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Relaxation: The Key to Good Health?

Think for a minute what relaxation means to you. What form does it take? Is it an important part of your life? Is it something that you do? Is it a healing modality? These are all questions that I oftentimes ask myself and I have come up with a variety of answers. To me, relaxation means getting away from what stresses me, what environments are not healthy both physical, psychological, and spiritual, taking relaxing herbs, meditation, and an awareness of my state of mind. It may sound like being aware of my state of mind isn't necessarily relaxation but if I don't have a reference point, if I continue to mask over how I really feel, if I ignore what my mnd and emotions are telling me then I will not know if I need to relax.


People tend to think more is better. Faster leads to bigger accomplishments. Crazy, busy is a sign of a goal oriented person. Tolerating stress and pushing beyond our limits is a sign of strength. I disagree.


I love science. There is nothing more amazing than understanding the body and mind through a scientific perspective but at some point science ends and a leap of faith begins. That's why in clinical trials we only need to prove an acceptable percentage to say that it was a success. There are some absolutes in science yet those do not always apply to a higher form of self and a higher form of self is an intergral part of healing. Healing can come in the form of pharmaceutical intervention or a surgical procedure and does not necessarily need any contribution from our higher self but at one point in deciding the course of the medical intervention, decisions might be made by our higher self whether conscious or unconscious. Does this sound like hocus pocus? Think for a minute, if you are sick and the doctor prescribes a treatment, do you think about it? Some might just say yes to the doctor because they trust and follow their advice but at one point the decision to trust and follow a doctor's advice came from the concious mind. At times, a deep soul searching journey might begin before a decision is made. Either way, the mind is involved. This may not apply in an emergency situation but that is the difference between healing and a life-saving procedure. There are oftentimes a place for both. But I digress.


One can take herbs, supplements, apply dietary guidelines, follow an exercise regime and still not get the optimal healing effects. Is this where relaxation comes in to play? What is the purpose of relaxation when applied to the above scenario where so many alternative and allopathic modalities have been applied yet the body still has not healed? Relaxation can stimulate parts of the autonomic nervous system signaling it to slow down, stop producing stress related hormones, increase chemicals that assist in a release of these harmful byproducts and encourage balance and homeostasis of organ function. That's the scientific part and it can be measured through heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, kidney function, etc. There is another level of healing that can take place which science is not able to measure as acurately as the above readings. That is the effect of the mind, the consciousness, the spirit and just the general existence of a feeling of well-being that only the individual can measure. The key is awareness and connection not only to the higher self, but also to the phyisical body that can respond both positively and negatively to internal and external stimulis.


It takes time, willingness, focus and endurance. It also takes honoring the self. Going deeper into self and recognizing that after all the tried and true methods of healing the missing component might be relaxation. Try it. You might like the results.


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