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Relaxation Training

Relaxation. That word has a different meaning for everyone. One person may enjoy a day of fishing, one may like lying on the beach in the sun, sipping a frosty drink, while another enjoys a good book or a day of hiking. Some people think of ideal relaxation as more of a sensory experience, like getting a massage, taking a hot bubble bath, or listening to soothing music. Others would rather participate in a mental relaxation exercise, such as a crossword puzzle, playing games or a hobby or craft which requires detailed work and patience. Still others may find a physical experience helps them to relax, such as running, scuba diving, climbing a rock-wall or working in their garden flowerbeds. 

relaxation training with dr. martinAccording to Wikipedia “A relaxation technique is any method, process, procedure, or activity that helps a person to relax; to attain a state of increased calmness; or otherwise reduce levels of pain, anxiety, stress or anger.”  You might think that humans know intuitively how to relax, but for some, relaxation simply won’t come. This is often due to a stress response – the “fight or flight” feeling when the brain simply won’t “turn off” and allow a person to rest mentally or physically. Often, this happens during times of intense stress, even trauma, that the person experiences – the sudden death of a loved one, a divorce, friendship betrayal, personal abuse, violence, or suffering/witnessing a gruesome injury. Severe stress responses and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) can and do occur to everyday people, not just soldiers and first-responders. These prolonged bouts of extreme stress can be very detrimental to a person’s health and well-being. People who suffer chronic pain (about 20% of Americans) also have a difficult time relaxing, due to their pain.

Stress Management programs include advanced relaxation training, to help people tap into and control their nervous system, and reverse the “fight-or-flight” response, helping quiet the body and mind. Doing so takes practice, however evidence shows that proper utilization of relaxation techniques can reduce pain, decrease muscle tension and spasms, lower heart rates and blood pressure, as well as lead to better, more restful sleep. OSC’s Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Andrew Martin, PsyD, offers relaxation training to help patients learn new skills, including mindfulness, breathing exercises and meditation. 

To schedule an appointment for Relaxation Training, please call 757-596-1900 or click here to self-schedule. You do not have to be an Orthopaedic or Interventional Pain Management patient at OSC to schedule a consultation with Dr. Martin.

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