Medical Center, serving in the areas of substance abuse counseling, mental health counseling with the severely depressed, and counseling support for those recently diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. I have served in higher education as both recruiter and enrollment counselor. Before setting out to achieve my long-held dream of working in the hair industry, I served as a psychiatric technician and teacher of coping and life skills at a local mental health hospital.
Sadly, there is still much stigma attached to mental health and the gift of therapy. The reality is that we all need help from time to time, we all need a nonjudgmental, safe place in which to share our fears and concerns. Life is hard. I see counseling as nothing more than an efficacious extension of the social support we all need to make sense of our experiences, stressors, and losses in this life. Much of what I taught in the hospital environment were lessons that I have learned and employed in my own life through the years. They were/are offered in the spirit of brother in the journey of life…not as professor or sage. And, most of those lessons are not simply something reserved for therapy…they are proven methods of developing a greater sense of internal peace and harmony with oneself and the world around us!
In addition to visiting our Spa this season, let me offer you some food for thought concerning something that has the potential to improve your mood this season…something that will not cost you a dime. After all, the beautification of our own hearts, minds, and souls is as important as any other form of self-improvement…some would argue that it is even more salient. Self-awareness is a beautiful and hard-won achievement.
In one of my counseling classes, the professor began our session with an exercise. We were to take out a piece of paper and, over the five minutes she allotted, make a list of things for which we were thankful. At the end of the exercise, she shared a study with us concerning the positive effects of gratitude. I regret that I did not capture the name of that study. Nevertheless, the bottom line was that in a particular test group, those who took time daily to keep a journal of gratitude were overall healthier, happier people. I am including a link to an article which echoes this point, even though it is not the exact study which she mentioned.
Obviously, there is something about taking the time to list a few things each day for which we feel gratitude that elevates us to a higher plain of wellbeing. And, if this is true…why wouldn’t we want to spend just five or ten minutes out of our day to follow this advice? It’s a journey I’m going to be making this holiday season! Anyone wish to join me?
Here’s the link:
We hope your Christmas is filled with rich moments of peace, joy, and gratitude! Amidst all the chatter and bustle, remember to take care of yourself and make time for the things that give you peace and joy. If our services can help with that, we would be honored to see you!
Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas!
Head to Toe Day Spa & Salon is a full-service spa and salon, offering exceptional service to the people of the Wilmington area. Voted the best spa in Wilmington for three years running. We are located at 1970 Eastwood Road, Wilmington, NC.
Special thanks for Lilli Kepley and Denise Coates for sharing their vision for this article!
Blog written by Joseph Styron, Hairdresser at Head to Toe Day Spa and Salon