Our kids started back to school this week and although the colleges are usually further behind, they will start soon. And then the stress hits … Why not get a massage when it seems that you just can't endure another minute?
Colleges and universities offer countless programs to help reduce the stress of academic life. The key to a successful college experience is staying in tune with your body and mind, while actively making healthy choices to further your chances of success.
One method gaining steam at colleges across the country is offering message therapy programs to students. Williams College in Massachusetts is a pioneer of offering students massages. The college works with a local spa to provide massages to overworked and over-stressed students. Here are a few ways massage therapy can improve your higher education experience.
1. Improved Sleep
Massage therapy works to relax your muscles and mind. A greater sense of relaxation will improve your sleep, stress levels and provide a natural energy boost. Research shows well-rested students on a regular sleeping schedule perform much better than those who stay up all night cramming for a test.
2. Reduced Stress
Managing stress is crucial to college success. Most students face a daunting academic course-load, extracurricular activities and a part-time job. When stress levels elevate, it can impact your ability to function at your peak, which in turn can lead to bad grades. Massage therapy will help reduce that stress in a natural way. Stress is a tough condition to overcome, but a healthy diet combined with massage therapy and plenty of rest can greatly reduce anxiety. Stress, just like other sicknesses, is a condition that can become chronic if not treated properly.
3. Stronger Immune System
A college dorm can be a breeding ground for sickness. Every year the flu and other illnesses sweep through college dorms. Being out for even a couple days can put you way behind on your coursework. Massage therapy helps to increase the immune system’s ability to decrease T-cells and protect you from sickness.
4. Better Posture
Most students don’t take into account the potential negative, often painful, impact of hunching over a computer keyboard and textbooks. Massage therapy can help promote healthy movement, which will improve posture and the ill side effects that bad posture can create. Driving, working at a desk and spending excessive time sitting down can all have an impact on posture – one of the leading causes of daily aches and pains. Such discomfort can distract and make it even harder to focus on your studies.
5. Tension Headache Relief
Many college students are introduced to tension headaches thanks to long hours spent studying. These headaches are often the result of muscle tension related to stress and lack of sleep. If left ignored, such tension can lead to chronic migraines, which can be debilitating. Massage therapy helps to reduce tension and help your body fight off headaches. The technique relaxes muscle spasms, trigger points and pressure in the neck, shoulders and head.
6. Increased Thinking Power
Research shows massage can enhance both mental alertness and creative thinking, two things you’ll definitely need in college. You’ll also be able to better handle pressure, keep your cool and maintain a positive attitude, even as the workload mounts. This, of course, is related to the stress-relieving benefits of massage.
Massage therapy can improve every aspect of your academic life, even you don’t feel particularly stressed out or sleep deprived. When looking into a good college, find out if massage therapy is offered to students. Make sure the therapist attended one of the recognized massage therapy schools. That way, you’ll know a trained professional is working to make your college life more relaxed and rewarding. College is tough enough as it is, make sure you give your body and mind a fighting chance.
Bethany Brewer, a freelance writer, likes to focus her writing on topics related to lifestyle, education & health. Some of her work has been featured on well-known education websites.