The Art of Relaxing Plus Up Coming Women’s Talk, May 28th, 2015
It has come clear to me after having worked as a massage therapist for over 9 years that relaxing and being able to relax is a skill and state of mind no different than being able to cook or drive a car. It’s a skill often overlooked and not emphasized in Western Culture, such as here in New Zealand, or anywhere else considered ‘developed’. Like any skill, the art of relaxing must be cultivated and practiced in order for one to become proficient, though some of us are born with more skill in this area than others. Similar to knowing how to cook or drive a car, relaxing is a valuable life long skill. So valuable, I feel, that relaxing is as important as brushing teeth or eating a balanced diet. Often this skill is overlooked or not valued because relaxing is seen as doing nothing, however, your body is doing so much to keep you healthy when you relax that can only be done while seemingly doing ‘nothing’. Below is just a small sampling of those many health benefits.
For starters relaxation decreases heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and muscle tension (Cite 1, McKinley Health Center). Examples of relaxation activities are meditation, prayer, yoga, walking, running, or fishing. One study suggest some people with epilepsy would be better able to manage the epilepsy with stress reduction techniques over medications and are perhaps misdiagnosed (Cite 3, Huffington Post). Most importantly, relaxation decreases stress and there are new studies showing that a daily relaxation practice of about 20-30 min per day actually turns on different sets of genes, those responsible for countering the effects of stress on the body such as inflammation (Cite 3, Huffington Post ). These benefits are deepened with relaxation practiced over time and interestingly those that practice relaxation often handle stressful episodes of life better than those that do not have a relaxation practice (Cite 2, Online Time Magazine).
People that practice relaxation often have better sleep, memory, learning and immunity. One study shows that people under constant go and stress are much more likely to catch a cold (Cite 3, Huffington Post). Relaxation helps engage different parts of the brain related to good judgment making, learning, memory, and motivation to keep going when things do get stressful. Relaxing helps protect the heart and helps protect the mind by lowering the risks of stroke, heart attacks, dementia or Alzheimer's (Cite 3, Huffington Post).
On a final note and from a masseuse point of view, it’s actually easier for me to do my job when clients are relaxed. Many of the moves in massage therapy are built using the body weight and mechanics of the joint of a relaxed client. A floppy leg, arm or head is much easier to manipulate and work then a tight and ‘helping’ client. In my experience, some clients don’t even realize they are helping or holding up their arm or head. Some of those tensions the client has come in for relief on could possibly be managed by the client with just a little more relaxation practice at home. So next time you are on a massage table let your arms, legs and head go, but only if you feel safe and trust the practitioner. You will have a better experience and you’ll be doing your body and health a favor. Remember when you are doing ‘nothing’ your body is actually doing quite a lot to keep you healthy and happy.
For the end of this month of May, I’m offering another Women’s Reproductive/Pelvic Bowl Health and Arvigo Talk Thursday May 28th from 6:30-7:30 in the Sacred Balance clinic location. Sacred Balance is located at 32 O’Neill Rd., Hamilton and is directly across from the Claudelands convention center. There is a $10-15 Koha requested donation, but please do not let a lack of funds stop you from joining us. This topic is important for a woman of any age as it covers the unique health concerns of a female and her pelvic bowl.
Come and learn more about your anatomy and topics rarely covered in biology text books. Also come to learn more about what the Arvigo Therapy is, how it works and how it might be able to help you with a wide range of concerns such as painful period, prolapse, infertility, constipation and other digestive complains and so much more… Arvigo Therapy is gentle, non-invasive and is good for men and women as both have a pelvic bowl. It’s a therapy form safe for any age from babies to the elderly. We’ll be going over how to do a vaginal steam in depth too as a take away skill women can start doing now to better her health with very few resources. This talk is suitable for mature audiences only.