Thursday, February 01, 2007

Stress Relaxation Techniques

Deep Breathing

- Stand with your feet apart and your arms hanging loosely by your sides.

- Close your eyes and let your head fall forward.

- Breathe in slowly through your nose. Draw in the air deeply, allowing first your abdomen, then your lungs to expand.

- Hold your breath gently for a while.

- Breathe out slowly through your nose. Take your time.

- Repeat the deep breaths until you feel relaxed.

- Then slowly open your eyes.

Muscle Relaxation

- Sit on a comfortable chair.

- Close your eyes.

- Clench one fist tightly. Hold the tension for a few seconds and concentrate on it.

- Then release the tension very slowly. Feel the tension draining out of your hand.

- Repeat this exercise with any part of your body - face, scalp, eyes, shoulders, abdomen, buttocks, arms and legs.

Mental Relaxation

- Switch on some soft music.

- Sit on a comfortable chair or lie down.

- Close your eyes.

- Relax all your muscles and let your body go limp.

- Think of a pleasant, soothing image such as a blue mountain lake gentle lapping waves "leaves rustling in a soft wind".

- Do some deep breathing if you like or listen to a taped relaxation message.

- Continue until you feel very relaxed.

Shoulder and Neck Massage
Learn to do this with another person and you can massage each other. These steps are for the person who is doing the massaging:

- Let your partner sit comfortably.

- Stand behind your partner.

- Suggest that your partner removes his/her glasses, closes his/her eyes and thinks of something pleasant.

- Place your hands gently on your partner's shoulders as a "greeting".

- Apply gentle but firm, even pressure with your thumbs across the top of the shoulders. Start at the neck. Work your way towards the ends of the shoulders and then back across to the neck.

- Using both hands, massage across the top of the shoulders with a kneading motion, from the neck to the tips of the shoulders and back.

- Locate the spine (backbone) at the base of the neck. Place your thumbs on either side of the spine and apply gentle but firm pressure away from the bone. Continue down the back and then up again. Do not press on the spine itself.

- Locate the base of the skull at the back of the head. Apply rotating pressure on either side of the spine with your thumbs.

- Place one hand on your partner's chin and one hand behind the neck for support. Slowly and carefully rotate the head first in one direction and then the other.

- Ask your partner to clench his/her teeth. Locate the tense jaw muscles. Ask him/her to relax.

- Use three fingers to massage the jaw muscles.

- Use your fingers to massage the temples. Work across the forehead and back to the temples.

- Place your hands gently back on the shoulders as a "goodbye".

No comments: