Well, the colder seasons are creeping up now and already we are feeling the coldest temperatures for the year. Well, at least that’s what the news is saying. People are starting to layer up with thicker jumpers, thermals and warmer pants. Let’s face it, summer is over for now. So, what else comes with cold weather? runny noses, sore throats, aching muscles and lots of shivers! Our bodies are warm blooded, so for the warmer seasons, that’s great, but when autumn and winter settle in our bodies need to work harder to keep our body systems regulated. To do this, we need to generate more energy to meet higher demands. One reason it’s important to be eating the right foods this time of year! One of the more important systems around this time is our immune system and its important role in keeping us on our game. Consequently from the colder weather and winter chills our body functions slowly and takes longer to move things around. That’s right, when you catch a cold, it takes more than one day to get rid of it. For some of my clients… Two weeks can do the job. Circulation is important now and blood is rich in nutrient, oxygen and water. Blood is transferred all around the body and our muscles are on high demand for this most important substance. It provides our muscles with the source required to produce the force we need to perform our daily activities. What would we do if we didn’t have the energy needed to get up out of bed? So what happens when circulation to our muscles is reduced? When our muscles are depleted of blood and its important properties their ability to contract and produce a force is limited and at worst inhibited. Consequently our level of strength is reduced and we wouldn’t be able to work at the same intensity as before and also for the duration in time. How much easier is it to warm up for sport in summer or spring compared to Winter? Your muscles rely on good circulation to grow, repair and function. There are 3 types of muscle tissue in the body: 1. Skeletal muscle – For movement (and several other roles below) 2. Cardiac muscle – found in the heart 3. Smooth muscle – found in the digestive system to move food along. In the scope of massage, we directly treat the musculoskeletal system. Additionally, we stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and this allows for your body to enhance its ‘self-healing’ process. This is commonly known as the ‘rest and digest’ system. We all know not to run around straight after we eat a meal. It’s important to know that our musculoskeletal system has several functions: Locomotion, Dynamic and static postural support, Thermoregulation, support of our skeletal structure, assisting in shock absorption, producing force, resisting force, directional change, protection of vital organs, respiration, muscle tone. The musculoskeletal system, with all of these functions has a vital role in maintaining our well-being. Amongst the postural and movement benefits, the importance in supporting our immune system should always be considered. Movement, moves things around and that is one (important) way to eliminate unwanted and foreign substances from our body, keeping our system a continuous flow which allows us to grow and adapt to changing environments. Particularly now, is when I see more muscular tension than I do any other time of the year. Mainly, because of the body’s attempt to keep warmth ‘in’ and coldness ‘out’. You may have also experienced muscular aches and pain when you have caught a cold. This is not uncommon when you are ill. Massage is an ideal way to help prevent and also enhance your body’s ability to deal with these symptoms. The benefits of massage are beyond improved movement, but also improved immune functioning and more importantly a sound mind. However, amongst healthy movement is a healthy diet and the two complement each other. In my practise to relieve tension I encourage people to eat more green leafy vegetables as they are rich in magnesium – great for relieving muscular tension and assisting in your circulation. For those who aren’t keen on vegies, magnesium supplementation is a safe alternative, which is available in my clinic. Give yourself the time you need, stay warm and eat well, sleep well, play well and work well. If you need a massage (you deserve one) book in to see me at Back on your feet in Sydney cbd . To make an appointment please call (02) 9233-3800.