No need to get up: Maximise that laidback feeling
With salon treatments and spas closed for the foreseeable, a professional massage remains a memory. This trio of techniques will soothe the tension for some DIY downtime.
As we navigate working from home, makeshift offices or sofa set-ups mean tension and tech neck require our attention. Whether it’s harnessing the benefits of acupressure to alleviate stiffness in your back or using deep touch pressure to aid a deep sleep, a new relaxation technique can benefit both your business and leisure time. And these three will get to work as you focus on having a lie-down:
1Facial ice globes
These bright glass baubles have been trending on popping up on Instagram recently. While they can work wonders for your skin - reducing acne and puffiness, helping with rosacea and minimising the appearance of pores - facial ice globes also prove a salve for your body. Users report significantly reducing sinus headaches and relieving tension in the neck and shoulders, which is a welcome relief for working from home.
How do they work?
It’s all about cryotherapy, a method which uses sub-zero temperatures to cause vasoconstriction, when blood vessels shrink in size. The positives here include pain relief and muscle recovery. The body works overtime to boost blood circulation, sending nutrient-packed blood to the targeted areas. This helps reduce under-eye dark circles (dilated blood vessels and low collagen production are the main culprits for dark circles), inflammation, enlarged pores and puffiness. Roll the globes over your skin for that lymphatic drainage massage effect.
One to wishlist
Fraîcheur Paris is a vegan brand whose facial ice globes look like beauty’s answer to magic wands. After at least 20 minutes in the freezer, the glass baubles (filled with anti-freeze liquid) are ready to work their magic, as you lie down and relax. Roll over your skin for a massaging effect, and use on your neck, and forehead, temple and eye area to soothe sinus headaches and migraines. Cool off with them after a long day of work or use as a wake-up call to refresh you in the morning.
It might look like your typical duvet, but a weighted or ‘gravity’ blanket is designed to create a sense of calm and ease anxiety while you lay in bed. Filled with glass beads or plastic pellets, on average a weighted blanket is around 15lbs, and some are weighted down by their 100 per cent cotton-yarn content. Its effectiveness in helping those with insomnia or restlessness at bedtime is getting a lot of traction in lockdown 3.0, during which many of us have experienced disrupted sleeping patterns. They’re also a lifestyle choice, with celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian weighing in on the praise and Jennifer Lawrence adding one to her wedding-gift list.
How does it work?
The heavy blanket creates a sense of being swaddled, which offers a kind of pressure stimulation similar to deep touch or hug. Just like a hug, the physical connection created helps release the feelgood hormone oxytocin in the body. This helps slow the heart rate and reduce blood pressure, making your body feel calm and comforted. Weighted blankets are thought to help everything from insomnia, anxiety and restlessness, stress, arthritis and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
These weighted blankets use deep pressure therapy (to apply pressure equally across the body) to create a calming effect on the nervous system and, as a result, they’ve been found to ease anxiety, depression and help those with autism spectrum disorder. tourettes, restless leg syndrome and more.
Dr Adam Perlman at Mayo Clinic Florida reports that results of small clinical trials show: “People who use weighted blankets do report better sleep. They report less stress and anxiety, and there's even one small study where they reported less pain.” The weighted blanket stimulates compression so athletes also use them for recovery.
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Mela’s blankets are weighed down with tiny quartz glass pellets that mould to the shape of your body and come in 100% cotton or eucalyptus. When not busy giving you that being hugged vibe they’re busy winning awards.
While Indian mystics have literally used beds of nails, these foam mats are a more appealing way to try acupressure at home. The acupressure mats have hundreds of plastic spikes on them, on which you can sit, lie or even walk, for anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes on a daily basis. Roll it out to help relieve tension in your back and neck, ease aching muscles, increase circulation and help you drift off to sleep. It’s an obvious choice for anyone suffering from tech neck or increased stress.
How does it work?
The plastic spikes apply pressure to different pressure points (aka acupoints) in the body which correspond to various conditions. For example, if an acupoint is linked to stress, it can trigger the brain to lower the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. It’s a technique related to acupuncture but less intense (no needles) and more feasible for DIY at home.
With acupressure energy is diffused and blockages cleared in the body through touch and pressure. This pressure also increases relaxation and stimulates energy in the body. It can hurt a little when you first try them – a deep-tissue massage kind of ouch – so just cover it with a sheet until your body gets used to it or wear a thin T-shirt. It’s suggested to start your session with 10 minutes and build up to half an hour.
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Combining the ancient technique of acupressure with a cool Scandi design, Bed Of Nails’ mats have garnered a loyal following with fans including Kate Beckinsale and Elle Macpherson. There are more than 8,800 non-toxic plastic spikes arranged on these acupressure mats - more than most brands on the market - meaning more comfort, as fewer nails means more weight on each nail! The range includes an acupressure pillow to ease shoulders knotted with tension and a stiff neck.
The views expressed on these pages are the views of the cited experts only and do not necessarily represent the views of Wellness Edit. Please always get a second opinion where specific medical advice is required.
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