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Muscle Relaxation for Mental and Physical Health

Peace of Time Wellness was founded on the understanding that our minds and bodies are more connected than previously thought. Our core pillar is centered around holistic healing, hence our diversity in offerings and services to help integrate physical and mental health. This week, we will focus on the benefits of muscle relaxation and how this relates to mental health.



When thinking of "muscle relaxation" and how that correlates to mental health, one may think of massages, which are well known for their ability to release tension held in the body and promote feelings of relaxation overall. However, there are also other ways to relax your body by yourself and from home too! Some of these modalities include progressive muscle relaxation and body scans. These all serve as avenues for the body to release the experiences of life that we hold in the body.

Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that focuses on slowly tensing and then relaxing each muscle group of the body. Doing this allows one to be more aware of the difference between muscle tension and relaxation in everyday life as well. According to Mayo Clinic, one method of progressive muscle relaxation includes the process of tensing muscles for 5 seconds and relaxing for 30 seconds, starting at your toes and working your way up to your head and neck, or vice versa.


The body scan technique combines progressive muscle relaxation with breath focus. You begin with a few minutes of deep breathing, and then proceed to mentally "scan" down your body, noticing any feelings of discomfort or tension. When encountering areas of tension during the scan, focus your attention on them while breathing, and then visualize the tension leaving your body.

According to NCCIH, these body wellness techniques can play a role in managing a variety of physical and mental health conditions, such as anxiety, heart disease, insomnia, depression, high blood pressure, and even smoking cessation. You can read more about these results at https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/relaxation-techniques-for-health.


Additionally, WebMD reports that doctors have used techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation in combination with standard treatments for other physical conditions like headaches, cancer pain, and digestive disturbances.

If you are interested in learning more about our massage services, or any of the other modalities mentioned above, feel free to visit the Massage Services section of our website at https://www.peaceoftime.org/massage-services.


Resources

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/relaxation-technique/art-20045368

https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/muscle-relaxation-for-stress-insomnia

https://www.headspace.com/meditation/body-scan

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