Home > Exercise, Nutrition & Well Being > A Relaxation Technique You Can Do Anytime And Anywhere

A Relaxation Technique You Can Do Anytime And Anywhere

November 15, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Who hasn’t experienced a moment of stress before someone offers the advice, “ Take a deep breath?” Research shows that the benefits of taking deep breaths to reduce anxiety are just as effective as getting a massage. Seattle based Group Health Centre for Health Studies conducted a study of 68 people suffering from depression and anxiety. A generalized anxiety disorder is a condition involving excessive worrying that makes normal life difficult and more stressful.

Over a period of 3 months, the patients were given 1 of 3 treatments. One group had massage. The other two groups had relaxation therapy: breathing deeply while lying down, or thermotherapy: having their arms and legs wrapped up intermittently with heating pads and warm towels. All 3 therapies were given in a relaxing environment with soft lighting and quiet music. After receiving the first treatment, all the groups reported their anxiety had decreased by about 40%, and by 50% 3 months later at the end of the study.

Lead researcher, Dr Karen Sherman, said they were surprised to find that the benefits of massage were no greater than those of the same number of sessions of ‘thermotherapy’ or the deep breathing. The researchers in the study agreed that the goal of massage therapy is more than relaxing people and also involves reducing physical tension. Susan Findlay, spokesman for the General Council for Massage Therapies, said massage was not just about dealing with emotional issues and relaxation. “Massage therapists do corrective work with soft tissue such as muscles and tendons. They try to make these tissues work as well as possible,” she said.

Morning Relaxation by ~DREAM-PHOTOGRAFY on deviantART

What Are The Benefits Of Practicing Deep Breathing?
It does not cost anything
Since it can be done anywhere, it is a very simple exercise for reducing stress and an effective technique for leading a healthy lifestyle
Deep breathing releases endorphins, the body’s own painkillers, into the system. This can help relieve headaches, sleeplessness, backaches and other stress related aches and pains
Deep breathing helps to clear and focus the mind
Deep breathing strengthens weak abdominal and intestinal muscles

Studies have shown deep breathing benefits those who suffer from Asthma
In her book, “Jump Start Your Metabolism: How to Lose Weight by Changing the Way you Breathe”, author Pam Grout says shallow breathing impoverishes the cells of the body and slows metabolism. “Without enough oxygen, your metabolism automatically slows down,” says Grout. One of the ways exercise increases metabolism is by increasing the oxygen to the cells. Chronic stress, worry or anxiety can lead to quick, shallow breathing which, over time, can become a habit. Bringing conscious attention to our breathing, lengthening and deepening the drawing in of oxygen, nourishes every cell of our body and promotes relaxation. Prolonged exhalation helps get rid of stale air and toxins in our lungs.

A Simple Deep Breathing Exercise
To ease tension and give your health and energy a boost, begin by sitting or lying comfortably. Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose, counting to six. Hold breath while slowly counting to six. Exhale slowly through your mouth, slowly counting to eight. The key is to concentrate on counting while inhaling and exhaling. Feel you lungs fill up with precious oxygen. Feel your heart rate slow. By exhaling more breath than you inhale, you cleanse all the stale air held in your lungs. Repeating the exercise several times will produce a sense of relaxation. Assisted Living and Retirement Communities help seniors manage their stress levels by providing classes such as yoga, meditation and Tai Chi. Classes such as the ones mentioned help seniors lower their blood pressure, reduce anxiety, and maintain physical fitness. Other activities such as fish gazing and animal therapy also help promote the well being of elderly citizens and inadvertently reduce their stress levels.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for independent accommodations such as Assisted Living Facilities Los Angeles, Care Homes, Skilled Nursing Facilities, as well as a variety of Home Healthcare services nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

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