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Living with Seasonal Affective Disorder

By Jodi Black, NC

sad faced woman on pianoWe live in a tremendously beautiful part of the country. The summers are splendid, sunny, and temperate. The winters…. dark, dreary, and rainy. When those winter days take hold, many people lapse into what is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). A 2015 Psychology Today article notes that SAD affects up to 10 million Americans, and another 10- 20 percent may have a more mild form of SAD.

So what is it? SAD is a cyclical bout of depression that typically appears in late fall to early winter and abates in the spring. The direct cause is unknown, but it is thought to relate to lack of sunlight/increase in darkness during the winter months.

If you struggle with fatigue, sadness, irritability, and appetite changes from November to February definitely check in with you primary care physician. The good news… there are also some tips and tricks you can try on your own in order to combat “winter blues”.

Light therapy: Utilizes a light therapy box that is meant to mimic natural, outdoor light. It can be used at home or in the office. Light needs to enter the eyes indirectly and requires time and consistency. It is most effective if done in the morning right after you wake up.

Aromatherapy: Certain essential oils are uplifting and invigorating and are known mood-boosters.

  • Use grapefruit oil in a diffuser
  • Rub bergamot topically on the inner wrist and stomach
  • Inhale orange oil deeply

Massage therapy: Touch and hands-on therapies are known to be great stress reducers. Case studies have shown that massage can lower blood pressure and cortisol (stress hormone) levels in as little as 10 minutes.

We have 2 professional and talented massage therapists at Devine Chiropractic with morning and afternoon availability. If you’re feeling the winter blues, massage can only benefit you. Call us today to schedule with Jose or Yen!

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