Muscle tension is a symptom of stress because we tense our muscles when we are stressed.

Since relieving muscle tension by massaging the tense muscle makes one feel relaxed, massage is a very effective relaxation technique.

Therefore, schedule time to get a professional massage whenever you want to de-stress and relax.   

If you are unable to get to a professional massage therapist, iron out the kinks in your body by applying pressure and motion to the soft tissues of your scalp, face, neck, feet or wherever else you feel tense.  

Enhance your massage experience by using healing essential oils and having an aromatherapeutic massage. Essential oils that have a calming effect on the mind and body include lavender essential oil, chamomile essential oil, ylang ylang essential oil and sandalwood essential oil.

To create a soothing massage oil blend mix a total of 10 drops of your essential oils  (for example 4 drops of lavender essential oil and 3 chamomile essential oil and 3 drops of ylang ylang essential) with 20 mls of a carrier oil such as sweet almond. If you can’t get sweet almond, you can use cold pressed olive oil. 

Perfect the session by playing soothing Christian music which has the double benefit of healing frayed nerves with the Balm of Gilead.

Take the relaxation session a notch higher by adding 5 drops of lavender essential oil to a diffuser or a bowl of hot water to saturate the room and evict stress.

Note that if you are giving yourself a massage, always perform a 24 hour patch test by applying the essential oil mixture to the skin on your elbow before you apply it to your temples to avoid developing a nasty reaction on your face which will increase your stress.

In addition, avoid massaging areas with skin diseases, swellings, recent scars, varicose veins and also over the abdomen during pregnancy. Finally, avoid using essential oils in children, the elderly and if you are pregnant unless under the supervision of a qualified aromatherapist.

Adapted from Rules of Relaxation by Dr Miriam Kinai © 2007

Relaxation Tuesday: What is your favorite relaxation technique?

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