Remembering how to relax

September 6, 2015  |  no comments yet

By MarcellusWallace (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By MarcellusWallace (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Evidence points to numerous benefits of relaxation. Reaching a state of calm and then doing it again (and again) is associated with:

  • Decreasing pain, headaches, and inflammation
  • Reducing depression and anxiety
  • Lowering blood pressure and risk of stroke
  • Improving sleep, mood, memory, and mental clarity
  • Clearer skin

So why don’t we relax more?

Telling a stressed-out person to relax is about as helpful as telling an insomniac to get more sleep. Nearly everyone wants to relax (and sleep well).

A bodywork client may feel desperate to relax. But that desperation can be a barrier to relaxation. The client might be worried about not being able to relax. The client might feel concerned about the effects of ongoing stress on health and family. The client might have gotten into a habit of reacting to stress with fear (yielding more stress).

But the ability to feel calm and centered exists in our nervous system, in an area called the parasympathetic nervous system.  Bodywork such as massage therapy, craniosacral therapy, and foot reflexology stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. This helps the body and mind settle down, find calm, and relax deeply.

Chris and I are dedicated to helping each client find effective paths to relaxation. The way to relaxation varies from client to client. It can even vary for the same client from visit to visit.

Chris’s and my years of professional training and decades of experience as professional touch therapists have taught us to foster relaxation for each client in a variety of ways.

  • We offer quiet, peaceful treatment rooms with soothing sights and sounds.
  • We provide the type of treatment and techniques indicated by each client’s needs and wants. For some clients, this can vary even from one visit to the next. Other clients find it deeply soothing to have a consistent type of treatment at regular intervals (e.g., weekly or monthly).
  • We aim for each client’s ideal room and table temperature, ambient sound (e.g., music or silence), appropriate supports under and around the body, and the pressure and pace of techniques.
  • We start and end on time. Clients can feel confident we will be ready at their appointment start time and that we will end on time. If we encounter unexpected delays, we notify the client and devise a plan that works for the client and us.
  • We keep conversation to matters that help create the treatment the client wants. Chatting is distracting and can awaken stressful thoughts. We check in to make sure you’re comfortable, answer questions you may have, and explain only what you want to know about. Occasionally, client relaxes better with light talk; we can do that, too.
  • We offer you bodywork and only bodywork. We do not diagnose or treat medical conditions We sell no products or systems. If you ask us about health products or other kinds of health-promoting practices, we’ll be glad to refer you to sources we’ve experienced or have heard are effective.

It’s all up to you and your nervous system. What allows you to let go and relax?