As one prepares for a marathon, he runs everyday, eats right and takes care of his body. In one word that process is called training. Training is all around us in today’s society. School training, work training, physical training, and sports training are just to name a few. Why not relaxation training? If one deems relaxation as an important part of his life, then he must also train for it. Relaxing is a skill. Our bodies are so overwhelmed with the stresses and demands of life that it is increasingly difficult for them to relax on their own. It is therefore time to give relaxation training a second thought.
Relaxation training and relaxation therapy go hand in hand with each other. In fact, it is hard to talk about one without talking about the other, at least in spirit if not in words. There are many relaxation training exercises out there today, the most popular being breathing training. The reason this is called training and not therapy is that its purpose is to change the breathing process itself, so that one automatically begins to breathe in a certain way when experiencing life’s stressors while therapy is designed to be a focused and cognitive act to respond to certain specific life stressors. Training is preventive in nature while therapy is more responsive in nature.
Relaxation training is often simple in function and fairly quick in practice. This lends it to integration in the bodies natural stress responses. The breathing or muscle reactions begin to come naturally and in response to one’s bodies’ own stimuli, thus creating a less stressful somatic environment. This cycle is self-perpetuating, as its rewards are inherent in its action. As the body trains in certain relaxation therapies, it integrates the stress relieving strategies and actions into its own stress reaction processes. Essentially, relaxation training has its own payoff, which affects body, mind, and spirit.