A growing number of health professionals believe that stress is one of the main causes of disease and illness. While its role has not been clearly defined in life-threatening ailments like certain cancers and degenerative diseases, many health professionals still include relaxation techniques as part of the preventive or treatment plans of their patients.
Aside from preventing diseases like hypertension, coronary heart disease, and certain cancers, relaxation techniques are also used to treat regular health problems like headache, fatigue, and body pain. These methods are non invasive and non chemical and are safer alternatives to pain killers and anti-inflammatory medicines.
Yoga comes in various styles, forms and intensities, the most common of which is known as hatha yoga. It involves poses and breathing exercises that promote relaxation and a feeling of wellness. Each pose affects specific body parts and muscles, stretching and strengthening them. On the other hand, you will also learn how to breathe properly and to mind your breathing. Breathing restores vital energy to your body. Moreover, when you focus on breathing, you divert your attention from stressful thoughts. You may learn how to practise yoga by joining yoga classes or by following an instructional video on yoga.
Breathing deeply from your abdomen brings in oxygen into your body. As you take in more oxygen, you diffuse tension in your body and you experience less shortness of breath. You can practise deep breathing any time and any where you need to calm down and relax. To do this, you should sit comfortably on a chair and breathe deeply through your nose. Breathe deeply and feel your abdomen rise as you inhale through your nose. Exhale through your mouth by pushing out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles. Continue by breathing in and out and minding how your stomach rises and falls as you breathe.
Treat yourself to a massage at the end of a long day and experience stress melt away as your muscles are gently kneaded. Your body reacts to stress by tightening the muscles in your upper body, usually around the neck and shoulders. When too much tension has already accumulated in your shoulders, the pain may radiate upwards causing headaches and migraine. You may feel sore around your shoulders as though you have lifted heavy objects with your arms. There are many types of massage therapies to choose from, the most common are shiatsu, Swedish and Thai massage. While getting a massage at a spa is best, you may also do self massage during a break at the office or at home. Simple techniques involve applying gentle pressure in circular motions on common stress points such as the scalp, the shoulder muscle and the nose bridge.
Originally practiced for thousands of years as a means to understand the mystical forces of life, meditation is widely used in modern living as a stress reduction method because it produces a deep state of relaxation and a sense of calm. A key component of meditation is mindfulness where you train your mind to focus on the present without analyzing the situation. The proper technique may be learned from a meditation practitioner or using a guided video or audio presentation.