Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Ayurveda Answers Why a Heavy Blanket Helps Insomnia and Anxiety

Weighted blankets have been used for many years as a therapeutic tool for children with autism or suffering from a wide variety of sensory anxiety disorders. Occupational therapists find that heavy blankets are one of the most effective tools for relaxing and calming young people who are suffering from anxiety or having difficulty sleeping due to emotional stress. It has become a popular treatment for patients in hospitals, psychiatric wards and geriatric units.  The weighted blanket offers a gentle but firm pressure over a large area of the body's surface, triggering a calming response from the nervous system.  As an option that is both drug-free and completely without side effects, the weighted blanket is a wonderful health care option and its therapeutic effect has been demonstrated in recent scientific studies.

In Ayurveda there are three main body types but each of us has all the types but in varying amounts. One of the types is vata. Vata can be described as cold, light, irregular, dry, and always changing. On a positive personality level vata types are energetic, creative, and flexible. They also take initiative and are lively conversationalists. When unbalanced, they are prone to worry, anxiety and often suffer from insomnia. To balance vata, lifestyle choices that bring warmth, stability, and consistency are recommended.  This means heavier, fatty foods, massage with oils, a regular sleeping schedule and slow moving exercise.  Notice that the remedies to balance vata are things to counteract the lightness and instability of vata.

The weighted blanket is heavy, grounding and thereby balancing to the classic vata symptoms of anxiety and insomnia.  Modern science and Ayurveda are intersecting with their treatment.

Sometimes getting a little heavy is a good thing...

Stay healthy & well,
Lisa

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