Friday, August 1, 2008


August is here, the month of relaxation. While we don’t live in France where many people take the month off, we can adopt a less stressful attitude, and this starts with regular relaxation. It’s not slacking—no—this is an important activity for your health.

According to the Mayo Clinic, relaxation techniques help to lower blood pressure, slow heart beat, increase blood flow to tissues, and reduce muscle tension. Other benefits include improved immune system response, more complete healing, better sleep, and usually a happier life.

Sitting in front of the TV doesn’t count though. Dr. Weil’s website describes a very effective progressive relaxation exercise. There are a variety of relaxation therapies, including the use of music and aromas. My mom gave me a bottle of essential oils for “Peace and Calming.” It’s amazing how effective taking the time to smell a soothing fragrance can be! Most people find being in nature to be soothing, like fishing or a walk in the woods.

Like all other health habits, relaxation is best practiced regularly. Experiment and find the techniques that work best for you.

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