Here are the four relaxation techniques I spoke of on a recent show. Welcome Decker’s “stress countermeasures”.
Imagery (or visualization)
Imagery involves using your imagination to create a sensory experience of sights, sounds, feelings or taste that is relaxing. Imagery can help relieve stress, pain and depression; decrease side effects of chemotherapy like nausea; decrease blood pressure; improve sleep; boost immune function; shorten hospital stays; and speed healing. Guided imagery is when you use an outside person to help guide the images in your mind. It is sort of like telling you a story, but coaching you to “see” it in your mind.
Hypnotherapy (hypnosis therapy)
Hypnotherapy uses guided relaxation to arrive at a state of deep, attentive, focused concentration, sometimes called a trance, that can make it easier for you to relax and to control your body and mind. Hypnotherapy can enable you to block an awareness of sensations like pain, discomfort, nausea and fatigue; reduce fear and anxiety; create a sense of calm; speed recovery; and promote healing.
Meditation helps you focus on the present moment and achieve a state of relaxation and calm. Mindfulness is one type of meditation. Meditation can reduce anxiety, nausea and fatigue from chemotherapy; relieve stress; lower blood pressure; and boost immune function.
Spirituality & Religion
Practices vary which is the strength of this religious relaxation technique. Christians may have a very different way to relax and pray than a Buddhist, which allows for an individualization for each persons belief systems. Though we don’t know the exact mechanics, spiritual and religious beliefs seem to create a sense of connectedness, a positive attitude and a calm, relaxed state that promote healing and encourage health. For many, religion and spirituality provide a meaning to life that can help them to deal with cancer and accept death.
We need to understand that stress cannot be defused at this point it needs to be countered. Exercise and techniques like these are the “countermeasures” we need to sustain a healthy life.
Relax and Enjoy!