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© Anchor Health Inc 2017  *  All Rights Reserved

    Ph. (224)458-1224   

Anchor Health Physical Therapy 

155 Revere Drive Suite #5, Northbrook, IL 60062

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Fax (224)458-1252

Relaxation and Stress Management

Practicing relaxation techniques on a daily basis can have a variety of health benefits. It can relieve anxiety, lower your blood pressure, reduce the likelihood of seizures, and improve night sleep. These are simple techniques that might help relieve everyday stress and achieve peaceful calm state of mind.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Meditation and Stress Relief 

Jacobson's Relaxation Technique

Yoga Benefits for the Mind and Body

Diet Recommendations to Relieve Stress

 

 

 

Benefits of Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing (deep breathing that engages the diaphragm) along with breathing through the nose (not the mouth) is essential for healthy breathing. Five advantages of diaphragmatic breathing are:

  • Efficient gas exchange – studies show that diaphragmatic or abdominal breathing feeds the body up to 600% more oxygen. The gas exchange takes place in the bottom third of the lungs, so oxygenation is more efficient when you use the diaphragm more actively during breathing

  • Less tension and tightness in the neck and shoulder muscles

  • Breathing rate reduction, heart rate reduction, autonomic nervous system rebalancing and changing from sympathetic "fight or flight" to parasympathetic "calm and relax"

  • Gentle massage of abdominal organs due to increased diaphragm excursion with every breath aids digestion and helps lymphatic drainage; much of the lymphatic system is located just below the diaphragm

  • Improved posture and increased core muscle strength as a result of increased diaphragm muscle activation. Keep in mind that overdeveloped abs and sucking the stomach in can hinder proper movement of the diaphragm, and promote upper chest breathing

Meditation and Stress Relief

Meditation is a simple technique that, if practiced for as few as 10 minutes each day, can help you bring inner peace, relieve everyday stress, decrease anxiety, improve cardiovascular health, and achieve a greater capacity for relaxation.

Jacobson's Relaxation Technique

 

Dr. Edmund Jacobson invented the technique in 1929 as a way to help his patients deal with anxiety. Jacobson found that relaxing the muscles could help relax the mind as well.

Jacobson’s relaxation technique, also known as progressive relaxation, consists of tightening and relaxing specific muscle groups in a certain sequence. By concentrating on specific areas and tensing and then relaxing them, one becomes more aware of their body and physical sensations.

General instructions for Jacobson’s technique involve tightening one muscle group while keeping the rest of the body relaxed, and then releasing the tension. The technique is often combined with breathing exercises or mental imagery. 

Yoga Benefits for the Mind and Body

Yoga practice involves concentration on the breath and body, which makes it a great way to soothe the mind and relieve worries. By helping relieve tension and stress, yoga poses and breathing exercises help keep a person free from negative thinking, anxiety, and depression. 

Diet Recommendations to Relieve Stress

It is important to watch what we eat because some kinds of food help reduce cortisol level and produce mood-regulating neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. Multiple research studies show that consuming dark leafy vegetables like spinach and asparagus as well as avocado, blueberries, wild caught salmon, olive oil, oats, dark chocolate, chamomile tea can help calm down and relieve tension caused by everyday hassle or stressful events.