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When you come home from an overwhelming day at work, make a cup of hot tea, turn on some soothing music, and lay down on a bed of nails. Surprising as it may be, this ancient therapy is being revived with a sharp new look. For centuries yogis used the rusty nails as a tool for meditation and healing, while attracting spectators and supporters. Science is discovering that their antics were more than crowd pleasers - that a little pain can be good for the body and mind.
If a sharp object presses against your skin, it sends messages to the brain to release endorphins. This same substance is produced when you eat a piece of chocolate, and is responsible for relieving pain and increasing a sense of well-being. Oxytocin, another healing hormone, is released and works to relax and calm the nervous system, counteracting stress hormones. This wonder drug is released during breast-feeding, massage, and lovemaking – and has been found to improve memory, self-esteem, and inspire us to be more social.
When you lay down on the bed of nails, it stimulates nerve centers along the spine while increasing circulation and blood flow to organs in the body. The back, feet, and hands contain a high amount of pressure points that regulate the flow of prana or chi in the body. This flow of energy is vital to health and well being on multiple levels. Next time you need to relax, restore, and get your prana flowing, try one of these modernized versions of the infamous bed of nails.
PranaMat - These beautiful lotus flowers will surprise you with their sweet and sharp touch. Prana-mat is made eco-friendly from biodegradable materials and available in a mix of contemporary colors.
Multipressure Massage Tool - A tool created by Craig Saryan, a professional gymnastic instructor and physical therapist, this reflexology mat is versatile and allows for ease of use and travel. Craig developed this tool to be used for therapeutic massage and introduces it gently during his treatments at the Tao Healing Arts Center in Santa Monica.
Michael Blahut is a therapeutic body-worker, and yoga instructor living in Venice. breathebalanceheal.com