Sometimes I've wished that, like a computer, whenever I got too tired to keep going I could just hit a REBOOT button, shutdown for a few seconds and then return to life good as new.
Unfortunately for me (and the rest of humanity) the human body doesn't come equipped with a REBOOT button. Our natural way to reboot and restart our systems is through sleep, but many of us are not very good at that either. According to the Sleep Health Foundation, between 35 - 45% percent of Australian adults aged 18+ have poor sleep patterns, while the Re-Awakening the Nation report found that a full 9% of Australians (1.5 million people) have a diagnosed sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, insomnia and restless leg syndrome.
Not great when you consider that sleep is vital for our continuing good health and that too little sleep leads to fatigue, irritability and physical complaints (such as gut issues, headaches and slower reaction times). Not getting enough sleep also impacts our productivity and can severely impact our mental health. In purely economic terms, sleep disorders cost Australia $5 billion a year in 'health care and indirect costs' while the personal costs and the reduction of quality of life for those experiencing sleep disorders can exceed $31 billion per year!
Aside from the physical cost, that's a sh*tload of money lost to lack of sleep, and it cannot be a coincidence that mental health complaints in Australia have climbed almost in tandem with our lack of sleep. We are not only making but literally waking ourselves sick!
So, what can we do?
The honest answer is there's no easy fix. Today's world is a highly-charged, super-busy place where our minds are constantly stimulated and we push our bodies to their limits and back again. After all, if it were as simple as getting more sleep, everyone would be doing it. Technology raced ahead of our understanding of its effects on the human body and it is only now that we are learning about the effects of things such as blue light, endless notifications and social media.
None of these things are necessarily bad (with, perhaps, the exception of blue light over-exposure), but they have changed the way we live and connect and they are super addictive and hard to switch off from. Disrupted sleep is just one consequence of living in a hyper-connected, hyper-technical world.
Enter Alchemy Cryo and the Reboot Pod.
Alchemy Cryo, in South Yarra, Victoria, is my go-to recovery spot and, seriously, one of my favourite places to be. I've done cryo (extreme cold) therapy several times and have also spent several blissful, relaxing hours in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber for a few sessions of mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
The Reboot pods are a new addition to Alchemy's repertoire of recovery and I've been dying to try them out since they were launched in July. I had planned to go last weekend, but an unexpected medical emergency followed by an overnight stay in hospital put paid to that plan, so I rescheduled for this afternoon instead.
Alchemy's Reboot Pods are a 'private pod - a peaceful oasis, ergonomically designed for a fully immersive rest experience.' The lounge reclines back to 180 degrees and the pod closes over you, encasing you a warm, dark (but still very roomy) bubble of bliss. The pods are equipped with BrainTap headsets, which combine 'a soothing matrix of relaxing sound, music, spoken word and light frequency' which helps to guide your mind through the various stages of brain activity to induce deep relaxation of the conscious mind and stimulation of the unconscious mind. Having had lots of experience with meditation and also studying my course, I was excited to try out BrainTap and looking forward to something different, and it was certainly a unique experience.
In the meditations I have done in the past and those I am creating now within my course, it has been about relaxation, about lingering in the places were create, or about focus and insight. I did an Enchanted Forest visualisation with BrainTap and there was no time for lingering, however the entire experience was incredibly relaxing without the need to slowly walk through all the stages. Also during the visualisation, along with the guided visualisation relaxing my conscious mind, there was a second voice, sometimes overlapping and sometimes not, which was stimulating my unconscious mind. I can't remember specifically what it said or what it was instructing me do it, in fact, my clearest memory of what that particular voice was saying was 'You don't have to pay attention for this to be effective'. I certainly felt like my subconscious was stimulated and I'm interested to see if I have any interesting dreams or symbols that rise in my meditations over the next few days.
But it isn't just BrainTap that makes the Reboot so refreshing. They pods also use Normatec Recovery Boots, which provide a deep pressure massage from toe to thigh and compression therapy, which assists with lymphatic drainage and muscle recovery. The boots have several different settings depending on what pressure you enjoy and mimic your natural biology, using a combination of dynamic pulsing, static pressure and compression release, they help pump lactic acid out of the body faster and soothe aching muscles. I can personally attest to their effectiveness, as I had very, very sore legs yesterday after some intense pole training. I had a shower and rubbed doTERRA Ice Blue Rub all over my muscles (I love that stuff, it's like cryo therapy in a bottle!) but they were still pretty sore when I went to bed last night. I had some lingering DOMS this morning, but the lymphatic massage from the compression boots was absolute heaven and my legs feel better than ever before with no pain or tightness in them.
And the best thing about the Reboot at Alchemy Cryo?
You get all these wonderful benefits - a full mind and body relaxation, compression therapy, light and sound therapy, and your choice of a deep meditation experience - all in thirty minutes!
In a world that doesn't want to stop, where time is precious and stopping is considered 'a waste', it is a radical act to say 'No!' to the constant demands of the world and tune in to what your body needs and desires.
So, if you're not getting enough sleep, if you feel as if you're a walking zombie or just going through the motions in a haze, I would highly recommend booking in a Reboot at Alchemy Cryo. Consult your health professional if you have any prior or ongoing issues, but the team at Alchemy know their stuff and they were ensure your session is safe, relaxing and enjoyable.
See you in my favourite recovery spot and ultimate happy place!
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Me With No Apologies.