Relaxation Zone

Relaxation is a proven method for improving health with benefits including decreased pain, stress, anger, and improved sleep. Successful engagement of the relaxation response can produce immediate and long-term benefit. The immediate benefits of relaxation include reduced tension and arousal, lowered blood pressure, and slowing of the heart rate. Together, these factors contribute to decreased pain sensation and improvements in mood. Long-term benefits of the relaxation response include lowering overall levels of anxiety and depression, improving concentration, and the ability to cope better with pain and other stressors such as craving of food or alcohol. Achieving the long-term benefits of relaxation requires regular practice- much like playing a sport or a musical instrument requires regular practice to develop and maintain skill levels.

Specific Techniques

Progressive Muscle Relaxation involves systematically tensing and relaxing all of the major muscle groups in the body to achieve relaxation. A good technique for people prefer “active” relaxation techniques.

Imagery involves imagining a scene as vividly as possible by including all senses (sight, touch, taste, feel, hearing, and even smell). This technique can be appealing to those who enjoy using their imagination to “go places” where they have been, or maybe places they would like to go. Below you can find two different imagery scenes.

Autogenic Relaxation involves creating and then developing the sensations of warmth and heaviness in major parts of the body. This technique works well for people who enjoy focusing on bodily sensations and can also be helpful for those who have difficulty “turning off” their thoughts.