In today's hectic world, it can be difficult to shut off all the "noise" (inner and outer) and experience the deep states of quiet, calm relaxation that are so essential for healing, health & well-being. The connection between the mind and body is so well known & accepted now, that it just can not be ignored. And, it has been well proven that stress is a major contributor to most chronic conditions and disease. Relaxation techniques are no longer just for feeling less stressed, but are needed for regular good health and well-being.
When we experience stress, the sympathetic nervous system & the adrenals react by secreting hormones that mobilize the fight-or-flight response. This creates a number of biological responses such as increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, increased glucose levels, muscle tension, sweating, accelerated breathing and more. This can be triggered not only by emergency and trauma but also by everyday worries, tension and pressures. Experiencing this on an ongoing basis (as many of us do) can be very damaging to our health.
Relaxation has the obvious psychological benefits of relieving stress and tension & refreshing and rejuvenating your mind and spirit, but regular deep relaxation can also produce physical changes such as strengthening the immune system & making you less susceptible to viruses and illness, lowering blood pressure & cholesterol levels and many others, thereby decreasing your chances of developing certain health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and many others. When the mind becomes clear and focused, free from planning, worries and other stress, the autonomic nervous system is able to relax the heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, muscles and reduce stress hormone production. Research has shown that regular use of deep relaxation can significantly help any health problem that is caused or exacerbated by chronic stress such as fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal ailments, insomnia, hypertension, anxiety disorders, and many others.
However, these benefits are not obtained from activities such as socializing, watching television or surfing the web (which many people say they do to relax) It is through deeper, more intense relaxation techniques and practices that we reap these health benefits. When you set aside time to truly relax, re-balance & renew, you do your mind & your body a great service, and allow them a greater chance to achieve peace, balance, harmony, healing and wellness.