Benefits and effects
Based on osteopathy and craniosacral therapy,
Becalm Balls are designed to interrupt the body’s stress cycle so you may experience the benefits of absolute calm.
Becalm Balls help alleviate:
Watch the short video here :
are available from BIO-SIL – limited stock
Enquiries : please call 011 615-5504 or 011 616-6773 or mail
Becalm Balls help promote:
Based on osteopathy and craniosacral therapy, Becalm Balls are endorsed by health practitioners, athletes, business leaders and performers. In the past decade, Becalm Balls have helped over 10,000 people worldwide.
Becalm Balls enable you to experience instant relaxation that deepens and grows into a state of absolute calm.
They are designed to interrupt our stress cycle by triggering the body’s natural ability to bring it to a standstill. This is what is called a therapeutic ‘stillpoint’. When placed behind your head for just a few minutes, Becalm Balls bring you into ‘stillpoint’, allowing your body to repair and renew itself.
How Becalm Balls work
slack & relaxation
We notice the relaxing effect slack has upon stress when timelines get lengthened, or when we are offered some emotional slack. The same thing happens when receiving a hug, getting buried in the sand, climbing into a hammock, or swaddling an infant to settle them down. Becalm Balls provide a cradling slack at a particular area of the head where the slack-relaxation effect also takes place.
The stillpoint phenomenon – absolute calm
Becalm Balls are therapeutic because of their ability to bring about a ‘stillpoint’. When in ‘stillpoint’ our central nervous system and its fluid is brought from its usual state of alertness, into a state of calmness.
A stillpoint shuts off the body’s stress response, allowing the restorative system to take over. In this state of deep relaxation, the restorative system is able to soften muscle and tissue restrictions, helping to prevent the future onset of degenerative disease.
Relax and renew
When returning from the deep relaxation experienced during a stillpoint, our central nervous system essentially ‘turns back on’. As we come out of a stillpoint, there is a boost in the production and the movement of fluid bathing the central nervous system, which optimizes central nervous system functioning and overall vitality.
Effects of stress
The unseen culprit: chronic stress
The widespread and chronic nature of stress means that we’re often unable to recognize both its onset and the profound effects it has on our wellbeing. Work overload, injury, infection, disease, surgery and even the scramble to keep up with day-to-day living, are all major stressors.
When in this state, the body’s stress response system (the sympathetic nervous system) shifts into high gear. Blood flow to the organs involved in digestion become restricted, the immune system is weakened, natural sleep patterns are disrupted, and a general feeling of anxiety can take over.
The stress cycle self-perpetuates
When stress becomes chronic, it begins to feed itself – leaving no opportunity for the body’s restoration system (the parasympathetic nervous system) to take over when needed. Uncomfortable tensions or restrictions in our body tissues and muscles begin to develop as a result of this imbalance. At this stage, stress begins to affect our functioning: sleep, ease of mobility and overall health becomes compromised, paving the way for degenerative disease.
Stress & adrenals
Chronic stress also affects our energy and mood because of its relationship with our adrenal glands. Adrenal glands are two tiny pieces of tissue located right above each kidney. Their job is to produce and release, when appropriate, certain regulatory hormones and chemical messengers.
Adrenaline is manufactured in the interior of the adrenal gland. Cortisol, the other chemical related to the adrenal gland, is made in the exterior portion of the gland. Cortisol and adrenaline are released to help our ability to handle stress situations.
When the stress cycle is unable to ‘shut off’ however, the body overproduces these and other stress hormones, weakening our adrenal glands, further compromising our ability to handle stress. This frequently leads to impairment in the thyroid gland, causing a decline in energy levels and mood.
Stress & disease
There are numerous emotional and physical disorders that have been linked to stress including depression, anxiety, heart attacks, stroke, hypertension, immune system disturbances that increase susceptibility to infections, a host of viral linked disorders ranging from the common cold to certain cancers, as well as autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
In addition, stress can have direct effects on the skin (rashes, hives, atopic dermatitis, the gastrointestinal system (GERD, peptic ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis) and can contribute to insomnia and degenerative neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease.
New Self-Help Tool Can Alleviate Migraines, Anxiety and Chronic Pain
Vitality Magazine – June/July 2009
New self-help tool can alleviate migraines, anxiety, and chronic pain
Report by Philip Shepherd
Simple enough in appearance, Becalm Balls are actually a breakthrough technology that resulted from years of research and refinement. Robert Harris, a craniosacral practitioner and co-founder of the Cranial Therapy Centre, has been developing the balls since the mid-‘90s, when he called them The Stillpointer. In the course of his research, Harris made a major discovery: two spots at the back of the head, which when gently held, induce an instant and profound response of slack or ease — in the same way that a rope held under tension relaxes when the tension backs off. Harris compares that initial effect to the feeling that comes when you are cradled in a hammock, or when a tight deadline is suddenly put off by a week. He calls those two spots the slackening spots. When they are contacted lightly, the response creates ease not just in the body, but in the entire psyche. When they are cradled over a period of minutes, the response brings a profound relaxation to the complete nervous system.
The principle by which that kind of slack is induced in the body is based in osteopathy and craniosacral therapy. The specific slackening spots were discovered by Harris through years of teaching and therapeutic practice. He came to realize that if he could create a device that could reliably, comfortably and gently cradle those slackening spots, anyone would be able to achieve an immediate response of deepening calm. As his work with clients had demonstrated over years, that response is able to alleviate a wide range of symptoms – from migraines, anxiety and chronic pain, to a strengthening of the digestive and immune systems. In effect, such a device would empower anyone to help themselves towards a state of optimal health.
21st Century Stress Overload
To understand how Becalm Balls generate such profound benefits, it helps to understand the effect of stress on the body, and the way stress perpetuates itself in cycles. Whenever we experience stress, our sympathetic nervous system is activated (our fight or flight response), and our parasympathetic system is suppressed. The parasympathetic system is the system that enables the body to repair itself. If the effect of stress on the body comes and goes, the two systems can remain in balance. If the effect of stress lingers in the body, though, it creates a host of problems.
And chronic stress generates cycles that self-perpetuate. One cycle involves the nervous system: when we are under stress, we react more easily to stimuli; and the more reactive we are, the more stressed we become. Another cycle involves the large muscles running the length of the spine: when we are under stress, they are in a state of preparedness, slightly tensed, ready for action; but that tension puts pressure on nerve fibres that are part of our stress response system so that there is actually an increase in the signals generated by the sympathetic nervous system, which increases our tension, etc.
A third cycle is set off by the way stress tends to tighten the neck, pulling the head back: that puts pressure on the vagus nerve at the base of the skull, hampering the nerve’s ability to cancel the sympathetic response and restore the parasympathetic response. Many of us are so used to living within those self-perpetuating cycles that we have forgotten what it feels like to just turn them off.
As long as the sympathetic nervous system is active, the parasympathetic system is deprived of the resources it needs to function. That means the body can’t rebuild: the repairing of tissues is compromised, the digestion and absorption of nutrients is restricted, the elimination of toxins is slowed down, immune function is weakened and our ability to sleep is affected. To reverse that, the body’s stress response has to be taken off alert. But as we have seen under chronic conditions, that stress response becomes self-sustaining. It is that double bind that makes Harris’ discovery of the body’s slackening spots so important, and Becalm Balls such a powerful self-help tool.
How Becalm Balls Break the Stress Cycle
Using Becalm Balls could not be simpler. The first step is to adjust the width so they will contact the slackening spots at the back of your head. Then find a comfortable place to lie on your back, and place the balls under your head so that they are exactly opposite your eyes. You can feel that spot with your fingers, because if you draw them down the back of the skull you will find a ridge there — technically known as the superior nuchel line. It is in the hollow of that ridge that the balls are placed.
The balls are of the optimal size to gently cradle the head and activate the slackening of our stress response, and they are of a consistency that can maintain that response and allow its effect to carry the nervous system into a deep, deep reservoir of absolute calm. All stress cycles stand down, and the restorative power of the parasympathetics moves into full swing. In fact, many people have commented that when they get up off the balls, they feel calmer, refreshed and more energized – some even report an increased sense of self.
To spend even 10 minutes a day in the slackened state induced by Becalm Balls can have a profound effect on your well-being. Every time you interrupt a stress cycle, it takes a little longer to establish itself as the body gets better at restoring the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. When the two systems truly come into balance, you are in a state of optimal health. Once you learn how to locate your own slackening spots, you can use them to help free your body from pain, insomnia, anxiety or headaches, and at the same time help to restore the balance of its digestive and immune systems. The result is an increase in mental clarity, health and general vitality.
Robert Harris, along with partner Alix McLaughlin, own and operate the Cranial Therapy Centre in Toronto. Robert is committed to bringing the benefits of his discovery to as many people as possible. He teaches seminars at hospitals, clinics and offices, demonstrating the use of Becalm Balls.
Philip Shepherd’s upcoming book, “New Self, New World,” from North Atlantic Books will be released in the summer of 2010. Philip is affiliated with The Institute for Sacred Activism, in Chicago.
Check out this NEW blog post on Becalm Balls, by prolific, passionate and award winning US yoga blogger.
I’ve experimented with some Savasana helpers over the years — I’ve used blocks and bolsters to support my body, I’ve used acupressure mats (I love ‘em!), and sometimes I’ve used music (or sound, such as a gong or Tibetan Singing Bowl). Often, these things have added a little more aaaahhhhh to my Savasana (or should I say Savasanahhhhhhh?). My latest favorite addition to my Savasana time — becalm balls.
No, not Ben Wa Balls (that’s a whole other blog post for a blog on a different topic). It may sound like a gimmick, but I jumped at the chance to try these babies because I’m a fan of Craniosacral work and these nifty little cushiony balls were created by the co-founder and director of the Cranial Therapy Center in Toronto. Far from a gimmick, becalm balls are designed to interrupt the stress cycle by triggering the body’s natural ability to bring it to a standstill. Craniosacral therapists and osteopaths refer to this a stillpoint.
You simply place the becalm balls behind the head (at eye level), and they bring about a stillpoint in a matter of minutes. In about 10-15 minutes, you can notice positive effects such as:
- Relaxation, increased sense of gravity
- Reduced pain
- Settle stomach
- Reduced stress
- Slowed breath
- Calm mind, meditative ease
- Increased mental focus
- Renewed vitality
Granted, I was confident that the becalm balls would live up to expectation, yet I still found myself a bit shocked when I noticed an instant settling after positioning the balls under my head. I felt totally relaxed and I could feel the tension in my face/head/eyes easing. A few minutes later, it felt like my sinuses had magically drained. I was ready to wax poetic about my nifty little discovery on this blog, but I held back so that I could spend a few weeks with the becalm balls to make sure that I wasn’t experiencing some sort of beginner’s luck.
Suffice to say — I’m dropping into Savasana a few times a day so that I can use the becalm balls (hmmmm…I might have lost sight of the yoga, eh?). I think I’m addicted! I tend to hold tension in my jaw, and I’ve noticed quite an improvement since using the becalm balls. Now, I can’t imagine Savasana without them. They’ve turned standard Savasana into what feels like some sort of therapeutic treatment (without the exorbitant price).
Becalm balls are inexpensive (they retail for $30) and come with a handly little pouch so you can take them with you anywhere. The balls are made from a squishy material that offers both give and support and the design is simple — the balls are strung on a chord with plastic clips so you can adjust the balls to the perfect width. Positioning is easy thanks to the clear instructions provided by the manufacturer. The key is placement — rather than place them where we feel tension at the base of the skull, they go higher up and work by providing slack to the cranium through cradled support. Once you have the correct height, you use the width adjustment to create just the slightest bit of inward pressure.
Believe me — you’ll know when you get it right. You’ll feel it immediately.
The becalm Web site claims that the balls are useful for pain, stress, insomnia, anxiety, fibromyalgia, and headaches. I can’t vouch for all of those because I don’t suffer from many of those issues, but I can say that they produce a feeling of well-being and reduce tension quite effectively. The company, which is based in Canada, shipped the becalm balls quickly, and I got them in a matter of days. If you’d like to read more about using becalm balls in the practice of yoga, click here.
This fabulous invention gets the Diane seal of approval. I’ve recommended them to some friends, so I only thought it fair to recommend them to my readers. If you’re interested, you can find ordering information, FAQs and instructions at www.becalm.ca. They’ve added an extra AHHHHHH to my Savasana.
I can’t help but wonder if the Savasana drop-out rate would decline if becalm balls were used in yoga class…