As the availability of affordable healthcare continues to be a concern for many people, preventing health problems before they start becomes a worthwhile goal. Most of us know the obvious actions to take to ensure our safety and well-being, e.g., driving with seat belts, exercising regularly, eating healthy. We know that regular exercise keeps our hearts healthy and strong, maintains our muscle strength and helps with balance and coordination. What many people don't know is that a program to maintain optimal functioning of your body and mind should also include regular relaxation practice. Regular relaxation can help prevent illness by addressing areas that physical exercise misses giving the negative affects of stress a chance to take hold.
Focused relaxation training can reverse the negative effects of stress and more importantly, it can also help prevent those negative effects. Relaxation not only returns the body to it's optimal level of functioning but promotes many positive physiological changes which occur during relaxation. Some of these effects result in less muscle tension, help in normalizing blood pressure, decrease chronic headaches, slower heart rate and improved digestion.
Imagine the benefits to your well-being by combining regular relaxation training and exercise. This is exactly what many oriental disciplines have done. Disciplines such as Yoga and T'ai Chi are famous for combining relaxation and exercise and their health benefits are widely known. T'ai Chi has been shown to improve balance and coordination in the elderly. Qigong (related to Acupuncture), a Chinese discipline combining breathing and movement, has been used in China for centuries to treat and prevent many forms of severe physical illness, including cancer and heart disease. Qigong is an aspect of T'ai Chi that makes it so useful for maintaining and promoting the physical and mental well-being of it's practitioners.
As healthcare professionals and practitioners of T'ai Chi, our work has been centered around making the information we have acquired available to people who are interested in living well. Many chronic disorders people suffer from can be eliminated with the educational classes and biofeedback products we have made available on LifeMatters. Consider obtaining more information by reading our articles and check out T'ai Chi, T'ai Chi and Recovery from Stress and How to Find a T'ai Chi Teacher.
While our discipline and knowledge is of T'ai Chi, we have great respect for and encourage the practice of meditation in any of it's many forms. There are very good meditation practices associated with every religious and spiritual tradition. But even if you do not practice these disciplines you can learn deep relaxation with guidance and practice. Regular relaxation practice can be learned and enhanced with biofeedback instruments such as the emWavePro, emWave2 portable stress reliever, and GSR2's which promote general relaxation and provide stress relief throughout the entire body.
Even children can be adversely affected by stress. Sometimes parents misinterpret stress related behaviors for misbehavior. There is a great program to help parents deal with stress in children called Kiddie QR that can help you identify and help children improve their ability to cope with stress.