What is Relaxation Therapy?

Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 30 September 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
In 1961, the Kennedy family was given a puppy named Pushinka; her mother was one of the first Soviet space dogs.  more...

October 17 ,  1777 :  The British surrendered to US military forces in the Battle of Saratoga.  more...

Relaxation therapy is a process that focuses on using a combination of breathing and muscle relaxation in order to deal with stress. The use of various techniques within this process can come in handy when dealing with daily stress or working through unanticipated situations that produce a great deal of physical and emotional tension. While the essentials of relaxing therapy can be employed without the presence of a health professional, it is often a good idea to learn the basics with a trained practitioner.

Muscle relaxation therapy involves learning how stressful circumstances can cause the body’s autonomic nervous system to activate. When some type of emotional or physical stimulation connected with stress occurs, this system will kick into action. The result is that the heart begins to beat faster, breathing becomes more rapid, and blood vessels around the body begin to dilate. While a reaction of this type is beneficial when there is a need to defend the body from some type of adversary.


By employing relaxation therapy, it is possible to begin reversing the stimulation to the nervous system and restore the body and mind to a more balanced state. The key to the therapy is consciously regulating the breathing. This means becoming aware of the current rate of the inhalation and exhalation phases of the breathing process and making a conscious effort to incrementally slow them down to a more equitable pace. As the individual is able to slow the breathing rate, this also has a calming effect on the rapid heart beat and helps to lessen the urge of “flight or fight.”

Relaxation therapy may include other elements along with the controlled breathing. Seeking a quiet spot to initiate the process can also help expedite the achievement of a calm state. For some people the use of aromatherapy in conjunction with relaxation therapy techniques is also helpful. Music or relaxation tapes of nature sounds like a waterfall may also help enhance the effect of the therapy.

Before engaging any type of relaxation therapy system on your own, it is a good idea to work with an individual with some type of relaxation therapy training. Doing so will help you master the basic patterns of breathing that you want to achieve during the therapy, as well as help you discover what other components tend to be most helpful in your particular situation. Once you have gained confidence in your ability to utilize relaxation therapy, you can employ the strategy any time that you feel your stress level rising.


You might also Like


Discuss this Article

Post 2

Mutsy-I know that yoga therapy is also very effective because forces you to concentrate on each pose.

This also stretches the tense muscles and the combined concentration along with the stretches allows for relaxation therapy with music to really set the mood.

The soft oriental relaxation therapy music really helps to transcend the participant into another world where they are totally relaxed.

After most yoga sessions many participants experience a sense of calm that they did not feel earlier. The stress reduction aspects of these exercises are so effective that most people forget what they were stressed about in the first place.

There are many places that offer yoga and relaxation therapy certification. It is becoming more valuable as our society becomes more stressed. Stress reduction really aids in the quality of life in all aspects which is why meditation techniques are also important.

Post 1

Guided meditation is very effective method of stress reduction. For example, pregnant women often experience anxiety over their impending birth of their child because many do not know what to expect and are fearful of the levels of pain experienced in child birth.

There is a relaxation therapy for anxiety called, “Hypnobirthing.” It is really a popular form of relaxation meditation that allows the subject to be in a complete state of relaxation.

The Hypnobirthing tapes ask the listener to lay down on a comfortable surface and close their eyes. Every word is perfectly scripted and if you follow the program you will experience less anxiety.

I listened to these tapes when I was pregnant with my

first child and one day my husband and I listened to it together. It relaxed my husband so much that he fell asleep.

It was so funny. I told him that the tapes are supposed to work on me not him. These tapes, however, were very effective because they also taught proper breathing techniques that allowed you to totally relax and visualize a positive outcome to your upcoming birth.

I know that they offer seminars on these techniques as well.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?