To Swaddle or Not to Swaddle
You've likely heard me mention "swaddling" recently. It's part of our Feel Good winter self care packages; I've mentioned it in passing when it comes to managing stress and anxiety and it also may have popped up in our passing conversations. Basically, it's one of my new favorite things!
So, what exactly is swaddling? If you're a new parent or have ever taken care of a baby, you know the foundation of swaddling for sure! That baby burrito that helped your little one calm down, stay warm, feel safe and go to sleep - yep, that's exactly what we are talking about! Did you know that swaddling is beneficial to adults as well?
Christina McKenzie of Mossy Rock Massage explains the benefits of swaddling well. "Much like receiving the gentle, firm pressure of a hug, swaddling can help you feel at ease so that your body might relax and release the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone known to reduce blood pressure, slow the heart and provide a feeling of relaxation. In addition to chemical changes, swaddling can elicit a reduced arousal of the sympathetic nervous system, which may provide a general calming effect."
If you're suffering from seasonal affective disorder, swaddling can be an impactful element to add to your winter self care. Christina continues, "Some causative factors that may come into play with Seasonal Affective Disorder are low levels of serotonin and disrupted levels of melatonin brought about by seasonal changes in sunlight exposure. The gentle pressure provided by the swaddling blanket can trigger the release of serotonin which will reduce stress while improving mood. Linked with the production of serotonin is the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is known to promote sleep and regulate sleep cycle. Therefore, a swaddling session may serve to help create an overall condition of wellness."
If you want to find a cozy way to relax and unwind this winter, look into this practice. I know I will be managing my stress and general winter self care with swaddling and a few "Feel Goods!"