Stress is a contributing factor, and sometimes the only cause, of most chronic illnesses. For your treatment plan to be effective long-term, stress management therapy is essential. Three effective stress management techniques we teach at Life Balance Clinic, so you can get the most out of your treatment plan, are Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Deep Breathing and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).
Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a stress management therapy you can do anywhere, any time. When your muscles are tense from stress, you can use it to relax. You may find it helpful when trying to sleep on a flight or if you’re nervous before an exam, for example.
The way you practice progressive muscle relaxation is to tense one group of muscles at a time, so they are as tightly contracted as possible. Then, you hold them for a few seconds before relaxing them to their normal state. This tensing allows you to relax more than normal. You can experiment by seeing how much your hand muscles can relax after clenching a fist.
Deep breathing is perhaps the most simple stress management therapy. You can use it with progressive muscle relaxation, meditation and other techniques.
Deep breathing is the “take ten deep breaths” method of calming someone down; and forms part of the relaxation component of yoga classes and Zen meditation.
All you have to do is take a number of deep breaths and relax your body further with each breath. That's all there is to it!
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is also known as “emotional acupuncture”. It combines specific counselling practices with tapping on a series of acupuncture points, creating a unique stress management therapy that brings emotional blockages to the surface.
Through the connection between your subtle energies, emotions and health, EFT has shown success in issues ranging from anxiety to overcoming tobacco addiction.