Ask the Massage Expert: Reduce Holiday Stress with Massage Therapy

By Kelly Faulkner, BS, LMT, CSCS

A good massage can set you up with a strong foundation to fight off anything the holidays throw at you, and with the additional stress that 2020 has brought forth, it’s even more necessary to heal and regenerate your body. Here are three reasons why we all need to carve out time for a massage.


Cortisol is the hormone marker for stress. Too much in your system can lead to weight gain in the midsection and other metabolic changes, which can weaken your immune system and strain your cardiovascular system. Massage therapy can reduce cortisol levels in your body by an average of 31%.

KELLY’S RECOMMENDATION: A moderate pressure massage like the Swedish massage can bring about a state of relaxation that lowers blood pressure and reduces stress for most people.


Let’s face it, most people spend a good chunk of their day sitting, and the longer we sit, the more we slouch, resulting in bad posture. In fact, we’re probably sitting more often these days because we’re staying in more and /or working from home. 

Poor posture is the number one culprit for back and neck pain, and studies show slouching affects digestion and circulation negatively, which can lead to low energy levels.

Massage helps improve your posture and increase energy levels so you can accomplish tasks with ease. 

KELLY’S RECOMMENDATION: Deep tissue massage and trigger point therapy can improve your posture by loosening tight and overactive muscles, increasing range of motion, and releasing painful pressure points.


Do you feel fatigued throughout the day because you have trouble falling, staying, or getting enough sleeping? 

Doctors recommend at least seven hours each night. However, an estimated 50-70 million Americans experience sleep issues, resulting in slowed reaction time, obesity, a higher risk of long-term disease and, low work performance.

Anne Williams, Director of Education at Massage Mastery Online, puts it perfectly: 

“Massage helps people spend more time in deep sleep, the restorative stage in which the body barely moves, which reduces the neurotransmitter associated with pain.”

KELLY’S RECOMMENDATION: Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, and trigger point therapy are all modalities that help improve sleep. Studies show that massage increases serotonin, which increases melatonin in your body and resets your circadian rhythms, giving you a better sleep.


Now that you’ve learned the restorative benefits of massage, set aside time for massage therapy this holiday season to give yourself some much-needed rejuvenation. Our 50-minute massage can fit right into your schedule any time of the week, or feel free to explore our other massage options. Happy holidays!

Click here to book an appointment with one of our massage therapists.

COVID-19: We implement strict safety protocols in compliance with all state and regulatory agencies to ensure a safe experience for everyone. Learn more about our protocols here.

Kelly Faulkner is a licensed massage therapist and a fitness specialist at the CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center. After an accomplished track and field career at the University of Washington, Kelly found her passion in sports massage and training.

Anschutz Health and Wellness Center