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  • Dr. Sanjana Saraf

Relaxation Techniques

In times of stress, anxiety and some other psychological disturbances, the body experiences what is termed as ‘arousal’. During states of over-arousal one begins to experience symptoms like subjective distress, palpitations, sweating, trembling, dizziness, increased attention and vigilance, hyperactivity, and etc. Various relaxation techniques are available to help in the reduction of arousal. The first step is learning the technique under direct observation and instructions from the therapist, along with appropriate feedback from the therapist. This has been found to superior to the sole use of taped instructions. This is followed by regular home practice sessions, which results in sustainable changes. Some popularly used relaxation techniques are as follows: Jacobson’s Progressive Muscle Relaxation trains patients to identify muscle tension in different parts of the body accurately, to control and relax their muscles in a progressive step by step fashion. Breathing Training has a variety of techniques that help to relax through modification of training. Autogenic Training: The therapist induces relaxation by repeating a set of visualisations targeting certain body organs. Meditation involves relaxation by focus on specific thought, phrase, breathing, etc. Caution: Under certain circumstances, relaxation techniques may result in adverse or side effects. Therefore, relaxation as a means of treatment for psychological disorders must be sought under the guidance of a mental health professional.

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