By Linda Penkala, Author, LMT
Optimum Health For Life
More Complementary & Integrative Healthcare Articles
The Best Healing Space For Longevity, Less Stress and A Loving Heart
Sleeping offers a treasured time to heal, restore, rest and replenish. How we embrace this essential part of the night, hopefully by 10:30 PM affects every organ of the body. All to physically and emotionally release the day, preparing for the next one!
With no thought on our part, our bodily systems are at work day and night. The day’s sympathetic nervous system of fight, flight, or freeze contrasts the night’s parasympathetic nervous system of restore, replenish, and relax. It is up to us to be more mindful of this final phase of the day – to pause with less stimulation.
Here are some simple, safe tools to begin deep restorative rest:
- CranioCradle – a soft, turquoise triangular device (Amazon) that allows tension to be released from three different positions either in the neck or lower back. Enhancing cerebrospinal fluid from the sacrum to the brain improves aging. Being still releases any emotional heart heaviness from the day. This imitates the “still point hold” of craniosacral therapy.
- Tennis ball or dryer ball – wonderful trigger point therapy to back muscles, shoulders, or lower back/gluteal muscles. Lying in bed, with ball beneath the scapula or shoulder area, rest there, with small motions to the trigger point. To enhance the range, take the opposite hand to hold the wrist to move it north/south/ east/west, and around in circles, to feel improved range of motion.
- Aromatherapy – essential oils to calm the central nervous system. Assists in winding down, applying lavender, cedarwood, frankincense, or lemon oils on the neck, heart and feet.
- Gratitude journal – taking note of at least three moments or people, that you were grateful for.
- Holistic aids – magnesium spray to feet, essential oil diffuser, relaxing music, yoga block under the sacrum, with feet to the sky while pumping feet to enhance lymphatic flow and circulation to the heart.
- Vagus nerve breathing – lying face up, breath through the nose into the belly first, then chest, and exhale AHHH or HMMM (with a finger into the ears) to engage the vagus nerve, at least five times. This is the master switch for inflammation, part of the parasympathetic NS and key to deep relaxation.
- Prayer and meditation – spiritual connection to lessen stress and anxiety to enhance our heart’s connection to God.
- Emotional Freedom Tapping – emotional acupuncture to certain upper body points to help alleviate remnants of stress, tension and pain. www.thetappingsolution.com