Deep relaxation, also known as the “relaxation response” is a specific state that is the opposite of a state of tension triggered by stress. It consists of several physical changes in your body that include a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, and respiration or breathing rate.
In addition to decreasing muscle tension and blood pressure, deep relaxation has several benefits that have been documented time and again over the last 30 years.
Our bodies are designed to respond automatically to stress. This response, referred to as the “fight-or-flight response”, consists of a predictable pattern of physical changes that prepare you to deal with a perceived threat or danger (by fighting or fleeing). Some of these changes include:
When the perceived threat or stress is gone, the body automatically returns to a balanced, resting state. However, for some people who experience prolonged or multiple sources of stress, the body does not fully return to this balanced state. Instead, the fight or flight response continues to work “overtime” which can result in negative consequences to your health (i.e., important bodily functions such as digestion, reproduction, tissue growth and repair, and immune function begin to wear down or malfunction). The relaxation response can assist you in quieting the body’s response to stress. It can prevent some of the “wear and tear” that can come from prolonged or excessive fight-or-flight reactions.
Reiki is an energy-based healing practice that can lessen the impact of stress by supporting the body’s natural ability to heal itself. One of the primary benefits of a Reiki session is relaxation. When we relax, our muscles become less tense, and our blood pressure, heart, and respiratory rate become lower. This response is the opposite of the "fight or flight" stress response. Instead, Reiki works to help you achieve a deep state of mental and physiological rest.
If you think you could benefit from a state of deep relaxation, perhaps it’s time you tried Reiki! Virtual or in-person sessions are available.