Besides massage, you can try Relaxation Techniques in many other techniques that provide you with the tools to relax and rejuvenate. Each one helps to combat the adverse effects of prolonged stress, prevent illness, and promote health.
These techniques recognize the person as a whole being: body, mind, emotions, and spirit. A person’s emotional well-being is directly connected with physical health, and both are connected with the mind.
There are a wide variety of ways that you can learn to manage your stress. It is a good idea to study a few and find what works for you.
The following relaxation techniques can all be used in combination with a massage program to help maximize your own stress reduction.
Table of Contents
The practice of feng shui, the Chinese tradition of configuring space to harmonize with the spiritual forces that inhabit it, suggests that you should rid yourself of clutter. Whether you know it or not, clutter causes stress.
So, if you have large quantities of old magazines, clothes, home décor, and other possessions that you don’t need, don’t want, and keep thinking you might use one day, get rid of them!.
Have a yard sale or give your old good stuff to the Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, or any other such nonprofit agency.
If you’ve been holding on to broken items, thinking you will fix them someday, toss them out!
Once you begin to clear out the clutter, check in with yourself and see how you feel—great, right? If you clear out old things physically, you will clear out old things emotionally and mentally as well. Keep up the good work and happy clearing.”
The smell of oranges—ahhh—might remind you of summer days with your family, or some other terrific memory. Some smells make us feel happy and some make us feel sad, while some release stress.
Both aromatherapy and herbal teas have stress-releasing properties; essential oils often come from certain herbs that make healing teas.
If you are pregnant, have a medical condition, or exhibit a tendency toward allergic reactions, check with your medical practitioner as well as a clinical aromatherapist and a trained herbalist before you use any oils or herbs.
Never take essential oils internally.
Chamomile, which can be used in aromatherapy and as a tea, is a herb that reduces stress and promotes sleep. Rosemary, another herb that stimulates the nervous system, is produced as oil for aromatherapy and as for tea.
You are what you eat, and if you eat foods that are highly processed and low in nutritional value, you are stressing your body. Even certain “diets” can actually be bad for your body. Before you begin an eating plan, make sure that is exactly what you are doing—undertaking a plan that can become a lifestyle.
You must do more than just start a diet. There are organizations and numerous books on good nutrition that can offer you some basic guidelines so that you can devise your own nutritionally sound style of eating.”
The Perilous Junk Food Cycle
Junk food may be designed to taste good, but it gives a rush of energy that is followed by a resounding crash. To reclaim that energetic feeling, many junk food eaters continue to eat those foods, which are deficient in nutrients, and end up starving their bodies.”
Eating can be fun as well as sensible. Create a meal plan full of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as salads. Pick foods for the vibrant colours they possess and arrange the food artistically.
Choose organic foods, which are foods that are not treated with chemicals and hormones, substances that add to the stress level in your body.
Organic grains, fish, meats, and poultry can help you to sustain a healthy body and mind.
The principle concept of meditation is to release stress from your body by calming the central nervous system. As the central nervous system becomes calm, you learn to stay in the present moment, to be still with yourself in body, mind, and spirit.
Meditation calms the body and the mind so that you can resolve the issues that cause you to stress, be they anger, depression, pain, or fear.
There are many forms of meditation, and just as many books to tell you how to meditate.
A good place to start is with prayer, one of the oldest forms of meditation and positive affirmation.
Use prayers that are familiar to you and set aside a particular time of day to practice. The longer you practice, the calmer and happier you will feel.
You may move on from your familiar prayers to other meditations or stay with what you know; the important issue is to find what works for you and practice it.
Even with a busy schedule, you can set aside five to ten minutes a day to calm your mind.
Try early in the morning before you start your day or before you go to bed as the last part of your nighttime routine, whatever works. Be disciplined and you will benefit.
Exercise helps to decrease the effects of stress in a number of ways. For example, exercise:
- Builds muscle.
- Improves your circulation.
- Rids your body of congestion caused by toxins.
- Helps you to deal with stress because it encourages your nervous and endocrine systems to produce the chemicals that counteract stress.
Remember the fight-or-flight stress response? Exercise replicates the fighting/fleeing and tells your body that you have done your job and that your body can return to normal.
As you finish exercising, your body recognizes that the danger is over and the relaxation phase can begin.
Stick with Your Plan
The deal with stress management and relaxation techniques is that you have to make a commitment to follow through, which means you have to enjoy the technique. Find one (or many) that resonate with you.
If you don’t like what you find here, fine; design your own technique—take what you do like and devise something that works for you.
The key to sticking with an exercise program is finding one that fits your lifestyle. If you like being at home, pick something that you can do without leaving the house.
(There are many good exercise videos you can purchase or download from the Internet and follow along with at home, like yoga, Zumba, Pilates, or tai chi.) Of course, there are plenty of exercise classes, too, if you prefer a group setting.
A gym offers many options and most gyms have classes in many different types of exercise as well as personal trainers and massage therapists. And don’t forget walking, which is free.
Once you make a choice, try working with a program for one month before deciding either you love it or you want to try something different.
Mark dates on the calendar each week for one month, and schedule the days and times you will work out just like you schedule other appointments. Whatever you choose, be it one form or many, have fun, and if you can take a friend along, so much the better.
Massage is only one of many types of bodywork to choose from, and any form of bodywork is a de-stressor. See Chapter 18 to read more about reflexology, Reiki, lomilomi, and other forms of bodywork and specialized massage techniques.
Within the range of choices, you will find something to your liking. The chief issue to consider when choosing bodywork is what exactly appeals to you, because that will dictate what you are willing to try.
Massage is a stress management tool that creates a healthy reaction to life. The very act of relaxing enough to receive a massage begins the act of releasing stress, and massage in itself can be a form of meditation.
Caring and compassionate touch supports the mind, body, and spirit connection, creating an environment that is healthy and sympathetic.
The joy of living replaces the strain of life’s stress as you utilize some of the tools you have discovered. Enjoy every moment of being.”