The Ultimate Stress Lowering Technique
New Massage Tool Will Give Your 7-8 Hours of Uninterrupted Hours of Sleep
Stress is the single biggest cause of most of my patients’ problems. Humans simply aren’t built to tolerate the magnitude and variety of stresses we experience throughout each day and throughout our lives. Most people understand that stress can cause physical and mental discomfort, but the reality is much bigger than that. Understanding how stress affects the body, and how to manage it, is a major focus of my practice.
How does stress affect the body?
When we feel stress- whether it is bodily stress, illness, or mental and emotional stress- we feel on edge. We feel anxiety and tension, and we suffer from repetitive thought patterns, loss of sleep, excessive adrenal function, and a general deterioration of one’s quality of life. It affects us physically, and our emotional and mental states suffer in turn.
Did you know that stress also accumulates and stays with us? It’s true- when we do not cope with, relieve, and recover from stress, it builds up in our bodies and causes major long-term health troubles (weight gain, inactivity, chronic loss of sleep).
Perhaps the worst of these long-term results is the fact that a lack of restful sleep can lessen your ability to recover from any stress, which makes the whole problem worse. An extended period of increased adrenal function can be difficult to “turn off,” which puts us in a constant “fight or flight” state. When you can’t turn that off, you can’t recover.
How does stress affect sleep?
Sleep might be more involved than you think. A restful cycle of sleep contains “light” sleep, REM sleep, and “deep” sleep, and the body’s physical state changes throughout the sleep cycle. Being able to truly relax and let go of tension is important to achieving the deep sleep that is so essential to feeling rested and recovering from stress and physical illness. The increased adrenal function that results from chronic stress can limit your access to deep sleep. If you aren’t getting deep, restful sleep, you may very well sleep eight hours a night but still wake feeling tired and taxed.
How can you start to cope with chronic stress?
There are plenty of ways to deal with stress, but when you’ve neglected to do so for too long, you may feel your options are limited. Exercise is an excellent way to deal with all types of stress. If you’ve been suffering for a long time, it’s important to begin with light activity that won’t itself become stressful and overstimulating. Light yoga, stretching, and walking are ideal if you need to start slow.
Another way to address the physical toll of stress is massage and acupressure therapy. Stress accumulates in the body in actual physical locations, and massage can help to relieve the resulting tension and discomfort. This passive therapy relieves the physical discomfort of stress and helps you to sleep, which is essential to sustainable, ongoing stress management.
The trouble with traditional massage therapy is that you can’t do it yourself. It might also be expensive or time consuming, which can be major barriers for patients who are already stressed and overworked! Acupressure is a more accessible option because it can be done in just a few minutes, by yourself, and the monetary cost is minimal (especially when compared to the benefits).
What is acupressure?
Acupressure is performed by applying pressure to precise points on the body. Similar to acupuncture, stimulating these points results in benefits throughout the body. Pressure can be applied by a practitioner’s hand or elbow, or by a device.
If your goal is stress recovery and management, you will benefit most from stimulating five places on the body. The following places hold 98% of the stress and tension in your body:
► The back of the neck at the base of the skull
► The upper and middle part of the neck
► The base of the neck near your shoulders
► The chest, above your heart
► On the abdomen near the adrenal glands
Some of these points respond to pressure by releasing built up tension that is stopping you from relaxing. Stimulating other points will actually trigger a relaxation response. All together, the result is a state of effortless relaxation and comfort. This alone helps you start to recover from both acute and chronic stress.
How can I unlock the benefits of acupressure at home?
I strongly believe in the benefits of acupressure. I personally perform an acupressure routine on my own body every single night before I go to sleep. I developed Dr. Berg’s Amazing Back & Neck Massage Tool to bring acupressure to the masses, so to speak. It is a simply designed, easy to use, affordable tool made specifically to stimulate the points most associated with stress relief. I’ve also developed instructional videos and written materials to help patients get the most out of the tool in their own at-home therapy.
The pressure comes simply from body weight and gravity, so even users with limited strength, dexterity, or mobility can unlock its benefits. It can be used while lying down or sitting in a high-backed chair (like an office chair, a plane seat, or the armchair in your living room!).
How do I use Dr. Berg’s Massage Tool?
I recommend starting your routine by stimulating the base of the skull and the neck. Simply rest your read with the plastic prongs touching your neck, and allow the weight of your head to push the device into your muscles This will relieve much of the tension that builds up in the body, particularly the kind that plagues many people who work at a desk during the day. An enormous amount of tension and stress is held in the neck and shoulders, and it is important to eliminate that before bed so as to achieve restful sleep. Using my massage tool in this area gets your foot off the gas pedal, so to speak.
Follow that by stimulating the abdomen, to the left and right of the navel all the way up to the ribcage. This is the location of the adrenal glands, and stimulating the area will induce a relaxed state. Think of this part of the routine as applying the brakes. Lying on your back, you can rest your hands and forearms on the device to apply gentle pressure to the prongs.
You might be surprised to learn that stimulating these areas of your body as described only takes a few minutes, and in that small amount of time, you can guarantee yourself better sleep, and the cascade of benefits that follow. It’s a simple habit to integrate into your routine at bedtime or during small breaks throughout the day. If you feel overwhelmed and do not know where to start, start by using my massage tool for just a few minutes a day.
More detailed instructions on using my massage tool can be found in my instructional YouTube videos and a downloadable PDF, as well as my instructional DVD.
*Any comments on our blog or websites relating to weight loss results may or may not be typical and your results will vary depending on your diet and exercise habits.