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The Dog (and Cat) Days of Summer




Do you ever let the cat (or dog) out, then turn around and he wants to come right back in–even though you just explained how hot it is outside and that it’s NOT YOUR FAULT?

Pictured below are Sam wanting to be let back into the air-conditioned house ten seconds after begging to go out, 🙄, and BK (Black Kitty) stretching out her belly so the cool air can get into her thick black coat.




Summer 2023 is turning out to be one of the hottest on record. It feels like this Summer’s just been one long heat wave.


Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a condition usually associated with Winter, but did you know many people experience it in the Summer as well?


The obvious triggers for the summertime blues are prolonged exposure to soaring temperatures and humidity, but other contributors can include severe allergies, the disruption of day-today-routines due to vacations, the pressure to socialize, and, coincidentally, too much sunlight. The heat can also exacerbate symptoms of existing conditions like migraines, depression, and insomnia.


I don’t know about you, but I could sure use a cold snap right about now. Fortunately, my new treatment is here to melt away those summertime blues.



🧊 CRYOTHERAPY 🧊


What is cryotherapy? No, it’s not crying your eyes out because it’s so hot outside and then sinking into a fitful slumber.


Cryotherapy uses “cold therapies” such as ice pack application, cold water plunges, cold air immersion, and ice massage to reduce muscle pain and inflammation and accelerate tissue repair. Many athletes use cryotherapy after an intense workout or sporting event to aid muscle recovery.


But cryotherapy isn’t just for athletes.


I did a mini rabbit-hole plunge of my own and discovered that the application of cold therapies for medical and therapeutic purposes has been around for centuries. Hippocrates used cold application for its analgesic effects, edema, and to “allay lassitude”, while ancient Romans used cold water immersion to treat fevers.


A more recent trend called whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) is the infusion of frigid air in a cryogenic chamber. Developed by Dr. Toshima Yamaguchi in 1978, WBC is used to treat many conditions, from rheumatoid arthritis to migraines to general pain management.



Cryotherapy for Mental Health


The physiological effects of cold therapies on the human body are well-documented, but did you know that cold therapy treatments are also beneficial for mental health? These benefits include:


  • Increases the production of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine which increases alertness, attention, cognitive function, and mood elevation


  • Triggers the brain to release endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones, which may decrease the symptoms of depression and anxiety


  • Stimulates cold receptors in the skin which sends electrical signals to the brain, potentially resulting in an anti-depressive effect



What to Expect


The Tools of the Trade:

  • Cool Towel: a cool, damp towel will be offered to you as soon as you enter my massage space in order to cleanse your face and neck.


  • Fomentek® Cold Packs: thin yet durable translucent bags are filled with cool water and placed on either the abdomen, under the back, or on the feet to begin the cooling down process.


  • Prime Fitness Cold Massage Rollers*: stainless steel balls filled with a non-toxic cooling gel attached to easy-gliding handles for smooth rolling. Please follow the link to the Amazon description for more information.

*Slightly different from the ones pictured above



The Treatment Protocol:


I am offering two treatment lengths for this protocol:



❄️ 30-minute Cool Therapy Massage: includes a cool towel, cool packs, and

full-body cold massage roller session ($50)


❄️ 45-minute Cool Therapy Massage: includes a cool towel, cool packs, full-body

cold massage roller session; face and foot massage ($75)



You will be offered a cool, damp towel upon entering my massage space in order to cleanse your face and neck from the sweat and grit that tend to accumulate in these areas.


You will then disrobe and lie on the table under the top sheet. I will present two cooling packs (you may opt to use only one if you prefer) to be placed under the back, on the abdomen, or on top of the feet, depending on the treatment length.


I will then use the cold massage rollers to give a full-body cold massage roller session. This protocol includes long, gliding motions along the muscles and connective tissue, and shorter, deeper motions on areas of tension.


*******************************************************************************************


Although it sounds somewhat contradictory, Cool Therapy Massage is both relaxing and stimulating at the same time. The coolness of the therapy balls is uplifting, but the slow gliding has a calming effect. This treatment provides systemic anti-inflammatory relief, increases the immune response, wakes up the parasympathetic nervous system, and from my experience so far, brightens the mood.


You will leave the session feeling refreshed, restored, a lot cooler, and ready to jump back into Summer.


I hope you’ll try my new treatment! To book online, click here.


My last Summer treatment, Face, Hands, and Feet, will debut in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned.


And as always, many thanks.


~Robin



Sources:


Price, Kiley. “Global temperatures were the hottest on record for three days in a row in July.” Space.com. July 13, 2023.


Walker, Cameron. "Seasonal Affective Disorder Isn't Just for Winter." Well | Mind. The New York Times. June 1, 2021.https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/01/well/mind/summer-seasonal-affective-disorder.html


Allan, Robert. Malone, James. Alexander, Jill. Vorajee, Salahuddin. Ihsan, Mohammed. Gregson, Warren. Kwiecien, Susan. Mawhinney, Chris. “Cold for centuries: a brief history of cryotherapies to improve health, injury, and post-exercise recovery.” Springer: European Journal of Applied Physiology. National Library of Medicine, PubMed. Feb. 23, 2022.


Lombardi, Giovanni. Ziemann, Ewa. Banfi, Guiseppe. “Whole Body Cryotherapy in Athletes: From Therapy to Stimulation. An Updated Review of the Literature.” Frontiers in Physiology. National Library of Medicine, PubMed. May 2, 2017.


Villines, Zawn. “What are the benefits of cryotherapy?” Medical News Today. October 19, 2017. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319740


Shevchuk, Nikolai. “Adapted cold shower as a treatment for depression.” National Library of Medicine. PubMed. November 3, 2007.






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