Category Archives: Relaxation

Relaxation Techniques You Can Practice Anywhere

Relaxation Techniques You Can Practice Anywhere

In our busy world, no matter where you look, there is stress everywhere. Work, personal, physical and other life stress can all take a serious toll on both your physical and mental health. You may notice increasing muscle tension, aches, pains and physical health complaints. You may feel mentally exhausted, experiencing impaired concentration or creativity, anxiety, tiredness or emotional tension.

5 Powerful Relaxation Techniques

Mental and physical stress is no way to live. You deserve better—to experience a relaxed, calm, balanced, healthy and happy state of being. There is good news for you. You can achieve a sense of calmness and reduced tension anywhere with the right relaxation exercises.

Using these 5 powerful relaxation techniques for anxiety and stress, you can reduce tension, regain balance, sleep better and feel more joy in your life in both mind and body.

1. Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) was developed by Edmund Jacobson in the 1920s to help patients with muscle pain and tension regardless of a physical or mental illness. PMR can not only help with general relaxation but give relief to those dealing with various health conditions, including headaches, anxiety and even cancer.

To practice PMR, follow these steps:

  • Find a quiet place and get into a comfortable position sitting or lying down.
  • Start by inhaling deeply through your nose and slowly exhaling through your mouth for 3 – 5 cycles.
  • Tighten your muscles by squeezing your body, clenching your toes and pushing your heels to the ground.
  • Release, then flex your feet towards your head for a few seconds until releasing again.
  • Move onto new muscle groups, your abdomen, legs, hands, arms, shoulders, neck and face.
  • Tighten then release.

You can repeat these sequences as needed and finish your practice with some deep calming breaths.

2. Breathing Exercises

Controlling and regulating your breath through various breathing exercises is a powerful way to calm your mind and relax your body. You don’t need to go to a yoga class. You only need a couple of minutes to practice any of these three breathing exercises and achieve fantastic results over time.

  • Stimulating Breath: Stimulating breath is an ancient yogic technique that can bring you more energy and mental focus. Keep your mouth closed and relaxed. Keeping your breaths short, inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose. You will make some funny noises and that’s normal. After three cycles, take a quick break. Breathe normally then try again. Start with 15 seconds or less, then increase it gradually.
  • 4 – 7 – 8 Breathing: The 4 – 7 – 8 breathing exercise is quieter and you can do it anywhere. Get ready by exhaling all air through your mouth. Close your mouth. To the count of 4, inhale through your nose. Count to 7 while holding your breath. Let it all out through your mouth to the count of eight. Repeat this cycle at least 3 times twice a day.
  • Breath Counting: Breath counting is a Zen technique that can help you with relaxation as well. Find a comfortable sitting position keeping your spine straight. Close your eyes. Begin with a few deep and cleansing breaths. Breathe in then count to 1 as you exhale. Breathe in again and count to 2 as you exhale. Next time count to 3, then 4, then 5. Never count to more than 5—instead start the cycle again. Over time, you can work up to 10 minutes of this breath counting Zen meditation practice.

3. Stretching

Sitting at the computer working all day creates muscle tension. Regular stretching, especially stretching your neck and shoulder can help with aches, chronic pain and mental health. Repeating these 5 simple stretching techniques daily can help your muscles to relax and make you feel better both physically and mentally:

  • Shoulder Shrugs: Take a few deep breaths, then start with a shoulder shrug. First, lift the top of your shoulder close to your ears imitating a shrug. Hold for 3-4 seconds, then release. Repeat 3-5 times, then move on to chin turns.
  • Chin Turns: Begin by looking forward, then slowly move your chin to your left stretching the left side. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Move back to center then move your chin to your right repeating the same thing. Repeat this 2-3 times, then move on to head tilts.
  • Head Tilts: Your starting position should be center. Tilt your head towards your right as if your ear was trying to touch your shoulder. Hold for 5-10 seconds, move back to center then move on to the other side. Repeat 2-3 times and get ready for a back stretch.
  • Back Stretch: Place your palms on your lower back and bend your knees. Push your back forward using your palm. Hold it for 10 seconds then release. Repeat this exercise 2-3 times before move onto your last stretch, elbow pull.
  • Elbow Pull: First, raise your right arm up as straight as you can the bend it behind your head. Deepen the stretch by pulling your elbow towards your head with your left hand. Hold for 10-15 seconds then repeat the other side. Do this exercise 2-3 times.

Repeat this entire stretching cycle at least twice a day or whenever you feel you need a stretch. If you need to, you can stretch your hips, back and hamstrings as well using yoga straps, wall stretches and the cat and cow pose. Over the course of a few weeks, you will notice more flexibility, less tension and less pain. Dr. Riter’s Real-Ease Neck Support can improve neck and shoulder tension more than most stretches you know. Using ergonomic office furniture that supports a good posture can also help to experience less tension and pain when working long hours.

4. Meditation and Visualization

Meditation and visualization are some of the best ways to alleviate stress. They can also be powerful relaxation techniques for sleep before bed. As you let distractions and worries disappear, you can achieve a state of blissful rest. Meditation and visualization can bring you immediate relief and a more relaxed being. What’s even better is that when practicing regularly, your mind and body will naturally learn to come back to a more centered, grounded and relaxed state when stress, pain or chaos arises.

There are many ways to practice meditation. You don’t necessarily have to sit in lotus pose (the yogic version of cross-legged) either. You can lie down or even find a movement meditation practice, such as dance or walking meditation. You may use a mantra for your meditation, including Sanskrit words such as ‘om’ or any mantra that feels right for you. You may want to take a course and learn a specific form of meditation, such as Vipassana, Transcendental Meditation, mindfulness meditation or Zen meditation.

Using a guided meditation exercise is possibly the easiest ways to guide your body and mind to a state of relaxation and calm.

Visualization is a form of meditation that you can do at any time without guidance. It’s like a quick mental vacation. Close your eyes and visualize your ‘happy place’. It can be anything, a beach, your cozy couch, the top of a mountain, the cozy hug of a loved one, your favorite yoga studio, or any place you love, feel happy and safe. Imagine being in this place by engaging all your senses. What do you see, hear, smell, taste and touch? How does it feel in your body? Let yourself enjoy the moment. You can smile.

5. Massage

Getting a massage is a powerful act of self-care. It also has benefits for your body and health. Massage improves the circulation of oxygen and nutrients in your system. It can stretch tight and weak muscles, improve your flexibility and range of motion. It can help you manage and reduce your symptoms of chronic pain. Massage can improve your stress levels, anxiety, depression, sleep and quality of life.

There are so many massage techniques and similar bodywork therapies that you can choose from. Deep tissue massage and myofascial release are the most popular ones for deep work. There is also Swedish massage, hot stone massage, aromatherapy massage, craniosacral therapy, Shiatsu, reflexology, Thai massage, sports massage, trigger point massage and more. Talk to your massage therapist and experiment to find the one that works the best for you.

You can also practice massage at home. The easiest way is of course to have a partner, friend or family member to rub your back and shoulders. That’s not always available. You can practice self-massage techniques anywhere you are. Get the difficult knots out with a theracane and work on your foot, neck and hips using massage balls. After a long day on your feet, a foot massager feels heavenly. Massage chairs and massage cushions can be lifesavers to get personalized comfort and relaxation at home without any effort.

Integrating Your Relaxation Techniques

Practicing relaxation methods like PMR, breathing exercises, stretching, meditation, visualization and self-massage can ease muscle tension, relax your body, calm your mind, reduce pain and improve your overall health. Go through these relaxation exercises as often as you need and take them on the go with you.

To learn more about how ergonomic office furniture, massage chairs, massage cushions and self-massage tools can aid your relaxation, visit our store. Make sure to check back and share your wonderful results with us.

References:

  1. http://psycnet.apa.org/fulltext/1990-20278-001.html
  2. https://www.anxietybc.com/sites/default/files/MuscleRelaxation.pdf
  3. https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/muscle-relaxation-for-stress-insomnia
  4. http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2006-10511-002
  5. https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/stress-anxiety/breathing-three-exercises/
  6. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002817715607607
  7. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/000579169090046N
  8. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2009.0321
  9. https://www.jpsychores.com/article/S0022-3999(03)00573-7/abstract
  10. https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/289116
  11. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0005796710001324
  12. https://liveanddare.com/types-of-meditation
  13. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2011/561753/abs/
  14. http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/19078022

5 Ways To Relax After Work

Life is all about balance. Think about your current routine when you get home from work. How often do you come home, sit down in your favorite chair, turn on the TV, and spend the rest of your evening there? Do you have difficulty turning off work mode, continuing to answer emails and finishing projects after you’ve left the office? While we understand there are days where you need to finish work, or you want to catch up on TV shows, doing so time and time again can leave you feeling burnt out and unfulfilled.

We all deserve a break from our busy lives. Create an after-work routine that makes the most of your time and one that will leave you feeling relaxed with these helpful tips.

  • Put your computer away, turn off email alerts: Possibly the most important task of all – set boundaries for work life and personal life. Do your best to leave work at work. Take a break from electronics by turning off your work email, putting away your computer, and being present with yourself or your family at home.
  • Read a book or listen to music: Instead of turning the TV on, listen to some soothing music or settle in with a book. Enjoy the peace and quiet and use this time to fully relax and unwind.
  • Prep for the next day: Make a list of tasks you would like to accomplish and items you may need the next day. This could be snacks, your workout gear, your computer charger, your lunch, etc. You’ll feel prepared for the day ahead and you’ll be able to fully relax without worrying about forgetting something.
  • Set aside time to learn something new: Get your creative juices flowing. Learn a new language with apps like Duolingo, sign up for a free class on Skillshare, cook a new meal with the help of HelloFresh or Blue Apron. You will feel more accomplished and satisfied with your time at home if you’re working on something you enjoy.
  • Make time for massage: Have some much needed “me-time” to fully decompress, release the tension and stresses of the day, and allow for uninterrupted massages. Find relief and relaxation with our wide range of massage products.

We hope these tips are useful in having more relaxing nights at home. If you’re looking for even more ways to relax at home, visit your local Relax The Back location to speak with our trained specialists. They can show you our full line of massage chairs, recliners, and massage products for ultimate relaxation at home.

How To Relax On National Relaxation Day

Summer is the perfect time for some R&R. National Relaxation Day is August 15th, and we believe that relaxation is the key ingredient in staying both happy and healthy. The day was founded all the way back in 1985 by Sean Moeller, who wanted to remind people about the importance of taking the time to slow things down and relax.

If you’re looking for a few ways to boost your mood and relax, here are some suggestions.

  • Listening to music: Not only is music a calming presence, it’s also a great way to reduce stress and even lower your blood pressure.
  • Going for a swim: Whether it’s at the public pool or your local gym, swimming is a low-impact exercise that will both cool you off and raise your self-esteem.
  • Pick up gardening. Studies show that a hobby such as gardening can help improve your mood, and spending the day in the fresh air surrounded by nature is always recommended.
  • Reading a book: Reading gives your brain a workout and is especially good for melting away stress. If you like reading in bed, try using Riter’s Real-Ease Neck Support, as it holds the head up which reduces strain on the neck muscles.
  • Plan a picnic: Surrounding yourself with great people and a basket of healthy, delicious food will toss all of your worries to the side and help put things in perspective.
  • Go to the movies: Spending a couple of hours in a dark, air-conditioned room is the perfect escape from all of your problems – and a great way to spend some time with family!

Another way to achieve long-lasting comfort and relaxation is through neutral posture. Spine-friendly furniture such as the Human Touch Perfect Chair allow you to easily sink into neutral posture to help you fully relax and decompress. By properly aligning our body, our bones, rather than our muscles, are supporting our weight. This is our bodies preferred state.

At Relax The Back, we understand the importance of staying happy, healthy and comfortable. This National Relaxation Day, make sure to set aside some time for yourself and enjoy the day!

How Do You Exercise & Relax: Optimal Solutions For Your Overall Wellness

Finding time to exercise and relax during our hectic schedules can be difficult. These both play an important role in staying healthy and pain-free.

Exercise doesn’t necessarily mean hours spent at a gym. By adding simple exercises up to 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, you’ll relax away stiffness and relieve stress. When we carve out time to work on ourselves, we improve our mood, sleep quality, brainpower, and overall happiness. We also help keep pain away before it starts by strengthening and conditioning muscles that are prone to injury.

Paired with regular exercises, relaxation through massage can improve your health. Studies show treating yourself to regular massages can have a tremendously positive impact on your overall wellness. Whether you are incorporating massage into time at the office, while on the road, or at home, you’ll ease tension and find relief throughout the day.

The products below can help you upgrade your exercise routine and your relaxation regimen.

Exercise Products For Improved Health

  • Inversion Tables: Decompress your spine while improving posture and increasing flexibility and circulation. Inversion tables also help with sciatica relief.
  • Foam Rollers: Our versatile foam rollers help improve flexibility, range of motion, while relieving muscle tightness. They are also an effective and inexpensive way to gain the health benefits of massage.
  • CoreStretch: Feel stress dissipate as you deeply stretch, elongating your back muscles. Safely stretch your shoulders, hips, and leg muscles as well.
  • InLine Traction Control System: Stay comfortable while gently stretching your whole body, from your neck down to the back of your legs.

Massage Products For Ultimate Relaxation

  • Massage Chairs: From traditional style to Shiatsu massages, massage chairs reduce tension headaches, increase blood flow, help you manage and reduce chronic pain, improve sleep quality, and much more.
  • Theracane: Self-massage tools like the Theracane allow you to find relief from muscle tension, soreness, and pain, on the go.
  • Foot Massager: Tired feet deserve relief. Foot massagers provide custom massages by allowing you to specify settings.
  • Massage Cushions: Ideal for in the office or during long commutes, massage cushions release tense muscles during a soothing back or neck massage.

Visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with a trained specialist and try out our exercise and massage products. Through one-on-one support, our team will help you find the product solution to ensure you have the exercise and massage solutions that fit your specific lifestyle. Follow our 24-hour approach to comfort and wellness on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest for more tools to achieve ‘round the clock personalized relief.

Relaxation And Relief Tips For The New Year

A new year is officially upon us and with that comes new goals and wishes for our health and happiness. Making time to relax and find relief in our busy lives should be a priority. Overtime, chronic stress can cause serious mental, physical, and emotional harm.

Irritability and anger due to stress can arise when dealing with everyday challenges such as traffic, work, bills, and family, to name a few. It can also lead to health concerns such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, or a lowered immune system.

This year, take control of your stress. Understand your personal limitations and be mindful of situations that make you feel overwhelmed.

We’ve put together this helpful infographic to provide tips on ways you can relieve stress, improve your mood, and improve your overall quality of life. In addition to our New Year’s resolutions for a stress-free year, these relief tips can help you relax and unwind throughout 2017.

Relaxation And Relief Tips For The New Year

 

New Year’s Resolutions For A Stress-Free 2017

Whether 2016 was your best year yet or one you are looking forward to putting behind you, we are days away from a fresh start. While we are always advocates of New Year’s resolutions that focus on being more active, eating better, and making sleep a priority, we wanted to share a few resolutions that can help you have a more relaxed and stress-free 2017.

Add these to your resolutions this year and vow to have a happier, stress-free year. Find more inspiration with our past resolutions for a healthier new year and resolutions for a pain-free new year.

New Year’s Resolutions For A Stress-Free 2017

  • Make time for yourself: Whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly, make time to check-in with yourself and do something for you. Go to your favorite workout class once a week, take nightly baths, journal before bed each night. Do more of the things that help you feel relaxed and happy.
  • Get outside more: Enjoy the sunlight and outdoors. Bright, natural light is known to help relieve stress, depression, and improve overall happiness.
  • Socialize: Close family and good friends can greatly improve quality of life. This year, improve on the relationships you already have, find new, healthy relationships, and let go of those that cause more frustration and stress than happiness.
  • Tap into your creative side: Start a new hobby, write, draw, color, listen to, or even try composing, music. Having a hobby can help reduce stress relief by providing an outlet for mental stimulation. Trying new things is also a great way to find a new passion.

We hope everyone in our community had a wonderful holiday season. Happy New Year!