Relaxation Therapy and the Healing Process
Marisa Turner, Activities Therapist, Van Munching Inpatient Rehabilitation, Stamford Hospital
Throughout this past year, I have seen the various ways of how beneficial the holistic approach can be in the healing process. This week I have been treating a patient with relaxation therapy to assist with anxiety, depression and help increase easement. Our sessions have consisted of progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, breathing techniques, mindfulness and the body scan technique. After just one session, these techniques had already made a positive impact. This patient stated, “It finally feels like all this is real and actually happening”.
To give you a background on this patient- she is a dancer who just recently has experienced a stroke. She is now unable to feel the right side of her body, unable to walk independently and has lost a lot of strength in her hands to the point where she is unable to write. All of these are extremely drastic changes in one’s life and I can completely understand how it has been such a shock for her and has not felt like reality.
Once she took a step back and focused on the present moment by using her breath, she was able to gain insight and feel as if this was all reality. In her situation, as well as any situation in life, I have realized the importance of using the breath to assist us. Our breath is always available to us; we just don’t always intend to place our focus on it.
Today or any day when you feel like your thoughts are scattered or you’re feeling the need to control... take a deep breath in and then elongate your exhale as the breath of letting go. Repeat this 3 to 5 times.
This will help you to release the stale, negative energy you may be holding in so you can make space for new, fresh, and positive energy to come into your body.