When Carina Tannenberg, 53, was diagnosed with breast cancer at 39, she decided there was no time for negativity, and instead, the former interior designer made a conscious decision to focus on what mattered most: her health.
This meant that alongside her chemotherapy and radiation sessions, Carina was visiting holistic experts for healing treatments. But she quickly became exhausted and struggled to keep up with all of the appointments.
"I kept running to acupuncture, massage and reiki appointments," Carina explained to HELLO! "And when you're not feeling well, having chemo and surgeries and all that radiation, you're exhausted as it is - you don't need another full-time job! You're supposed to relax and take it easy."
While running between all of these appointments, Carina's friend saw her struggling, so gave her an acupressure mat to help her de-stress and relax at home. "Having a mat covered in small plastic spikes to help treat sore and tight areas was quite intriguing," Carina explains. "But I thought it was quite painful as well and because I really wanted it to work and help me heal, I started to look into how I could improve it. So I decided to make my own version, but with more nails. Because if you think of it, if you were to stand on four nails, you have a lot of weight on each nail and it would be really painful. But if you stand on a thousand nails, you barely feel it."
So Carina developed her own mat while she was still going through her Cancer treatment and now almost 15 years, it is a successful online business and has become her full-time career.
"I created Bed of Nails because I knew acupuncture works - it's a thousand years old and we still use it for a reason. When you lay on those nails, you activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls your body's ability to relax, and takes you into an instant, deep relaxation. It also releases hormones like oxytocin and endorphins which help you feel very calm and happy. So actually it's great for anxiety and stress which I was suffering with at the time. It really helped me to focus on my wellbeing."
Carina now begins every day lying— bare skinned — on her mat for about 20 minutes. "It changes my perspective. My mood. I speak differently to people. I'm more present. I get more stuff done because I'm so much more clear in my head."
Carina also finishes off her day with a session on the mat. "I use it before bedtime and I sleep so much better. Acupuncture is about bringing balance back to your body, closing down your mind and just being in the moment. It's like rebooting a computer."
Carina found that surrounding herself in nature helps to keep her health and happiness in check as well. "Nature is really healing for me. I have to be around trees, or the ocean. It is so grounding and I recharge from that."
Discovering acupressure has helped Carina reflect on her illness from a more positive mindset. "I actually look back at that time with a lot of good feelings," Carina explains. "Of course, it was scary, but the diagnosis made me completely focus on my wellbeing and health, and I'm very grateful for that, because I learned so much. It's almost like I was reborn."