Relaxation Techniques: How can they help?

Posted by:

Relaxation Techniques: How can they help?

This is an interesting quote I found on line about Oyster Point Dentistry in Newport News, Virginia.

“To enhance and ensure a relaxing and rewarding dental experience, Oyster Point Dentistry offers soothing audio and visual technology services at no extra charge. This service is most valued by our patients with general anxiety about dental care, however, all patients value the use of this technique to relax throughout the dental care experience.”

Interesting how audio and visual technologies are working for Oyster Point Dentistry patients. Many branches of the medical professions have come to realize the benefits of applying relaxing meditative technologies to help people.

For a long time we have known that when we become stressed, our bodies engage in something called the “fight or flight response.” The fight or flight response refers to changes that occur in the body when it prepares to either fight or run. These changes include increased heart rate, blood pressure, and rate of breathing, and a 300 – 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. In general, they leave us feeling “stressed out.”

However, we also possess the opposite of the fight or flight response, the “relaxation response.” This term, first coined in the mid 1970s by a Harvard cardiologist named Herbert Benson, refers to changes that occur in the body when it is in a deep state of relaxation. These changes include decreased blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and rate of breathing, as well as feelings of being calm and in control. Learning the relaxation response helps to counter ill effects of the fight or flight response and, over time, allows the development of a greater state of alertness. The relaxation response can be developed through a number of techniques, including meditation and progressive muscle relaxation. It is now a recommended treatment for many stress related disorders. Mindflo music video programs are designed to introduce a state of relaxation in an effortless way to the viewer. It’s just like watching TV except the designed function is to assist the viewer in a healthful way.

So, what ate relaxation techniques good for? Research suggests that meditation can help improve a person’s quality of life and reduce stress hormone levels.

Clinical studies also show that relaxation techniques reduce the perception of pain. One clinical study found that among patients undergoing colorectal surgery, those who listened to guided imagery tapes before, during, and after the operation had less pain and needed fewer pain medications than those who did not. Another found that relaxation practices, such as deep breathing, progressive relations, and visualization enhanced the immune response among breast cancer patients.

Meditation has also been used as part of the treatment for post traumatic stress disorder in Vietnam veterans and to break substance abuse patterns in drug and alcohol abusers. Relaxation techniques can also enhance coping skills in migraine sufferers and reduce stress, as well as improve mood in those with cancer.

In general, studies show that with consistent practice, relaxation techniques can potentially reduce symptoms or improve outcomes in the following conditions:

  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Pain
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Anxiety
  • Infertility
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Panic disorders
  • Chronic tension headaches
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Insomnia
  • Psoriasis
  • Arthritis
  • Hyperactivity in children, as in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

It is extremely important that usual medical care and advice be followed for these conditions as well. Relaxation techniques such as Mindflo videos are meant to complement usual medical care. Please check out the sample Mindflo music videos on this site and see for yourself what the benefits may be.

About the Author: