Tag: Sleep

Sleep Well & Happy Holidays!

Winter Dragon by Dreoilin - Ashley Stewart2013
Winter Dragon by Dreoilin – Ashley Stewart 2013

 

Season’s Greetings!

Tonight is the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year, and you might feel a bit sleep deprived, with Holidays and the Year’s end upon us.

While the days are shorter and the nights are longer, do you find yourself wanting more sleep than usual? Maybe waking in the middle of the night and struggling to get back to sleep?

Rest assured, you probably don’t have a sleep disorder — I can certainly relate, and am looking forward to catching up on rest!

Sleep is necessary for us to “recharge our batteries” energetically, to “reset” and heal our body, mind and spirit. Good, restful sleep is deeply restorative in many ways:

  • keeps our mind sharp and alert
  • keeps our heart healthy with stress recovery
  • reduces weight gain by balancing metabolism and cortisol levels
  • keeps our nervous system functioning at the optimum level
  • increases vital energy — therefore boosts our immune system and pain threshold
  • boosts motivation and libido
  • improves mood and relationships

One of my Bagua Zhang instructors recommended waking up in the middle of the night to train and meditate because of the lack of distractions and optimal energy flux in our bodies’ natural cycles. There are ancient Taoist manuals that recommend practicing Qi-Gong around 2am because of this energetic circadian rhythm.

I remember when I was child waking up in the wee hours of the night and having profound moments of clarity and calm. I sometimes still do this, but because of our modern perception of what our sleep cycles “should be” (8 hour blocks), I wondered if I had a sleep disorder.

You might be surprised, as I was recently, to find out it was once common to have a bi-modal sleeping pattern, referred to as ‘first sleep‘ and ‘second sleep‘ before electric lighting in homes, where people would go to sleep around 8pm, wake up between 11pm and 1am to read or write for a couple hours before returning to sleep again… therefore the expression “burning the midnight oil.”

Apparently, bi-modal sleeping patterns are more natural, and our modern perception of sleep cycles are distorted and need some revision… This lends credence to the adage “early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise“…

Here’s a great article that challenges the myths of getting “a proper night’s sleep”:

How Our Ancestors Used to Sleep Twice a Night and Highlighting the Problem of Present Shock

By

Other research suggests sleeping more than 6 hours at once can be detrimental

  • to our muscles (due to inactivity),
  • to our use of nutrients (starving then stuffing your body), and
  • to our mind and perception (long periods of consciousness being separate from the body can lead to anxiety about physical reality, a sense of unnatural separation of the personality, causing a distorted view of the polarity of good vs. evil, etc).

A better solution could be sleeping in 4-6 hour blocks, and then taking a nap later on if necessary.

The truth is, we all have different individual needs that change season to season, and under different conditions. So, listen to your body’s needs, including following your own sleep patterns, and you’ll feel much better!

Wishing you and yours very Happy Holidays and a refreshingly restorative Winter!

Sincerely,
Dennis Mace
Look within to reveal and heal your True Self!
Vajra Visions – Mace Martial Arts
cell/text 206-440-9187

P.S.: The impressive dreamlike vision is called “Winter Dragon“, by talented artist Ashley Stewart, enjoy!

First Published on: Dec 21, 2013,
Edited on: Dec 20, 2016

Relax & Recharge: Massage Therapy & Epsom Salt

The Wondrous Benefits of Massage Therapy & Epsom Salt

 

Wonder why I recommend an Epsom Salt bath after massage therapy? Well, let me break it down for you!

During your massage therapy sessions, I release metabolic waste from your muscles. Drinking extra water helps flush some toxins, but you might be sore for a couple days after the massage. Just add 2 cups of Epsom Salt to your warm bathwater, to enhance the toxin-flush by increasing perspiration and draw wastes (like uric acid) through your skin.Caution: stand up slowly after the bath, and drink plenty of water, as Epsom Salt will dehydrate and could make you feel more light-headed than a regular hot bath. Seek the advice of your physician before you take an Epsom Salt bath if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or a heart or kidney condition, or before you start any new treatment plan.
What is Epsom Salt? Magnesium Sulfate is a natural mineral, named after the town of Epsom, England, where the salt was produced from a saline spring. Used as a natural remedy for numerous ailments for hundreds of years, Magnesium plays an important role in several bodily functions:

  • helps produce serotonin, which improves sleep and creates feelings of calm and relaxation,
  • increases energy & stamina by encouraging production of ATP (cellular energy), and
  • reduces irritability by lowering adrenaline effects.

Epsom Salt is therefore a natural stress reliever: stress drains the body of magnesium — when Magnesium Sulfate dissolves in warm water it is absorbed through the skin, replenishing your body’s magnesium. The salt draws toxins from the body, sedates the nervous system, relieves inflammation & joint pain, making it beneficial in treatment of

  • sore muscles,
  • bruises, abrasions and cuts,
  • sprain/strain injuries,
  • bronchial asthma, and
  • migraines.
Furthermore, soaking in an Epsom Salt bath
  • improves neuromuscular function by regulating electrolytes that govern muscular & nervous systems,
  • therefore relieves muscle cramps;
  • removes odor and softens skin,
  • relieves colds and congestion,
  • reduces soreness from childbirth,
  • prevents heart disease and strokes by lowering blood pressure, preventing hardening of arteries and blood clots to reduce risk of heart attacks,
  • as well as increase insulin effectiveness, helping to lower the risk or severity of diabetes.

So treat yourself ~ you’ll be happy you did!

Sincerely,
Dennis Mace, LMP
Look within to reveal and heal your true self!
Vajra Visions – Mace Martial Arts & Massage Therapy
Tel (206) 440-9187

P.S.: Back to School Special! If you register for a Vitality Package this week,

you get a $50 September Discount!

I’ve designed this Neck & Shoulders Vitality Package to help you reach your optimum health, for Stress RELIEF and Injury RECOVERY, so you can enjoy your work, play without care, and live your life without limitation!

Each Vitality Package includes:

  1. Three 90 minute Massage Sessions,
  2. a personalized treatment plan to achieve your health goals,
  3. a 15 minute Consultation where I will share customized exercises & stretches that compliment the bodywork,
  4. Aromatherapy Epsom Salts from O’Malley & Potter, and
  5. Relaxing Stretch Video so you can progress faster at home in just minutes a day

You can expect:

  • Reduced Stress Levels
  • Increased Range of Motion
  • Faster recovery from injury or chronic pain (without drugs)
  • better sleep
  • increased efficiency and performance at work (and play!)
  • Reduce the frequency/intensity/duration of headaches
  • Increase Vitality with more efficient muscle function (less energy wasted on tense muscles)
  • Increased Immune System Function

Click HERE to register now and get on the path to health and vitality!

Published on: Sep 8, 2013