Improving Quality of Life through Incorporating Relaxation Techniques
In the third part of this five part series on focused relaxation, the emphasis is on its benefits. One of its most endearing aspects is its flexibility. It can be done by almost anyone, almost anywhere. How many other forms of exercise can boast that? While it can be done by most people, there are certain populations that seem to gain the greatest benefit. For these populations, the benefits can create such an improved quality of life, that the practices become an invaluable part of their lifestyle.
Research done on the senior population is particularly promising. Because of certain age related deteriorations, it can be difficult for the older generation to feel empowered about their physical and mental condition. Too often they feel helpless as their situation slowly becomes more problematic.
Through a regular practice of these focused relaxation techniques, many seniors are feeling stronger and more balanced. For the first time, they sense control of their physical and mental wellbeing. Jennifer Markham, PhD, at the
People suffering from chronic health conditions are another group finding extraordinary benefit. Because of its ease of use, and relevance to their situation, focused relaxation is used to control pain, improve mood, improve sleep, increase mobility and balance, and to develop self-empowerment over their condition. Many physicians are beginning to use these types of therapies as adjunct treatments for their patients.
Dr.Jon Kabat-Zinn, director of the Stress Reduction and Relaxation Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester notes the value of self-empowerment: ''More and more doctors are seeing the value of these techniques as a way to tap the inner capacity of patients to help with their own healing.” The highest degree of success is seen in those who fully embrace the concept and make the practices part of their regular lifestyle.
Focused relaxation techniques are often used for those with limitations or special needs, but one need not be old or infirm to gain benefit from these practices. In fact, many exceptionally health conscious people are beginning to incorporate these practices into their wellness routines, finding them to be a wonderful partner to cardiovascular and weight training exercise.
By providing a increased balance to an already healthy routine, many find that these practices have improved their quality of life and their results in the other areas of fitness that they pursue. The mental relaxation combined with the physical stretching and release of muscle tension is ideal therapy for people who like to push the envelope and stay active.
The last population receiving extraordinary benefit from these practices is the high stress, Type-A individual. For people who burn the candle at both ends, it seems a no-brainer that these kinds of practices would add increased balance and dimension to their lives. However getting them to start is always a challenge.
While at first making time to practice is an issue, after practicing for any length of time, many note that they don’t want to go on without it. “Life changing” is a phrase heard from those who have given it a measured try. Focused relaxation allows them the opportunity to slow down and reflect on all that they need to do and have done. It allows them to have moments of clarity and much-needed serenity, thus improving quality of life.
Utilizing focused relaxation, and learning how to cultivate the practice as part of a well-balanced lifestyle, empowers participants by giving them a sense of control over their own self-care. These practices are beneficial and useful for almost everyone; they are simple techniques that can be easily implemented to increase wellness benefits. Through exploration of focused relaxation and its many forms, a diverse population can engage in these techniques, allowing them to receive the restorative health benefits of allowing the mind and body to rest on a deep level, thus improving their total health and wellbeing.