Sleep is vital to health, and disturbed sleep patterns need to be rectified as soon as possible. Exercise, a warm bath at bedtimes, flower remedies and mineral supplements with chamomile tea should help a lot, but see the chapter on insomnia for additional ideas if necessary. Everyone, whether stressed or not, should practise a relaxation technique daily. It can be a progressive muscle relaxation, autogenics, abdominal breathing or a biofeed-back technique. There are many books on the market which teach these techniques. Try out several methods and follow the one that suits you best.
Most people find the autogenic method very relaxing, and Dr Kay Kermani has published an excellent book on the subject. Very briefly the technique is as follows:
• lie down, take a deep breath and then roll your eyes to look at your third eye in the centre of your forehead, and then close them; instruct your arms and legs to go heavy and spend fifteen to twenty seconds on each limb in turn the instruction is my and (or leg) is getting heavier and heavier. Focus your entire attention on feeling and mentally seeing the instruction but dont force it. Do not allow your mind to stray elsewhere and if it does, gently bring it back td what you are saying to yourself;
• then continue the instruction to the buttocks, lower back, right up to the shoulders and neck before relaxing the stomach, chest and face;
• next, instruct all four limbs to become warm my arm is getting warmer and warmer
• and then, cool the forehead, which refreshes the mind;
• finally, lie still and enjoy the feeling of relaxation, while mentally saying I am completely relaxed and at peace With myself.
The whole process takes fifteen to twenty minutes, and for those who cant get off to sleep this works very well. For those who go to sleep easily, relaxation techniques are better done during the daytime. Everyone to whom I have taught this technique has felt immediate benefit, and I have noticed that the rate of breathing and the pulse always becomes slow and regular.
Regular massage to free knotted muscles is very beneficial, and if essential oils are used at the same time the effect is even greater. Touch is comforting and relaxing in its own right so make the time for a weekly massage.