With over 20 years of experience training in a range of modalities including: Swedish Massage, Sports Massage and Kineseology, amongst others, Miria Aman is fanatical about getting her clients and herself better sleep. Miria is a holistic massage therapist and works with people of all ages. She has a particular affinity for working with mothers. As a mother herself, she knows that the way we sleep and what influences our sleep habits is a complex process yet so important to our overall well-being.
So pull up your duvet and lets get Comfi, shall we?
1. Tell us a bit about how you got into this work?
I was born in Sumatra, Indonesia and was raised there until I was nine. Since then and for the past 40 years, I've lived in London, Sydney, and Auckland. I was brought up as an only child by my Sumatran mum. Her love of nature and everything natural influenced the way I live my life today. She was an old-school pharmacist, who would make medicine from scratch and knew a lot about good health and drugs. She taught me how to buy and check for fresh food, eat and drink well, and she was a big believer in afternoon naps. She also had a love of weekly massages, which led me to become the healer I am.
My mum was my first teacher, and often as a child around the age of five, she would ask me to feel and trace her headache. I would walk up and down her back while bracing my hand on a wall.
I’ve lived in Auckland for 15 years and have two children aged 11 and 13 and a furkid Monty, a spoodle. In my work I am passionate about helping people understand what they need to heal. Often people come to me as a last resort having tried to solve a problem without or with limited success. My approach is to view a person as a whole - physically, mentally, and spiritually. I ask for the whole story, not just what they have come to see me for. I enjoy complex challenges because there is always a way to make a difference in someone’s life.
2. You have a particular interest in Women’s Health, can you elaborate on this?
I work a lot with women of all ages - kids, teens, young adults, mothers, and grandmas, From pre-puberty to puberty, from mother to menopause. From getting pregnant to pregnancy to preparing for labour to post labour. From postpartum, difficult labour, difficult baby to recovery and repairing the physical baby body back to its best self. I love working with women, and for women it’s so rewarding. As women, especially mothers, including myself, there's always so much going on with us and we often think about self-care as the last thing on our list. Often I get a client who wants me to solve just one thing, but that one thing is just the tip of the iceberg among the many other things that are happening with them. I’m told “It's my shoulders. I carry tension in my shoulders.” But it's never just the shoulders, it's the whole body, you can’t just fix one part and expect everything else to fall into place. Everything is connected. We need to treat it as a whole.
3. Let’s talk mental health issues and bad quality sleep?
Getting enough sleep is really important to long term well-being. What’s ‘enough’ differs for everyone but generally, the body needs a minimum amount and quality of sleep to help it function long term. Most of us can get by with a night of bad sleep quality but not getting a good night's sleep - around 7/8 hours a night - over 2 plus days in a row is detrimental to your health. It’s like operating on a piece of machinery under the influence of some level of alcohol. The reason we spend a third of our lives sleeping is that it gives the physical body time to rest and repair.
There’s a lot of work to do each night across 11 systems - the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems. We include brain function here too. A huge part of sleeping involves resting the mind. If we don't get enough sleep it’s hard to concentrate. You might appear to be functioning normally but make silly mistakes, like adding salt instead of sugar to your tea or coffee. Without sufficient sleep and the chance to recuperate, the cumulative effect of small mistakes can mount up, putting stress on your body and mind, potentially leading to a breakdown.
4. Tell us a bit about your sleep routine and how you get a good night's rest
I got my Comfi Supernatural last year and it’s been a game changer! I sleep so well and wake up rested; most of all, I look forward to going to bed each night.
But before this I shower or take a bath with Epsom salts if I’ve had a particularly long day massaging. I do a quick facial routine, including massaging my face, temple, head, jaw and neck. I get into pj’s, make myself a camomile tea, and then do five-ten-minutes of stretches. I like to use a roller to stretch out my back and legs and arm and hands. I use stretching each night to reset my body and to work on any niggly bits that need attending to.
Once I get into my Comfi bed, I like to put one pillow underneath my knees and listen to a meditation to get to sleep. I use my mobile phone, but on flight mode, and the wifi is switched off till the next day. And then that’s it, I drift off.
You can find Miria @miriaaman_empoweringwellness on Instagram or at www.miriaaman.co.nz