Relaxation for Health
by Shirley Archer, JD, MA
Mind-body fitness pros who are trained in relaxation techniques may want to teach clients these skills as part of a comprehensive wellness strategy. Stress impacts both physical and mental well-being. Excess stress can be a causal factor in certain health issues, or it can worsen conditions that are already present. Research findings support using relaxation techniques as part of an overall treatment for stress-related disorders.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine reports that relaxation techniques may help with the following disorders:
- heart disease and heart symptoms
- high blood pressure
- irritable bowel syndrome
Relaxation affects body and
mind. When we are physically relaxed, our heart rate is slower, our blood pressure is lower, we use less oxygen, and we experience lower levels of stress hormones. Mentally, we feel calm and more able to cope. This state is sometimes referred to as “rest and digest,” in contrast to “fight or flight.” Effective relaxation techniques include deep breathing, guided imagery, progressive relaxation, self-hypnosis, biofeed-back and autogenic training.
To learn more about the science that supports using relaxation techniques for stress, go to http://nccam.nih.gov/health/providers/digest/relaxation-science.htm?nav=cd
Fitness Journal, Volume 10, Issue 4
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