Deep relaxation has several positive benefits on the mind and body. Achieving deep relaxation through various methods relieves aches and pains, improves heart health, decreases symptoms in medical conditions, reduces stress, and improves sleep.
Method: Deep Massage with Acupressure
There are many forms of massage and two of the most effective ones out there are: deep tissue united with acupressure. When muscle fascia gets tense it needs to be released from the holding patterns so that the body can truly relax and start healing itself.
This is when deep tissue massage needs to be applied and it’s even better if essential oils are used during the massage. Acupressure is stimulating key meridians and pressure points by applying firm strength with your fingers in key areas.
Here’s an article with illustrations of the 10 best acupressure points to relieve anxiety, palpitations, and nervousness.
Benefits of deep massage with acupressure
Deep tissue massage lengthens the muscles and provides pain relief. Both types of massage boost blood circulation which consequently improves oxygen flow helping various organs in your body to function better.
When all of this happens, it will enhance your ability to fall and stay asleep which is a major component for the improvement of your quality of life. Sleep deprivation, fatigue, and insomnia cause numerous health problems, including a decreased immune system, weight gain, and hypertension.
Deep massage and acupressure also facilitate the release of serotonin which is known as ‘the happy hormone’ therefore diminishing your stress levels.
It’s always a good idea to drink lots of water after massage therapy sessions to help flush the toxins out of your body.
Method: Deep Breathing
There are several kinds of deep breathing exercises and many of them take just a few minutes. What’s great about deep breathing is that it can be done any place and anytime.
There are several out there but the important thing to remember is that you want to make this a habit in your life. If you only do deep breathing once in a while it’s not going to make nearly as much of an impact on your health. Incorporate breathing exercises into your daily routine; ideally, before you start your day and before you go to bed.
Below is a video that will walk you through one of the most effective techniques: it’s known as the 4-7-8 method.
Another breathing exercise that is great to do is called progressive muscle relaxation. Basically, you will focus on each muscle group at a time and tense for 4 seconds while breathing in, hold the muscles and your breath for 4 seconds then relax and breathe out through your mouth for another 4 seconds.
So the cycle would be 3 counts of 4 seconds: 4-4-4. Begin with your toes and work your way up your body. You can also do a quick massage on each body part that you focused on before moving to the next to help the muscles relax even more.
Benefits of deep breathing
Stress increases your risk for diseases. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center stress causes the “fight-or-flight” response and changes that, include increased heart rate, blood pressure, and rate of breathing, and a 300 to 400% increase in the amount of blood being pumped to the muscles. Over time, these reactions raise cholesterol levels, disturb intestinal activities, and depress the immune system.
Relaxation through deep breathing reduces stress by aiding in the reduction of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the blood. It also increases dopamine concentrations. As a result, relaxing can help the cholesterols levels to decrease, and the immune system and the intestinal activities go back to normal.
While there are many different definitions and practices for meditation spread throughout traditions and cultures, one common factor is that it has been proven to be beneficial to one’s health. But we’ll come back to that later. Right now let’s focus on understanding the basics of meditation.
Some of the goals when meditating are to eliminate the mental chatter and allow your mind to go into a state of higher awareness and just being. When you have achieved this state, you will experience a deep sense of peace and calm.
The video below will simplify the process of learning how to meditate in 5 easy steps
If you need more assistance, you can use guided meditations in which an instructor will talk you through the process of meditating. (If you’re using the chrome browser you might want to use an ad-blocker when listening to any meditation videos so that it doesn’t interrupt your experience.)
Here are 4 of the best free guided meditations I have found (links will open in a new window):
Brain Sync 9-Minute Guided Meditation
General Well Being Meditation
Blissful Deep Relaxation
Mindfulness Bell Meditation
Here are some calm instrumental songs that you might want to play in the background while meditating:
Relaxing Music by Christopher Lloyd Clarke
Relaxing Celtic Music
Background Music for Stress Relief
Benefits of meditation
Using meditation techniques reduces the symptoms, treats, and prevents numerous diseases and disorders, including anxiety, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, PTSD, ADHD and various substance abuse: such as alcohol, nicotine, and other drugs. Read this article for the more details on the effects of meditation on your health.
Method: Soak in your hot tub
We’ve talked before about the health benefits of a hot tub, and one of the primary benefits is stress reduction. The hot water and massaging jets help reduce muscle tension and melt away stress. If you don’t have a hot tub, try a hot bath instead.
Benefits of soaking in your hot tub
Using a hot tub helps you achieve relaxation by reducing pain and stiffness through heat and buoyancy. Using an aqua massage feature helps even more by reducing pain messages sent to the nervous system. The pain reduction and reduced pressure on your body help you achieve a deeper state of relaxation. The deep relaxation further increases muscle and joint pain relief. Look into adding Himalayan salt to your soaking time and help reduce symptoms of arthritis, muscle injury, and inflammation.
Exercise is a great way to burn off steam and de-stress after a long day. If going to the gym isn’t your thing, there are still plenty of other ways to get exercise. Go for a bike ride, take a hike, walk your dog around the block, or join a community sports team.
If you have a swim spa at home you can do hydro exercise routines. If you get bored, try listening to music, talking on the phone with a friend while you walk, or watch an interesting program while you work out. Benefits of Exercising
Other than reducing the risk of several diseases (including cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer), regular exercise will strengthen your muscles and bones, increase your chances of living longer, and boost your levels of serotonin which will make you happier!
An extra bonus is that exercise coupled with a balanced diet can help you lose and/or maintain weight.
Method: Taking a break
A great way to de-stress at the end of a difficult day is by taking some time to yourself. This can be especially calming if the day’s stressors were in part due to interactions with people. You determine how long your time-out should last—10 minutes or 4 hours, it’s up to you and what you need!
During your time-out, figure out exactly which activities would help you decompress and refuel. Don’t limit yourself when choosing what you feel like doing. It can be watching T.V., engaging in a beloved hobby—like playing an instrument, knitting, playing video games, art journaling or photography. Here’s another article with 5 ways to relax and relieve anxiety with more ideas for your down time.
Be sure to avoid interruptions during this time. If you have children, have your partner watch them. Don’t forget to disengage from your cell phone during this time too!
Benefits of taking a break
Having blocks of time with no obligations can be incredibly liberating and gives you a huge sense of freedom and the permission to relax. You’ll be amazed at how energized you will feel after taking time off. Scientific research backs up the fact that your brain needs down time.
An excellent and incredibly fun way to combat stress is to laugh. Watch funny viral videos or queue up your favorite comedy movie. The internet is filled with hilarious jokes and shows, but you can also go out and watch a comedian perform stand up live.
If you’re a parent or pet owner, sometimes all you need for a good laugh is to spend time with your children or pet—they’re usually full of silliness! Surround yourself with people that also like to lighten up the mood and have a good laugh.
Benefits of laughing
We all know the saying: “Laughter is good medicine”, but the fact is that there’s actual scientific research that backs up this famous quote. Laughter stimulates the release of endorphins and also causes the blood to circulate helping relieve muscles. Mayo Clinic has a great article with a list of health benefits that you can get from adding more laughter into your life.
Ready to step up your relaxation game? It’s easy with a custom-built Royal Spa that is catered to your specific needs. Contact us anytime to set up a consultation!