When I’m curious about something, I deep dive all the way into it.
When I was 16 years old and first discovered the self-help, sex, and relationships sections of my favourite book store, I consumed hundreds of books within the first two years.
When I found out that it was possible to make a living by building an online business that helped millions of people across the world, I feverishly dove into the literature and started writing hundreds of blog posts.
When I found out that you could put on muscle rapidly, I hired a personal trainer, started working out five days a week, ate 5,000 calories a day, and put on 25 pounds of largely lean muscle mass over a six month period (side note: I’m doing that again right now – more on this soon!).
More recently, I went through a challenging year in my life during which I began to want to understand stress, anxiety, and depression more intimately. After pouring through countless books, video courses, product recommendations from friends, and various coaches and therapists, I found the healing modalities that worked the best for me.
Of all of the things that moved the needle for me in my progress, the following five are some of the more unique (read: fringe) activities that I did to overcome my stress, and to begin to thrive again.
Here they are, in no particular order.
1. Inversion table
An inversion table is a device that allows you to easily hang upside down for extended periods of time. I use this bad-boy for at least three minutes per day and I absolutely love it.
The benefits are plentiful. Inversion tables relieve back pain, realign your spine, rehydrate your discs, reduce nerve pressure, increase flexibility, relax tense muscles, improve sleep quality, and reduce stress. In essence, they create the necessary space in your back for your body to realign itself properly.
Personally, I started using my inversion table because of upper, lower, mid-back, and neck pain. I experienced a neck injury late last year which didn’t bother me very much for a few months, but lifestyle stress ended up compounding my pain until I couldn’t ignore it any longer. I started hanging upside down on a daily basis (first thing in the morning, upon waking, for 3-10 minutes) and my neck and back pain completely alleviated itself in under a week.
The particular model that I picked up wasn’t the cheapest thing ever ($300 on Amazon, $480 in the store that was a few blocks away from my house) but when I look at it as an investment, it’s ridiculously inexpensive. Realistically speaking, I’ve easily spent over $1,000 on chiropractic adjustments and osteopaths for my neck and back within the last year, and ever since I’ve started inverting on a regular basis I haven’t felt the need to go to a practitioner once. Therefore, the device pays for itself pretty quickly when you look at it from that angle.
It’s a great tool for chronic back pain sufferers as it creates space between your vertebrae and allows your body to realign itself more naturally. This is why I do it first thing in the morning… my back and neck often feel the most tight after I get out of bed, so by immediately creating space in my spinal column, I can undo the compression that my horizontal sleep put into my back.
I would especially recommend trying inversion therapy (you can choose from inversion tables, moon boots, or an inversion chair) if you have chronic neck or back pain, you regularly do heavy leg workouts, you work at a computer or in a seated position a lot, or if you want to feel like Batman for a few minutes on a daily basis. Da-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-inversion table!
(I would not recommend inversion tables for anyone who has a major ankle injury, is significantly overweight/obese – since the table utilizes the body’s natural traction that comes from your bodyweight, or anyone who suffers from vertigo/chronic inner ear issues.)
2. Vibration platform
(also known as vibration tables, vibe tables, vibration plates, or vibration machines) are exactly what they sound like… a platform that you stand on that makes you jiggle rapidly.
Why on earth would you do this? A few reasons…
– It’s a good workout
The vibration table forces you to engage a wide range of muscle fibres in order to stay on it. It isn’t violent like a bucking bronco in a country bar… but you definitely have to focus to remain standing like a semi-normal person. I found that by doing vibration training for ten minutes per day, I stood straighter, my legs felt stronger, and my core muscles were sore in a good way (from the gentle and persistent exercise).
– It improves postural stability
A four week study on posture in 2014 concluded that your postural stability in the frontal plane can be improved by long-term use of whole-body vibration training.
– Lymph drainage
Just like bouncing on a rebounder (tiny trampoline) has been proven to improve lymph drainage, so to does the vibration platform shake up your lymph nodes… except you don’t have to work for it as hard. Why walk, run, or bounce on a trampoline when the machine can jiggle your toxins free for you? Hooray for laziness and efficiency.
– It aids in digestion
I have no studies to link to on this one… this is purely personal/anecdotal… but doing ten minutes on a vibration table always makes me have to poop shortly afterwards. Maybe it’s jiggling my poop around in my intestines? Who knows! I just know that it works for me. This is also why I always do my vibration training first thing in the morning after my ten minutes on the inversion table.
You should try doing a few sessions on a vibration table if…
– You want a thorough core workout without having to leave your house (no gym membership required!)
– You want to add a layer of difficulty to your squats, push ups, or any other body weight exercises
– You want a machine to shake your poop loose in the mornings
– You want to stand on a machine that will help you make funny voices to make your partner/spouse/room mates laugh
– You want to shake the toxins out of your lymphatic system
(Warning: do NOT do vibration training if you have any ankle/knee/hip/joint injuries… since the table will make the joints rub at a rapid pace and likely be detrimental to your healing process.)
3. Super-dosing on liposomal vitamin C
This magical vitamin sludge has been my saviour these past six months.
Ever since I started taking it I’ve had more energy, my muscles have recovered from workouts more efficiently, and any time I’ve felt even remotely like I was coming down with a cold/flu, I would slam a few tablespoons of this tasty goop and I’d feel 100% better in the morning. So it’s basically magic in a bottle.
Most people haven’t heard of liposomal technology. So here’s the condensed version of what it is and why it works…
Liposomes are a delivery method to put high doses of encapsulated nutrients directly into your cells. In fact, your body absorbs up to nine times more of the nutrients via liposomal technology than it would by going through a ‘traditional’ pill, tablet, or powder.
If you took 10g of vitamin C in an oral pill/tablet, you would more likely than not have a big load of diarrhea spewing out of you in a few hours. If you took 10g of liposomal vitamin C, you’d be fine.
Put simply, liposomal technology is a ridiculously effective way to absorb a significantly higher percentage of nutrients into your body, as opposed to losing most of the nutrients through the digestion process as you would with most vitamin C supplements/pills/powders.
I would especially recommend taking a tablespoon of this stuff per day if you want to…
– Balance/boost your immune system
– Stop getting sick so often
– Have healthier skin
– Have more energy day to day
– Recover from workouts more efficiently
– Or if you’re currently battling Lyme’s disease/cancer and require high doses of vitamin C and don’t want to pay for expensive intravenous treatments
This is the brand that I trust the most that also has the best tasting product compared to other liposomal supplements companies. Full disclosure: I get a small referral fee for every bottle of this product that my readers pick up… but I have this set up because I had already been telling my readers about it in previous articles and the company approached me directly. If the product tasted awful or didn’t work, I wouldn’t tell you about it. I have benefited tremendously from it and want to pass along good things to you. The only downside is that they only currently ship their products within North America (I will update this when they expand to other continents).
4. Far infrared sauna
I have a weekly deep-dive self-care date that goes like this…
– Wake up early without interacting with any technology before noon
– Go to my favourite local float centre and spend at least 60 minutes in an infrared sauna
– Go in the float tank for an hour
This ritual is my ultimate nervous system reset button.
I’m a sensitive introvert who gets over stimulated by life easily. Being at a party with more than ten people? Extremely taxing. Ambulance driving by with its siren blaring? I’m the guy with his hands over his ears before it’s even within a city block of me. The most important factor that I look for in the restaurants that I go to? Quietness.
For me, doing the one-two punch of the float tank + infrared sauna is something that has kept me sane over the past few years since I started doing it on the regular.
These are the greatest benefits that you get from infrared saunas…
– Deeper detoxification than steam/wood/dry saunas
– Relief from chronic pain
– Improved circulation
– Heal faster from injuries
– Lower blood pressure
– Stress alleviation
– Clearer/healthier skin, alleviation of psoriasis, eczema, and other skin conditions
To be honest, I sometimes use my infrared sauna session as my minimum viable self-care in terms of replacing my exercise. Put another way, if I realize that I haven’t had a good sweat/workout within the previous seven days I’ll make sure I book in a session in an infrared sauna to act as a lazy-man’s workout. I sit in one place with my notepad in hand, and the room does the sweating for me… voila!
You should try out a session in an infrared sauna if you…
– Need help managing chronic pain
– Want to have a really good sweat without having to workout at all
– Are in need of a deep detox/stress purge
– Have a week where you really don’t feel like exercising, but still want to get the cellular restoration and various health benefits that come from a good workout
5. Super-dosing on liposomal curcumin
This is the other supplement that I take every morning.
These past few months, my most common breakfast is a table spoon of curcumin and a table spoon of vitamin C, with a litre of water. And then after an hour or two of writing/vibrating/hanging upside down, I’ll drink my mega-caloric and nutrient dense green smoothie.
Curcumin is a byproduct of turmeric. Turmeric/curcumin have a lot of health benefits. Most notably, curcumin is a proven anti-inflammatory.
If you suffer or have suffered from depression, cancer, joint pain/arthritis, ulcers, or chronic pain, then high dose curcumin is right up your alley.
Since I am more genetically prone to anxiety and depression than a lot of people, I take liposomal curcumin, omega 3 oil, and liquid vitamin d3 on a daily basis.
– Curcumin dramatically increases the antioxidant capacity of the body
– Improved brain function
– Decreased risk of anxiety and depression (recently proven to have links with inflammation)
– Supports healthy kidneys and liver
– Lowered risk of heart disease
– Decreased risk of arthritis, cancer, obesity, joint pain
– Neutralize damaging free radicals
– Proactively protect yourself against Alzheimer’s and related conditions
This product tastes even better than the liposomal vitamin C, and I noticed a dramatic improvement in my mental health/mood/cognitive functioning when I started taking this stuff on a daily basis.
TL;DR: High Leverage Stress Busting Techniques
Two orally ingested supplements (lipsomal vitamin C and liposomal curcumin), and three self-care practices (inversion table, vibration platform, infrared sauna) that you can do on a daily/weekly basis. Or you can do at least three of them if you don’t live within North America.
I swear by these… and it’s hard to imagine that I won’t be doing most if not all of these for years to come.
Try them out and let me know what you think!
Dedicated to your success,
Ps. If you enjoyed this post, you’ll probably also love reading:
– How To Manage Stress (Or How I Weathered My Shit Storm Of A Year)
– How To Overcome Depression Naturally
– The Greatest Health Investment You Could Ever Make
– 7 Daily Habits That Have Contributed To My Success
– 21 Of The Best Self Care Activities Ever
– How To Fully Release Difficult Emotions That Hold You Back