A guide to Daily Life Meditation

I’ll be back on October 1, 2020 from my “moving break”. In the mean time, here’s an article that will help you work meditation into your daily tasks and even help you set up a “meditation room” in your home.


It’s no secret to anyone, we are in uncertain and stressful times. We see this phrase everywhere, but, unfortunately, it is true. Many of us feel physically and emotionally exhausted after the covid-19 crisis, as well as the protests and civil unrest. Now more than ever, it’s important to take time to destress and meditate.

If you’re like me, you say “I don’t have time to meditate!” It always seems there are more important things to do. I always feel “guilty” when I take the time to meditate. It’s such a wonderful, peaceful and relaxing time, that it almost feels selfish. On the contrary, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it just could be the best thing you do for your loved ones. You’ll be happier, calmer and more productive in your life.

What if you could meditate while doing daily chores, exercising and walking? Would that help alleviate some of that guilt? The following article was posted 2 1/2 years ago as part of my “project stress relief” series. It discusses the concept of “daily life meditation”, in which you can meditate while doing chores, cleaning the house, exercising, walking and more.

Here’s the original article:

We are all under a tremendous amount of stress, whether it’s work, school, family, kids, blogs, etc. So, you may be asking why this is a big deal. After all, people have been under stress since time began, how is today any different? In our fast paced world, filled with social media, television. radio, and 7 billion other people, we are constantly bombarded with negative words, energy, commentary, and images.

Anytime we experience stress, our body goes into the “fight or flight” mode. This is the same instinct that kicked in when our ancestors were chased by lions or tigers. Our digestive system shuts down, our blood pressure increase, glucose is flooded into our system to give us energy. (to run from the tiger, remember!) No matter how little or big the stress is, your body will always react the same, as if you are running from danger and your life is at risk.

The below infographic, from the article 17 Reasons To Avoid Stress, by Fawne Hansen at Adrenal Fatigue Solution, gives you an idea as to just how bad all this stress is for us.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. So if we are under chronic stress, we are constantly in fight or flight mode. This is REALLY bad for you and won’t end well, if you don’t find a way to relax, and soon.

Now we know that all of that stimuli has a huge impact on our body, mind and soul. What’s a busy person to do? As much as we want to, we can’t just stop everything and run to the beach or mountains forever, we can’t, so, we must try other methods. Meditation, even just 10 minutes, can go a long way towards calming your mind and easing the symptoms of chronic stress. However, if you’re anything like me, sitting and meditating is a guilty pleasure, of which there isn’t a lot of time.

However, what if I told you that you could meditate while doing your daily activities, like folding laundry, doing dishes, sitting at your desk at work, walking, running or lifting weights? Would that interest you?

While doing housework, yard work or any other daily activity, there are only a few key points to remember. (These tips are from the House Cleaning video below):

  1. Pay attention to your breathing, and practice deep breathing.
  2. Create a mantra and repeat while cleaning
  3. Dedicate your work to someone else.

If you’d like to set up a meditation room in your home, here is a link to an article from porch.com entitled:

The Ultimate Meditation Room for your Home:

The link below is to an article I did a while ago on how to meditate while walking.

Walking Meditation

The remaining videos will either give you tips or guide you through a short meditation to be used while exercising, cleaning or sitting at your desk.

Enjoy, and try to relax!

How to Make Chores a Mindful Experience

Dishwashing meditation

4 minute at work guided meditation

Stress at work meditation

How to use mindfulness while exercising

Running Meditation: A Meditation for jogging, runners

Short Shower Meditation

8 Hours House Cleansing Frequency Music

Until next time,

wishing you

safety and good health…

Namaste my friends.

The Insomnia Fix: The dangers of sleep deprivation

Could you stay awake for 11 days? In 1965, Randy Gardner, a 17-year old high school student stayed awake for 11 days and 24 minutes or 264.4 hours, to study the effects of sleep deprivation. This is the longest documented case of intentional sleep deprivation without stimulants. After just 2 days, Randy struggled to remain focused and found it difficult to identify objects through touch. On day three, he showed signs of moodiness, incoordination and hallucinations. Things went down hill from there. Randy became paranoid and irritable, with trouble concentrating and forming short-term memories. By the final day, Randy had slurred speech, no facial expressions; very short attention span and diminished mental abilities. In fact, the physical and mental effects of Randy’s sleep deprivation test were so extreme and dangerous, that the Guinness Book of Records has stopped listing voluntary sleep deprivation. (3)

While Randy’s experiment is an extreme example, sleep deprivation, insomnia and other sleep disorders are at epidemic proportions. According to the American Sleep Association, between 50 to 70 million adults in the United States suffer from a sleep disorder. Approximately 35% of adults report less than 7 hours of sleep during a 24 hour period. The effects of sleep deprivation are far reaching, including death. There are 100,000 deaths each year in hospitals, due to medical errors, in which sleep deprivation is a contributing factor. So, exactly what is sleep deprivation? What causes it? What are the symptoms or physical effects? These are the questions that will be addressed in this article. (2)

According to the medical dictionary, sleep deprivation is defined as “a sufficient lack of restorative sleep over a cumulative period, so as to cause physical or psychiatric symptoms and affect routine performances of tasks.” (7)  How much sleep is seen as “sufficient”? This depends on age. According to the American Sleep Association, appropriate sleep totals are as follows: (2)

  • Adult: 7 – 9 hours
  • Teenager: 8 – 10 hours
  • Child 6 – 12 years: 9- 12 hours
  • Child 3 – 5 years:  10 – 13 hours
  • Child 1 – 2 years: 11 – 14 hours
  • Infants 4 -12 months: 12 – 16 hours

Why is it that some people sleep well, getting plenty of rest, while others struggle just to fall asleep, much less get 8 solid hours? As it turns out, there are many causes of sleep deprivation. The causes are not simple to isolate and vary from person to person. It can be as simple voluntary deprivation from people who just don’t like to sleep and see it as a waste of time. Other people are simply sleep deprived, unintentionally, due to work, or family obligations. However, in most cases, it is much more complex, and caused by a variety of physical or psychological factors. Psychological factors include stress and depression. There are also a wide ranging number of physical factors including, sleep apnea, hormone imbalance, chronic illness, environmental factors, medicines, improper sleep hygiene and aging. (4,5)

As our mothers and grandmothers told us, we all need our “beauty sleep”.  While there is actual research showing that overtired people appear less attractive to others, the physical and psychological effects of sleep deprivation are much more serious than just skin deep. (11)  There are some basic symptoms of sleep deprivation, such as yawning, moodiness, fatigue, irritability, forgetfulness, inability to concentrate, increased stress, depression, lack of motivation, low libido and difficulty learning. (4,5)  However, the physical effects are actually far reaching, dribbling into many aspects of our physical body. While entire books can be written about the physical effects of sleep deprivation, this article will touch briefly on the most serious ones:

  • Obesity/overeating – Research indicates a direct link between sleep restriction and the ability to regulate weight. (10) Poor sleep quality has also been showm to increase food intake during waking hours. (12)
  • Heart disease – Individuals who are chronically sleep deprived have an increased risk, 33% to 45%, of developing heart disease. (9)
  • Type 2 diabetes – Getting less than 6 hours of sleep per night is associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. (8)
  • Alzheimer’s disease/memory loss/brain cell death – An increased accumulation of amyloid plaque was seen in the brains of elderly individuals who were sleep deprived for just one night. Amyloid plaque is one of the main signs of Alzheimer’s disease. (6,9)
  • Impaired immune function – One study showed a direct connection between sleep deprivation and impaired immune responses (13)

Closing thoughts.

Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? There are many researchers who ask this age old question in relation to the physical effects of sleep deprivation. In other words, does sleep deprivation directly cause these serious physical and psychological conditions or do these conditions cause sleep deprivation.? The jury is still out. What is clear is  sleep is a very important part of any health and nutrition regime, and should not be overlooked.

This post was first in a series of monthly articles I am writing, for the Hawthorn University Blog, on insomnia and sleep deprivation. This series will appear, here on my blog, the third Monday each month. Future articles will take an individual look at each one of the physical effects, and delve deeper into the link with sleep deprivation. There will also be articles on the types of insomnia, causes and possible treatments. 

Until next time…Namaste my friends!

Sources

  1. Ackermann, K., Revell, V.L., Lao, O., Rombouts, E.J., Skene, D.J., and Kayser, M., (2012). Diurnal rhythms in blood cell populations and the effect of acute sleep deprivation in healthy young men. DOI: 10.5665/sleep.1954. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22754039
  2. American Sleep Association. (2006) Sleep statistics. Retrieved from: https://www.sleepassociation.org/about-sleep/sleep-statistics/
  3. BEC Crew, (2015). Here’s what happened when a teenager stayed awake for 11 days straight. retrieved from: https://www.sciencealert.com/watch-here-s-what-happened-when-a-teenager-stayed-awake-for-11-days-straight
  4. Davis, K. (2018). What to know about sleep deprivation. Retrieved from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/307334#symptoms
  5. Dutta, S.S., (2019). Causes of sleep deprivation. Retrieved from: https://www.news-medical.net/health/Causes-of-Sleep-Deprivation.aspx
  6. Krause, A.J., Simon, E.B., Mander, B.A., Greer, S.M., Saletin, J.M., Goldstein-Piekarski, A.N., and Walker, M.P., (2017) The sleep-deprived human brain. DOI: doi:10.1038/nrn.2017.55. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6143346/pdf/nihms982415.pdf
  7. Medical Dictionary (ND). Sleep deprivation. Retrieved from: https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/sleep+deprivation
  8. Mohammed, A.A., Deepali, J., Sawsan, A.S., Ali, A.M., Sulayma, A., Khalid, A.R., Riyadh, B., Mohammed, H., Khamis, A.H., (2016) Habitual sleep deprivation is associated with type 2 diabetes: A case-control-study. DOI: DOI.10.5001/omj.2016.81 Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5099401/pdf/OMJ-D-16-00011.pdf
  9. Shokri-Kojaria, E., Wanga, G. J., Wiersa, C. E., Demirala, S.B., Sung Won Kima, M.G., Lindgrena, E., Ramireza, V., Zehraa, A., Freemana, C., Millera, G., Manzaa, P, Srivastavaa, T., De Santib, S., Tomasia, D., Benvenistec, H., and Volkowa, N.D., (2017). β-Amyloid accumulation in the human brain after one night of sleep deprivation. Retrieved from: https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/115/17/4483.full.pdf
  10. St. Onge, M.P., (2017). Sleep–obesity relation: underlying mechanisms and consequences for treatment. https://doi.org/10.1111/obr.12499
  11. Valley Sleep Center (2013). Common wives tales about sleep. Retrieved from:https://valleysleepcenter.com/common-wives-tales-about-sleep/
  12. Zuraikat, F.M., Makarem, N., Lio, M., St.Onge, M.P., and Aggarwal, B., (2020). Measures of poor sleep quality are associated with higher energy intake and poor diet quality in a diverse sample of women from the go red for women strategically focused research network. DOI:  10.1161/JAHA.119.014587 Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7070194/

Charlie Brown’s Guide to Holiday Depression

Many view the Christmas season as a wonderful and joyous time of year filled with decorations, lights, parties, food, and gifts. However, not everyone feels this way about the holidays. While it is a complete myth that suicides increase during the holidays, anxiety and depression do, in fact, increase. I knew my article for today would focus on dealing with holiday depression. However, my research took me in a quite unique direction. I always follow my heart when I look for blog topics and I’m often quite surprised where it takes me.

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As I did research for today’s article, I came across an interesting video I’d like to share with you. The video takes an in depth look at the Charles Schultz Christmas special “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and how it relates to holiday depression and the meaning of Christmas.

A Charlie Brown Christmas –

Coping with Holiday Depression

The video summarizes the theme and storyline of the show, while showcasing Charlie Brown’s holiday depression and quest for the true meaning of Christmas. Throughout the show, Charlie Brown witnesses his friends and even Snoopy as they succumb to the shallow corporate version of Christmas, such as wanting money/gifts, desiring a showy aluminum tree or big lighting displays. Charlie is saddened by this and searches for a more meaningful holiday. He is tasked by his friends to purchase a tree for the Christmas play and finds what he thinks is the perfect tree, a spindly little tree, which he views as a rejection of the fake corporate holiday.

Screen Shot 2018-12-17 at 10.59.04 AM.png

As you can imagine, this doesn’t go over well. After being laughed at by his friends, Charlie can’t handle anymore and screams “DOESN’T ANYONE KNOW THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS?”  Linus happily complies, by reciting from the Gospel of Luke. After this, everyone seems to realize where they’ve gone wrong, and help Charlie bring his little tree to life.

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How does any of this relate to holiday depression? As it turns out, quite a bit. In my search for tips for dealing with holiday depression, I realized many aspects of this Charles Schultz classic, have tips embedded in the story line. The following tips are from www.healthstatus.com and www.psychologytoday.com, but also coincide with this classic Christmas tale.

Tips for dealing with holiday depression (1, 2)

  1. Don’t worry about trying to be like everyone else. Don’t compare your holiday with movies or what society dictates. Don’t try to make a corporate, or  cutout Christmas. Instead, make it your own.
  2. Donate money to a charity instead of buying mindless gifts.
  3. Don’t fuss about the small stuff. Don’t run yourself into the ground trying to make everything perfect.
  4. Help others… Help a friend who is sad. Volunteer to help the homeless or those less fortunate. “Christmas is supposed to be giving; make a happy dent in the lives of others.
  5. Get others to help out.  “Don”t do everything yourself. That in and of itself is depressing.
  6. Don’t be alone or isolate yourself. Find a way to join in with family, friends or the community.
  7. Don’t spend too much money. “Remember it’s not about the presents, it’s about the presence.
  8. Learn to forgive and accept others. Chances are, if someone does annoying things, that’s not going to change. Don’t get angry or upset by someone being themselves. Accept people for the beautiful and flawed people God made them to be.

Closing thoughts:

Christmas was once my favorite holiday. I love giving gifts, and seeing the look on peoples’ faces as they open my surprise. As I’ve grown older, however, I became very much like Charlie Brown did, frustrated and disillusioned by the corporate, stale and fake nature of Christmas.

Over the last few years, I’ve changed the way I view Christmas. It’s more about spending time with family and celebrating our lives together. At the end of the day, isn’t that what really matters?

Until next time….Namaste my friends.

Tamara

SOURCES:

  1. https://www.healthstatus.com/health_blog/depression-stress-anxiety/holiday-depression/
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/emotional-fitness/201112/10-tools-dealing-holiday-stress-and-depression

I tried it! Dosha Mat Product Review – COUPON CODE for 15% off!

Use the code below, to receive an additional 15% off all Dosha Mats until June 25! The coupon code is:

THEPURPLEALMOND15

For your very own

acupressure mat,

follow this link to doshamat.com

Here’s the main article:


Hello everyone! Thank you for your patience as I took last week off from blogging. My youngest son graduated from high school and I had visitors here all week, so no time for blogging.

Jessica Rose came to me at the beginning of April and asked if I’d like to try one of her mats, and maybe do a post on acupressure. We chatted briefly via Skype, and decided, since she is the expert, that she would be the best person to describe acupressure, and acupressure mats. On Wednesday, May 29, I posted her article regarding acupressure and the use of acupressure mats. You can read her article by following THIS LINK.

Today, I’ll give you my thoughts, and the thoughts of my family, regarding the Dosha Mat. But first…

What are other people saying about

DOSHA MAT?

“I love my new acupressure mat! These mats are so great for anyone suffering from any kind of pain or tension. I lie on my mat for 15 minutes every night before bed and look forward to it so much! After a few minutes my entire body fills with warmth and I totally bliss-out. This has definitely become a daily ritual, and my mat is light-weight and easy to take with me when I travel! Highly recommend!”

– Kelly (yoga instructor), San Francisco

“My acupressure mat is such a stress reliever! Whenever I feel a migraine coming on I take a lay down on my mat and feel the tension and pain wash away. It’s also so great for reliving tension in my back and shoulders from sitting at my desk, and helps me sleep much better.”

– Jennifer (busy working mother of two), Dallas

My initial thoughts

Image

Above, you’ll see my very own feet on the acupressure mat. I’m actually sitting, as I have not yet graduated to standing barefoot on the mat.  I can sum up my thoughts about the Dosha Mat in 3 words…I’M IN LOVE! 😍

But, I must admit, it wasn’t love at first sight. I have never used acupressure or acupuncture and wasn’t sure what to expect.

When I first opened the box, I was greeted with a beautiful tan mat, covered with dozens of purple flowers, over all a very pleasant appearance. As beautiful as the flowers are in appearance, they are quite sharp, as is necessary for proper acupressure. Jessica did say in our Skype call that the mat takes some getting used to and she was right, but boy is it worth it!

Image 3

Description of the mat

The mat itself is made of linen with a removable pad, which is filled with coconut fiber. Though you can’t actually see the fiber (I don’t want to cut it open!), but you can definitely feel it. The cover is removable, (for washing) as you can see in the photo below. The mat itself is 27 inches long, 17 inches wide and approximately 1 inch thick.

Image 5

The top of the mat is covered in 190 lotus flowers made from high quality, toxin free, surgical grade plastic. Each flower contains 25 points, for a total of 4,750 acupressure points per mat.

Image 2

It really works!

The first time I used it, I tried standing on it, which is when I realized the actual pointy nature of those little lotus flowers. I mean, you can feel them with your hands, but, until you try to stand on them with bare feet, you won’t realize just how pointy they really are. Have you ever stepped on a lego? Well, there you go!

So, instead of standing, I sat and put my bare feet on the mat for 15-20 minutes, which is the recommended length of time.  Jessica said standing on it takes some time, and I’m still not there yet. I’m content to lay on it or put my feet on it while sitting. (which I’m doing right now)

From that very first time I used the mat, I could feel myself relax almost immediately. There is a warm, calming, relaxing energy that permeates the whole body. You can almost feel the stress just melt away. I’m currently under a lot of stress with my thesis date imminently approaching. This acupressure mat has helped me so much over the past month.

When I first received the mat, I had just started my thesis course. There were so many days I was in a sheer panic at the thought of not only writing a thesis, but simply picking a topic seemed a monumental task. Then I remembered my acupressure mat. I’d sit on my couch, put the mat on the floor, with my bare feet on the mat. Within minutes, I’d feel calm, and able to think clearly.

We’ve also been doing a lot of house work, (such as painting etc) to prepare for my son’s graduation. There were many days I’d be hunched over with such severe back pain I could hardly walk. I’d lay on my Dosha mat. By the end of the treatment, my back pain had lessened greatly.

My family’s thoughts

My better half is also in love with this mat. It has become a habit for him to come home from work, take the mat, and lay on it while he plays with our dog, or checks email. I’m telling you, it’s the perfect way to end a busy day.

My mother-in-law, in her mid-70’s, recently visited for my son’s graduation. She tried the mat once and was hooked. She was here for 7 days and used the mat every day she was here, sometimes on multiple occasions. She’d say “It’s time for my acupressure treatment.” She would take off her shoes and socks, put her feet on the mat and sit, relax and crochet.

Consider the price (when compared to acupuncture or reflexology treatments)

ACUPUNCTURE

When I first went to Jessica’s site, www.doshamat.com, and saw the price of a mat was $94.50, (Doshamat.com is currently running a sale $74.50/mat) I thought it a bit pricey. But, when you consider the cost of one single acupuncture session, it doesn’t seem so bad.

I went to thumbtack.com for acupuncture pricing and here’s what I found (keep in mind, these are PER SESSION!):

Screen Shot 2019-06-12 at 11.05.51 AM

According to acufinder.com, the price of an acupuncture treatment can range from $60 – $120.

Thervo.com has the following estimates for acupuncture

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REFLEXOLOGY (foot massage)

Health :: The Many Benefits of Reflexology Massage

  • According to howmuchisit.org, the average price of a 60 minute reflexology treatment ranges from $40 – $90.
  • reflexology-maps.com says that most massages generally run about $1/minute
  • thervo.com estimates $50 – $90 with the average running about $75.

Closing thoughts

I want to reiterate that I received my Dosha Mat as a gift from Jessica. (THANK YOU JESSICA!) However, this in no way has affected how I reviewed this product. If I had disliked the product, I would have said as much.

Though the initial cost may seem steep, when compared to acupressure or reflexology treatments, the price is quite reasonable. For the cost of 1 or 2 acupressure or reflexology treatments, you can have an acupressure mat, which, essentially does the same thing.

I absolutely LOVE my acupressure mat! It is a wonderful way to relax and destress, among MANY other benefits. They are worth their weight in gold, well worth the price. I am considering purchasing more of them as gifts. You can read Jessica’s article HERE, for more information on acupressure, acupressure mats and the benefits.

There is currently a sale on mats at doshamat.com. I have contacted Jessica for a coupon code for all Purple Almond readers. I’ll pass it on to you as soon as I receive it.

Until next time, namaste my friends!

Tamara Hoerner

The Wellness Mindset: Enjoying Acupressure with a Dosha Mat By: Jessica Rose

Hello everyone! I am pleased to present to you today my very first guest post! Today, Jessica Rose from doshamat.com, writes about the many benefits of acupressure and dosha mats. Jessica came to me at the beginning of April and asked if I’d like to try one of her mats, and maybe do a post on acupressure. We chatted briefly via Skype, and decided, since she is the expert, that she would be the best person to describe acupressure, and dosha mats.

She kindly sent me my very own dosha mat, which I have been using for over a month now. I am taking next week off, due to incoming relatives, so, look for my Dosha Mat review on June 12, 2019.

Acupressure Mat

HERE IS JESSICA’S ARTICLE:


Acupressure is a type of touch therapy that utilizes the same concepts which underlie acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Acupressure stimulates the same points that are targeted in acupuncture. The only difference is that acupressure treatment is applied through the fingers or special tools rather than through the insertion of needles, meaning that acupressure is essentially the non-invasive version of acupuncture.

Acupressure has been used for centuries to alleviate various symptoms and sickness and is often performed in conjunction with other traditional Chinese medicine procedures.

Fundamentally, acupressure entails applying pressure to the vital healing points of the body. It is believed that these points can stimulate the body’s natural healing capabilities. Pressure is administered primarily through the fingers, but the palms, elbows, feet, or other acupressure tools and devices can be used as well. The word acupressure is a combination of two words – the word “ acus†” ¨†which in Latin means “needles”, and the word “pressure”.

There are thousands of acupressure points found in different parts of the body. These points are sensitive to pressure and can be in the form of nerve clusters or other sensitive muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, and veins. These points have two characteristics and manners of function. A point is referred to as “local” when it is stimulated in the same area where pain and tension are felt. The same point can also “trigger” relief in other areas of the body. When one point is stimulated, it is believed that it can deliver healing to the other parts of the body, and alleviate different symptoms and pain.

The concept of “meridians” is also an essential element of acupressure. Meridians are described as the body’s passageway that link the acupressure points to each other and the different organs in the body. Meridians can also be likened to how blood vessels transport blood through the various systems of the body. In the principles of Chinese traditional medicine, meridians are where chi¨†the vital life energy, travels throughout the body. Acupressure aims to unblock the circulation of chi†by stimulating specific points, known as “acupoints”. The meridians closest to the skin are what acupressure seeks to stimulate since these are the easiest to trigger through pressure.

Benefits of Acupressure

Acupressure is primarily performed to help alleviate ailments and pains in the body. The health conditions it is used to treat include:

  • Headaches, toothaches, sinus problems;
  • Arthritis;
  • Nausea;
  • Nerve and muscle tension; and
  • Issues with the digestion and the immune system.

Acupressure is even used in beauty treatments to lessen the appearance of wrinkles. It can help increase muscle tone and improve blood circulation in the face and body. The pressure applied during acupressure therapy is believed to help distribute oxygen and give the skin a healthier appearance.

Acupressure Mats

Acupressure mats are foam or fibre mats that have thousands of acupoint needles generally grouped in discs. The plastic acupoint discs are generally specially designed and positioned to stimulate various points on the body. Acupressure mats come in various sizes to target specific regions of the body.

Acupressure mats replicate the sensation of acupressure and acupuncture. The mechanism underlying the acupressure mat can be traced to the bed of nails that Hindu yogis used to help them in meditation.

How to Use an Acupressure Mat

Using an acupressure mat is very easy. All that needs to be done is to lay it on a flat surface, such as the floor or a bed. You then simply lie down on the mat. To get the best results, it is recommended that you remove your clothing so that there is direct contact between the acupressure needles and your skin. If this feels too painful, thin clothing can be worn or the mat can be covered with a towel or sheet to serve as a buffer between the points and you skin.

A pillow or rolled blanket can be placed under the mat so that the acupressure points can target the neck and shoulders.

Acupressure mats also help to release tension in the muscles. Lying sideways targets the iliotibial band (known as the IT band). To experience relief from back pain, bend the knees, or place a pillow under the mat and position it in the middle to give it a curved shape which mirrors the natural shape of the spine.

Another way to use the acupressure mat is to stand on it. This allows for body weight to push down on your feet and therefore make the pressure and contact more effective. Targeting the acupoints on the feet is beneficial because the feet contain various acupoints connected to the different systems and organs of the body.

You can also try sitting on the mat, which targets the buttocks and lower back. This is especially helpful for people who spend hours glued to their chairs during the work day.

Enjoying Acupressure with the Dosha Mat

The Dosha Mat is an acupressure mat that is unparalleled in quality and is 100% eco-friendly. Each mat is carefully handmade using the highest-quality, hypoallergenic natural linen. Each mat also contains a removable cushion made of 100% natural coconut fibre. Our mats also feature more than 4,500 high-quality acupressure points in the beautiful shape of lotus flowers.

These unique acupressure points are made of toxic-free surgical plastic and have been ergonomically engineered to have the greatest relaxation and healing effects. Acupressure mats are an excellent self-care which can be easily performed in the comfort of your own home. To learn more about acupressure and the Dosha Mat, visit our website www.doshamat.com.

How To Reset Your Body Clock [Infographic] – The Sleep Matters Club

I found this handy infographic while researching the circadian rhythm and resetting your body clock. I wanted to share it with all of you. A link to the main article is at the bottom of the page.

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We explore how to reset your body clock in a handy infographic full of tips to ensure you wake up well rested and at a convenient time.

Source: How To Reset Your Body Clock [Infographic] – The Sleep Matters Club

Sleep tips: How To Fall Asleep In 40 Seconds

I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. Oh let’s face it, I have all out insomnia. So, I’ve decided to share sleep tip videos this week.

Today’s video will give you some great and unique tips to fall asleep quickly.

 

How to do Sleep Yoga for Deeper Sleep and Help Insomnia

Did you know that 7%-19% of US adults aren’t getting enough sleep? Why is sleep so important? People who don’t get enough sleep are at higher risk for chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes, as well as a weakened immune system. Lack of sleep can also cause moodiness, clumsiness and lack of concentration. (3)

I’ve been having a lot of trouble sleeping lately, so I’ve done some research on tips to help combat this insomnia rut in which I seem to be stuck. Sleep yoga or bedtime yoga was one of the things that kept popping up. I decided to write an article to share with all of you and have included 3 short sleep yoga routines below.

Believe it or not, there are studies linking yoga with improved sleep, Researchers at Harvard Medical School conducted research on “how daily yoga might affect sleep for people with insomnia” and twenty people finished this small 8 week study, The subjects kept a sleep diary for 2 weeks prior to the study as well as throughout the course of the 8 weeks. At the beginning of the study, they were given basic yoga training and asked to maintain daily yoga for 8 weeks, while keeping a sleep diary. “They kept a record the amount of time spent asleep, number of times they awakened during the night, and the duration of time spent sleeping between periods of waking, in addition to other details about nightly sleep amounts and sleep quality.”(2) 

The researchers found improvements in several areas (2):

  • Sleep efficiency
  • Total sleep time
  • Total wake time
  •  The amount of time it takes to fall asleep
  • Wake time after sleep onset

For yoga to benefit your sleep, however, it must be the right kind of yoga. So here are a few tips to get you started (1):

  1. Choose the right style. Some types of yoga, such as vinyasa yoga, or flow yoga are designed to energize and get the blood flowing. Better choices are “hatha yoga, which focuses on body position, or nidra yoga, which focuses on breathing and restorative poses“.
  2. Set the scene in a proper location, other than the bedroom. Experts say that the bedroom should only be used for sleep and sex, so when doing sleep yoga, find a location in your home where you can stretch out, in a carpeted room or on a yoga mat. Play some relaxing music; light some candles; get some pillows.
  3. Focus on your breathing. The breath is one of the most important aspects of yoga. Your aim is to be in the here and now, allowing your thoughts to float away. If you find your mind wondering, don’t berate yourself, just let them float in and out of your mind, then refocus on the present moment. With practice, this will get easier.

Now that you know it works and a few tips, here are 3 short routines to get you started.

Tara Stiles:

Treat Insomnia with Yoga

Yoga For Sleep

Easy Bedtime Yoga

5 Minute Miracle

7 Minute Bedtime Yoga –

Yoga With Adrien

Closing thoughts:

I’ve been wanting to include more yoga in my daily routine anyway, so this seems to be the answer for which I’ve been searching. I’ll be setting a few goals and keep you up to date in my Fit by 50 journal, which comes out every Thursday.

Until next time…namaste my friends.

Tamara

Sources

  1. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy-sleep/sleep-better/yoga-for-sleep
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sleep-newzzz/201210/yoga-can-help-insomnia
  3. https://bestinyoga.com/does-yoga-help-you-sleep/

Sleep tips: Sleep Hygiene Tips

I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. Oh let’s face it, I have all out insomnia. So, I’ve decided to share sleep tip videos this week.

Do you have proper sleep hygiene? Today’s video will help you figure out your nighttime routine.

 

 

Sleep tips: Tips to Stop Insomnia and Get Back to Sleep

I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. Oh let’s face it, I have all out insomnia. So, I’ve decided to share sleep tip videos this week.

Today’s really quick tip come from National Jewish Health, and is a great tip if you’re having trouble falling asleep…