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Relaxation Therapies

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Depression, stress and mental fatigue are quite often our response to our present conflict between material pressures and spiritual aspirations. Sudden or constant stress can induce mental, physical and emotional disorders.

Research has shown that around 12 million adults see doctors for mental health problems each year. Most of these suffer from anxiety and depression, much of it is stress-related.

Disorders like dizzy spells, anxiety, tension, sleeplessness, nervousness, muscle cramps; chronic fatigue syndrome, hyperventilation or choking sensation, chest pain or pressure, headaches, ulcers, indigestion, constipation, IBS, migraines, palpitations, panic attacks, heart attack and coronary thrombosis and other chronic health problems can be a result of long term stress.
There are exceptionally effective holistic methods to tackle stress instead of the general prescribed drugs, which again cause the body stress due to their side effects. Some of the holistic methods are age-old techniques and some are new avatars of the modern world.

The Traditional Methods

The traditional methods are the oldest form of structured medicine, that is, a medicine that has an underlying philosophy and set of principles by which it is practiced. The principles and philos- ophy of Traditional Methods always deal with natural laws, because all life is subject to these natural laws and ill-health is usually due to an abnormal imbalance, either within an organism, or of the organism with its environment. Therefore Traditional Healers do not only work at correcting the internal imbalances through which disease can manifests in an individual, but also work at re-establish- ing an individual’s harmony with their environment and their relationship with the
“Sudden or constant stress can induce mental! physical and emotional disorders” Research has shown that around #$ million adults see doctors for mental health problems each year” Most of these suffer from anxiety and depression! much of it is stress%related”
natural cycles to which all life is subject. When there is harmony stress fades away.

Reflexology is a non-invasive treatment performed on the feet and sometimes on the hands. This holistic therapy uses manipulation with pressure of varying degrees. Reflexology focuses on areas of the feet that correspond with all body parts. The pressure applied during reflexology stimulates the movement of energy along the pathways, through the use of a specific finger and thumb massage technique. By re- balancing the body and emotions, reflexology is a countermeasure to stress and induces relaxation.
Yoga means “to unite.” It’s the holistic approach to all aspects of life: physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga views the person as a whole; as a unique combination of body, mind and soul, and its techniques maintain that body-mind-soul harmony. Its quiet, precise movements focus your mind less on your busy day and more on the moment as you move your body through poses that require balance and concentration. Yoga also offers many breathing skills for stress. These yogic breathing techniques are termed as ‘pranayama’. Yogic meditation has proved helpful in reducing stress and anxiety, lowering blood pressure, improving concentration and creativity besides bringing relief from stress-induced ailments.
The yoga postures (asana), breathing (pranayama), and medi- tation (dhyana) create increased body awareness, release of muscular tension and increased coordination between mind- and body. It helps in better management of stress and ensures an overall feeling of well being.

Massage is an ancient healing art, which works to calm and relax the body through which mental anxiety is lessened. Under stress muscles are over-worked, and the body shows many weakening symptoms such as soreness, stiffness, and even muscle spasms. Heightened stress responses accumulate lactic acid in the muscle and waste air inside the body.
Specific massage techniques, using hands, forearms, elbows, or even feet are applied to a patient’s body for loosening the muscles and to locate areas of tension and other soft-tissue problems.


Acupressure is the needle-less variation of the Chinese healing
system which believes that when accupoints or meridians or energy pathways become blocked or congested, a person experiences pains or discomfort on a physical level. On emotional or mental level one may become frustrated or irritable, vulnerable, desperate and indecisive about life.

In acupressure, practitioners use deep but gentle finger pressure on specific acupoints to release the blocked energy and to facilitate its smooth flow. In effect, this allows your body/mind to relax. As your body/mind relaxes, you experience less discomfort and stress in addition to an elevated sense of well being.

Acupressure is, perhaps, the most convenient as well as a skillful healing art for stress.
Acupuncture is based on the concept of maintaining balance and harmony within the body by facilitating the flow of life energy in it, so when chi/Qi (life energy) inside the body becomes stagnant and congested, all kinds of mental and physical illness follow. In order to restore chi distribution, needles are inserted into acupoints along the meridians of the body.
A large number of neurological and musculoskeletal disorders induced by stress can be successfully treated by acupuncture. The principle here is to clear the blocked energy in the muscles and nerve channels, as well as facilitating the flow of fresh energy in them. This ensures relaxation of muscle and mind, and relief from stress and tensions.
The New Age movement includes elements of older spiritual and religious traditions from both East and West, many of which have been melded with ideas from modern science, particularly psychology and ecology.
Sound therapy is a method of recharging the cortex of the brain and distributing the latent energy throughout the nervous system. This therapy employs sound in a rhythmic form to unscramble the stressed out nerves and brain, relaxing the mind and body. The effect of therapeutic sound upon a person is revitalising, harmonising and curative at almost every level of being. Sound therapy is one of the best techniques for relieving effects of stress.
SoundTherapy consists of listening to therapeutic sounds, for at least three hours a day to a total of 100 to 200 hours. The therapist decides the length of time depending on the condition of patients.
Certain sounds have telling effect upon the state of our brain, apart from specially created sounds,we can access and utilise the natural sounds all
around us. Nature has a vast repertoire of soothing and rhythmic sounds – sounds of ocean, breeze, rustling of leaves, bubbling sounds of a cascade and even the sound of silence can have a very soothing and anti-stress effect on a person.
Walking provides an excellent opportunity to recharge and invigorate your body with the inhalation of oxygen and release of tensions. Through long walks, important organs such as heart, lungs, digestive system, and muscles get thoroughly exercised, facilitating blood circulation.
Regular walking sessions can make you feel surer about you can improve your physical and mental discipline apart from keeping your body healthy. Walking
is a therapy with versatile benefits; it is especially effective for stress as in the course you release your blocked energy and negative feelings and thoughts.

Music, whether vocal or instrumental, basically sends out various forms of vibrating sound-energy to its surrounding. The sound of music, when coordinated with one’s inner vibration untangles the knotted and stressed out nerves, soothes the mind-body, and promotes well-being in us. People are generally attracted to the types of music appealing to their inherent body vibration. Some people may love to listen to the high and racy vibrations of jazz, but some prefer the slow and lilting sound of a flute.
Music has tremendous relaxation effect on our mind as well as our body. Surv
eys on the effect of music therapy reveal that favorable musical vibrations can promote a positive thought process in an individual. Music can be a source of emotional enjoyment, whether one performs or just listens to it.
Autogenic training is based upon passive concentration and body awareness of specific sensations. Autogenic, which means “self-regulation or -generation,” refers to the way in which your mind can influence your body to balance the self-regulative systems that control circulation, breathing, heart rate, and so on Autogenic training allows you to control stress by training your autonomic nervous system to become relaxed.

  • Asish Bhattacharya
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