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Relaxation Techniques for Mind, Health and Spirit

BY Cassie Ryan TIMEAugust 15, 2010 PRINT

Popular relaxation methods include exercise, massage, breathing techniques, yoga and Tai chi, meditation, and creative outlets such as art and music. (Photos.com)
Popular relaxation methods include exercise, massage, breathing techniques, yoga and Tai chi, meditation, and creative outlets such as art and music. (Photos.com)
Relaxation techniques are becoming a trending term on internet search engines as more and more people seek ways of coping with the stress of 21st century living.

A variety of methods are available to achieve the relaxation response—a state of deep rest that counteracts the negative effects of stress.

Healthguide.org, a non-profit support group, rules that stress floods your body with chemicals that prepares one for a “fight or flight” response.  But while this stress response is helpful in cases of emergency, when constantly activated it wears your body down.

The relaxation response brings your system back into balance, deepening your breathing, reducing stress hormones, slowing down your heart rate and blood pressure, and relaxing your muscles, the website states.

In addition to its calming physical effects, research shows that relaxation increases energy and focus, combats illness, relieves aches and pains, heightens problem-solving abilities, and boosts motivation.

Popular relaxation methods include exercise, massage, breathing techniques, yoga and Tai chi, meditation, and creative outlets such as art and music.

Finding Inner Peace

Meditation is a powerful way to combat stress. On its website, the Mayo Clinic describes meditation as an ancient practice that originally helped deepen one's understanding of the sacred and mystical forces of life.

The Mayo Clinic recommends meditation for stress reduction, especially as it is simple and inexpensive, does not require any special equipment, and can be practised almost anywhere.

Emotional benefits include fewer negative emotions, more self-awareness, being 'in the now', stress management skills, and a new perspective on dealing with stress.

{etRelate 37370}Research studies have suggested that meditation has health benefits and can help with managing certain conditions such as asthma, allergies, cancer, high blood pressure, depression and heart disease. Stress-related illnesses in particular may respond well to meditation.

For more information on doctors' observations of meditation's positive effects on patients, please visit http://www.doctorsontm.org/

Cassie Ryan
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