Stress management is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle in today's fast-paced world, making relaxation clinics as necessary in the lives of some as check-ups by the family doctor. As the evidence mounts regarding the negative effects of stress on the body, relaxation techniques are becoming mainstream, incorporated into routine preventative care and treatment regimens of many diseases and conditions. Relaxation facilities can be found in many settings, from the nation's most prestigious hospitals to the local mall, and the stress management techniques practiced from one clinic to another vary just as widely.
Relaxation Clinics: Defining the Need
Stress is a major health issue these days, affecting everyone to some extent. Nearly everyone has had stress-related headaches or muscle tension from time to time, but allowing stress to build can have much more serious health implications. Excess stress can depress the immune system, making one more susceptible to any number of viruses, bacteria, and autoimmune diseases. Stress can contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke, and has even been implicated as a risk factor in the development of some forms of cancer. Nearly every system in the human body can be affected by stress in some way, making stress reduction and management an essential element in preventative health care.
Relaxation Clinic Services
Clinics use a number of techniques designed to help clients reduce anxiety and stress and decrease the physical symptoms they cause. These clinics also teach coping strategies to help clients learn to deal with everyday stress effectively. Participants learn to recognize their stress triggers and their patterns of reaction to them, and how to use relaxation methods to interrupt those cycles.
Relaxation techniques are grouped into two basic categories, deep relaxation methods and brief relaxation techniques. Deep relaxation methods include meditation, such as autogenic relaxation, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization. Hypnosis, Yoga, Tai chi, and biofeedback are also considered deep relaxation techniques. Brief relaxation techniques include deep breathing, paced breathing regimens, and other quick stress relievers.
Benefits of Relaxation Therapy
The techniques used in many relaxation clinics benefit participants in a variety of tangible ways. Studies show that relaxation methods have an immediate physical affect, lowering metabolism, heart rate, and blood pressure, as well as slowing the breathing rate and reducing the body's need for oxygen. Muscle tension is reduced and blood flow to major muscles is increased. Over the long term, many who use stress reduction methods learned in clinics report an improvement in feelings of overall well-being and a decrease in stress related symptoms, such as headaches, body aches, and fatigue. A reduction in feelings of anger and frustration are often reported, as are improved concentration and increased energy. Learning to cope with stress more effectively has helped many to become more efficient in the workplace and more able to handle daily problems appropriately.
Relaxation is Serious Medicine
While relaxation was once relegated to the domain of alternative medicine, modern medical science has realized its value in overall health management in recent years. As one study after another has proven links between stress and any number of health conditions and chronic diseases, stress management has gained credibility in mainstream medicine. Today, relaxation clinics are available in most hospitals, including many of the leading research institutions such as Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Brigham and Women's Hospital. Relaxation therapy is often used as a compliment to traditional approaches in the treatment of cancer, high blood pressure, migraines, chronic pain, and many other ailments.
Learning to Let Go
In today's hectic world, stress is unavoidable, but relaxation is an essential tool used to counteract its affects on the body and mind. Many of us never seem to find time in that busy schedule to unwind fully, allowing stress to build to extreme levels. Relaxation clinics can be a great first step towards a happier and healthier lifestyle, allowing one to reap the benefits of learning to let go of excess stress.