Health & Beauty

Weighted Blanket

Do you have insomnia, anxiety, depression??  Besides taking antidepressant, talking to an therapist, you can also try hypnotherapy and sound therapy, doing yoga and meditation, taking supplements and herbal teas.  Moreover, the newest trend is using the weighted blanket.

Weighted blankets are usually filled with plastic pellets or glass beads to add weight, ranging from about 4 to 25 pounds. You pick the heaviness of the blanket based on your own weight.

A study from 2015 found that after 32 adults used a 30-pound blanket, 63% reported lower anxiety and 78% preferred the weighted blanket to calm down.

Weighted blankets offer deep pressure stimulation, a form of touch pressure that feels like a firm hug, a massage, or swaddling. While research on weighted blankets is sparse, deep pressure stimulation has been found to calm adults and children with anxiety, autism, and attention difficulties, researchers say.

While they’ve been gaining popularity recently, weighted blankets have been around for a few decades now in the occupational therapy field, where they’ve been used as aids for children on the autism spectrum. They’re even the basis for products such as Thundershirts, which help your pup stay calm during thunderstorms, fireworks shows or other anxiety-inducing events.

So, I was interested in give it a try myself to see if it could give me a better night sleep.

At first, I tried the My Calm Blanket since it keep popping up on my Facebook.  When they arrived, the box is kind of broken where they didn’t taped since the box is not strong/not thick enough to handle the weight. After I opened the box, inside is a simple plastic bag which is open with the blanket folded inside.  I got a bad feeling on this because the packaging feels cheap.

So I took the blanket out, get a closer look, it doesn’t seems well made.  The size is not long enough (48×72), the stitches are wider than I expected, the inner fabric is kind of thin plus the string tie distance between inner blanket and outer blanket are also wider (every 4 blocks) than I would like; therefore, it won’t stay flat, in one place when you move around.  Overall, I am NOT happy with this one so I contacted the company one day after I have received the product for a refund.

The customer told me I am responsible for the return shipping as it stated on their website.  Fine.  Then he asks me to take picture of the box and packaging.  Fine. Then he said he has forward the photos to the warehouse for investigation.  WHAT??  Investigation for what?? They said, “It’s normal for their warehouse to inspect my return and it’s true to any company that has a refund policy.”

Ok.  I understand every companies will inspect each returned item; however, they usually inspect the items when it got mailed back to their warehouse and then inspect it.  This is my first time got asked to take photos of the box and the item and email it back to them for inspection.  Something is really wrong here because it has been a week since my first email request the return and still haven’t get my return label (by the way, I need to pay for the return shipping for this 15 lb blanket).

I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS “My Calm Blanket” COMPANY.

7/25 Update: I have requested a return on 6/28 and today is 7/25 and I am still waiting for a return label. Can’t believe this is a San Francisco company.

The second one I tried is Quility from Amazon.  I like this one way better.  The packaging is way more professional, the size is longer (48×78), how they sew the inner fabric’s edge is way nicer, the inner fabric is thicker or stiffer, they use bottom instead of string tie, and the distance between inner blanket and outer blanket are smaller (every two blocks) which really help to keep the blanket stay together after moving around.  The outer blanket is very soft and thick.

It does took me a few nights to get used to it and it does make me feel like a swaddle baby been held in the arm.

There are many different brands out there which I can’t try them all for a comparison.  However, just from the two brands I have tried, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the Quility from Amazon.  It also got over 600 positive reviews too.

Health & Beauty, Hypnotherapy, Spiritual Enrichment

Breethe – Guided Meditation App

Do you have a favorite guided meditation app on your phone?  I have tried a few such as Headspace, Calm, RelaxMelodies, etc, and my favorite is this one, Breethe.  I started with their free version which only give you a taste of it.  I liked it enough and wanted more so I paid in order to unlock all content with a Premium membership (I choose the 2 year $120 plan)

你有最愛的靜坐冥想的App嗎? 我自己試用過幾個 – Headspace, Calm, RelaxMelodies, 而我的最愛是Breethe. 我一開始是先試用它免費版本, 當然選擇有限, 所以我後來就改用付費版本, 果然差很多.

Plans:  付費方式有月付, 年付, 或一次付二年.
Premium membership unlocks all content and features for the duration of the subscription.
Monthly: US$ 12.5 per month & Yearly: US$ 89.95
Monthly and Annual subscriptions automatically renew at the rate secured at the time of purchase unless auto-renew is turned off at least 24-hours before the end of the current period. Auto-renewal can be turned off easily at any time by selecting Manage Subscriptions in the user’s Account Settings after purchase.
2 year: US$ 119.95 does not auto renew.

Prices in USD may vary due to exchange rates. Payment charged to iTunes Account at confirmation of purchase. For more info, consult https://www.omgmeditate.com/terms-and-conditions/

Inside of the Life Situations, it has Morning, Night, Pressed for Time, On the Go, Breethers, Relationships, Happiness, Life, Personal Growth, Health & Wellness, Workplace, Performance & Success, Stress & Anxiety, Spiritual, Relaxation, total of 15 sessions.  From Wake up with Intention/Gratitude/Energy/Confident, to Transition to Sleep Meditation, Dealing with Confrontation, Loving Yourself, Finding the Ideal Job, Coping with Grief, Managing PMS, Weight Loss, Master your Memory, etc.

付費版本的內容真的很豐富, 包羅萬象, 而且時間有長有短, 很方便.

You can play this Youtube to get a sense of the voice, the speed, and the content.  I really like the woman’s voice (her name is Lynne Goldberg).  I listen to the night time meditation to fall asleep every night.

你可以試試這個Youtube版本感受一下. 我每天晚上都要聽入睡冥想版本的才睡得著.

另外下面這個也不錯.

Healing Arts, Health & Beauty

非主流的另類療法 – 順勢療法, 印度草藥, 英國花精

女友Min得知我從台灣回來後就無法睡覺, 沒有食慾, 體力差加上情緒低落到不行, 在午餐聚會那天帶了一包印度人蔘Ashwagandha Roots和Oat Straw給我, 要我分開嘗試泡茶當水喝看看, 說會有幫助. 我先試了印度人蔘, 連喝三天, 還真的讓我的情緒平穩許多, 也開始有點食慾和體力.  我後來是上網買罐裝膠囊, 每天早餐後吞二顆, 覺得很有幫助, 所以後來只要知道朋友也有情緒上或睡眠上的困擾時, 也會介紹給朋友試試.

上網查了一下印度人蔘, WebMD上是說 In Ayurvedic, Indian, and Unani medicine, ashwagandha is described as “Indian ginseng.” Ashwagandha is also used in traditional African medicine for a variety of ailments. Ashwagandha is a plant. The root and berry are used to make medicine that has a lot of uses but there isn’t enough information to judge whether it is effective for any of them.

Ashwagandha is used for arthritis, anxiety, trouble sleeping (insomnia), tumors, tuberculosis, asthma, a skin condition marked by white patchiness (leukoderma), bronchitis, backache, fibromyalgia, menstrual problems, hiccups, and chronic liver disease.

Ashwagandha is also used as an “adaptogen” to help the body cope with daily stress, and as a general tonic. Some people also use ashwagandha for improving thinking ability, decreasing pain and swelling (inflammation), and preventing the effects of aging. It is also used for fertility problems in men and women and also to increase sexual desire.

Ashwagandha contains chemicals that might help calm the brain, reduce swelling (inflammation), lower blood pressure, and alter the immune system.

Ashwagandha is applied to the skin for treating wounds, backache, and one-sided paralysis (hemiplegia).

我覺得超神奇的, 才知道Min在過去一年多的身體也欠安, 開始進行她自己在非主流療法上的研究, 她後來使用Homeopathy (順勢療法) , 覺得很有幫助, 所以也推薦我去看.

我上網查了之後才知道這療法很受歐洲人的歡迎.

順勢療法Homeopathy)為一種替代療法,是1796年由山姆·赫尼曼按其以同治同理論所創。順勢醫學包含兩項相當有系統性的方法,一為毒物學,另一為病案整理。前者即在尋找一種天然藥物並在小劑量的使用下,能產生與病人相似之包括身體、精神、和情緒的症狀。後者即是透過醫生耐心的溝通並探討出病人病發過程中所經驗之包括身體、精神、和情緒等之全部症狀。因此,傳統的順勢療法植基於下列三個主要原則:

一, 相似法則:一種病,能用一種可在健康人身上誘導出與那些病人相似症狀的藥物治癒。因此,醫生就必須很耐心且很有技巧地對病人做一冗長的問診,以釐清病人發病之症狀及前後次序,然後醫生方能決定何種藥物最能匹配該病人和對症下藥。

二, 專一性藥物法則:對病人最佳的處方,應根據個別差異,包括病人之全部症狀之本質(包括精神、情緒和身體等)及病人對該藥物反應而決定。

三,最小劑量法則:行順勢療法的醫生使用最小劑量的藥物,以幾乎測不到為原則,並觀察藥物所能產生的藥效。發現順勢療法用藥物可在連續稀釋後,只要在其間搖晃即可增強其藥效。一般藥物是使用30至200倍稀少劑量。由此觀之,順勢醫學不在治療一個症狀或是一種疾病,它是將病人予以”整體”(包括精神、情緒、和身體等)的考慮,並且要充分的了解病人之背景、遺傳病史、外表氣質、和易感因子等,經綜合判斷,然後再給予最適宜的藥物治療,因此順勢醫學又被稱之為”完全醫學(全方位、整體)”,而順勢法則被稱之為”整體療法”。

印度政府認可順勢療法為國家醫藥系統; 於印度施順勢療法者,須有相關認可學位,並且於邦內順勢中央登記處作登記,印度在政府開設的醫療院所會和把順勢療劑和西藥一起開給病人。

在荷蘭有40%的全科醫師會開順勢療法的處方,在英國有42%的全科醫生會轉診病人給順勢療法的醫生。在法國(1965年),美國(1938年),比利時(1999年),保加利亞(2005年),德國(1978年),匈牙利(1997年),拉托維亞(1997年),葡萄牙(2003年),羅馬尼亞(1981年),斯洛維尼亞(2007年)和英國(1950年)等國的法律已認可順勢療法是一個獨特的醫療方式。

儘管遭科學界否定,但順勢療法卻在歐洲廣受人民使用。60%的德國人、49%的比利時人、40%的法國人、8.2%的瑞士人曾使用順勢療法。顺势療法亦是法國、英國、丹麥、盧森堡、比利時和瑞士等國列入國家健保給付的一種治療方式。據世界衛生組織統計,國民生產總值高於一萬五千美元的國家中,此為最受歡迎的替代醫學療法(針灸緊隨其後,位列第二),歐盟及美國在法規上列為藥物管理,屬政府認可的替代醫療的一環。

Min介紹我去看她的順勢療法師 Meenakshi Bhargava, 首次問診大概花了一個半小時, 問身體上, 情緒上, 飲食上, 作息上的各項問題, 還要釐清先後順序, 對生活造成的影響, 事件造成的感受, 等等. 跟一般西醫, 甚至中醫都不太一樣. 後來給了我二小瓶, 二種不同大小的白色小糖球, 吃法不一, 每次把糖球含在舌下, 15分鐘內不喝水, 希望藥效能在身體裡面久一點, 首次看診給二週份的藥, 然後複診, 醫生會問你的狀況, 看藥物有沒有效 (這次回診免費), 如果無效, 就換藥, 如果有效就再給你四週或更久一點的藥.

我覺得順勢療法很特別, 因為我完全不知道是怎麼運作的, 因為跟西醫或中醫不同, 但是實際上的確改善了許多我原本有的困擾, 而且沒有西醫的副作用, 身體上完全沒負擔的感覺.  我覺得美國醫療保險跟西藥的連結太深, 不像歐洲國家對非主流的醫療的態度來的開放, 這是人民的損失啊.

相關閱讀: 揭開順勢療法的神秘面紗,

另一位女友Vivian則介紹我用英國花精, 台灣有出幾本相關的書籍, 我自己沒用過, 但後來知道我台灣的一些朋友有用過也覺得有效, 我因為目前以順勢療法的小糖球為主, 就暫時沒有試英國花精(Amazon上有賣), 但還是和大家分享.

單純希望大家都身體健康, 可能是年紀漸長, 加上這幾年經歷過一些人生上的重大事件, 讓我重新看待自己在生活上的一切, 到底哪些才是最重要的東西.  而健康, 真的很重要, 大家要多照顧自己的身體啊!

Healing Arts, Health & Beauty

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT aka Tapping)

今天在臉書上看到The Tapping Solution Foundation貼的一個有關讓學生學習Tapping的好處, 可以幫助他們放鬆, 集中注意力, 減少霸凌.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FTappingSolutionFoundation%2Fvideos%2F786950801494963%2F&show_text=0&width=476

Gary Craig 從史丹佛電機工程畢業, 以助人開發潛能為職, 他透過一位針灸師了解到平衡身體能量對人的心理狀態有很重要的正面作用後, 1996年開發出Emotional Freedom Techniques 情緒釋放治療 ( EFT ) 這套以輕拍臉部上及身體某些特定穴位, 同時以有系統的特定語句來釋放各種的負面情緒, 是一個比較容易掌握、很有效、又能自主的釋放情緒的心靈治療工具。

我的諮詢師也曾經教我做Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT aka Tapping), 要我下次情緒又開始起伏震盪的時候做.

第一: 拿紙筆, 先將當下身體的感受寫下來, 然後用一到十的嚴重性, 寫下當時的數字.

第二: 然後將下面這段affirmation的句子寫好:

“Even though  [____________________________], I love and accept myself.”

例子:

“Even though I feel this anxiety, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I’m anxious about my interview, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I’m feeling this anxiety about my financial situation, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I panic when I think about ______, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I’m worried about how to approach my boss, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though I’m having trouble breathing, I deeply and completely accept myself.”

tapping-karate-chop-point.jpg

然後用四指敲打手掌側邊, 一邊敲打一邊說那段話, 重複三次.  It’s a set of affirmation, 括弧 [   ] 內的字是根據當時的問題所改變.

eft-tapping-points-diagram

第三: 接著用三指拍打頭頂的穴位, 手指點拍眉頭, 眼尾, 眼袋中心, 人中, 下顎, 鎖骨和腋下, 每拍一處就講一個負面情緒或感受, 連續做二到三次.

第四: 再感覺一下做完後的感受, 用一到十的嚴重性, 寫下做完後的數字.  看看有沒有減緩, 如果沒有, 可以繼續做到感受降低為止.

 

Fitness, Health & Beauty, Spiritual Enrichment

Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra

(上圖取自Visit Vortex)

Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra 是我最喜歡的二種瑜伽, 他們的共同特點是, 姿勢不多且簡單 (不用倒立, 折腿, 或手撐身體騰空之類的), 步調緩慢, 非常放鬆, 讓你的身心得到深層的休息, 從小孩到老人都可以做的瑜伽, 經常失眠, 壓力很大, 心靜不下來的人, 都可以從中得到幫助, 而且在家就可以做, 因為它需要的工具不多. 每次去上課, 都覺得那個環境好舒服, 讓我處在半夢半醒之間, 讓人不知不覺就入睡!

Restorative Yoga

If you’re longing for a relaxing getaway, then you should totally choose a Restorative yoga retreat! This type of yoga will not only stretch your body, but it will also still your mind and improve your nervous system. Asanas are slow-paced and more focused, and the whole experience is so soothing it simply guarantees total relaxation! A restorative yoga sequence typically involves only five or six poses, supported by props that allow you to completely relax and rest. Held for 5 minutes or more, restorative poses include light twists, seated forward folds, and gentle backbends. Most restorative practices are based on the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar.

10 Benefits of Restorative Yoga

Yoga Nidra

Deep Relaxation rejuvenates and energizes the entire body.  It stimulates the body’s natural healing abilities and helps to normalize the circulatory system’s function.  Relaxation also dispels tension and fatigue in the physical body and relieves depression, anxiety, headaches, and cravings.  In accordance to Yogic philosophy as well as modern psychology there are three basic types of tension (muscular, emotional, and mental) that are responsible for all agonies of modern life. Yoga Nidra is a powerful technique in which you learn to consciously relax. It is a systematic method of inducing complete physical, mental, and emotional relaxation. In Yoga Nidra, we reach the state of deep relaxation by turning inwards, away from outer experiences. During practice of Yoga Nidra (Yogic Sleep), one appears to be asleep, but the consciousness is functioning at a deeper level and for this reason Yoga Nidra is often referred to as deep relaxation with inner awareness.

5 Benefits of Yoga Nidra

Why “Yogic Sleep” is bring CEOs to the mat

灣區有開這二種瑜珈課的地方不是很多, 這二款瑜伽比較Therapeutic, 跟其他瑜伽比較像運動不同, 也許因為大家喜歡步調快速一點, 或者姿勢比較具挑戰性, 或是要流汗之類的吧.

East West Yoga in Cupertino
Yoga of Los Altos
Breathe Together in Los Gatos
Willow Glen Yoga in San Jose
Live Lotus in San Jose
World Yoga in Milpitas
Downtown Yoga Shala in San Jose

以上幾家Studios有開Restorative Yoga Classes, 而Mountain View’s California Yoga Center有開Yoga Nidra和Restorative Yoga.