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Techniques

Various techniques are used by individuals to improve their state of relaxation. Some of the methods are performed alone; some require the help of another person (often a trained professional); some involve movement, some focus on stillness; while other methods involve different elements.
Certain relaxation techniques known as “formal and passive relaxation exercises” are generally performed while sitting or lying quietly, with minimal movement and involve “a degree of withdrawal‖. These include:
  • Autogenic training
  • Biofeedback
  • Deep breathing
  • Meditation
  • Mindbody relaxation
  • Zen Yoga
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation
  • Pranayama
  • Visualization
  • Yoga Nidra
  • Self-hypnosis
Movement-based relaxation methods incorporate exercise such as walking, gardening, yoga, T’ai chi, Qigong, and more. Some forms of bodywork are helpful in promoting a state of increased relaxation. Examples include massage, acupuncture, the Feldenkrais Method, reflexology and self-regulation.
Some relaxation methods can also be used during other activities, for example, autosuggestion and prayer. At least one study has suggested that listening to certain types of music, particularly New Age music and classical music, can increase feelings associated with relaxation, such as peacefulness and a sense of ease.
A technique growing in popularity is flotation therapy, which is the use of a float tank in which a solution of Epsom salt is kept at skin temperature to provide effortless floating. Research in USA and Sweden has demonstrated a powerful and profound relaxation after twenty minutes. In some cases, floating may reduce pain and stress and has been shown to release endorphins.
Even actions as simple as a walk in the park have been shown to aid feelings of relaxation, regardless of the initial reason for the visit.