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New age therapies and stress reduction

By Charles Hopkins Published 08/8/2006 | Health

Sound therapy, music, neuro linguistic programming, craniosacral therapy and walking are new methods that are being used to combat stress. These are all alternative techniques that have been scientifically tested, and work as effective tools in stress management.

Most of us love listening to the waves crashing on the shore or the dull stillness of an early morning. All these sounds have a soothing effect on our mind. They rejuvenate the mind and the body by dissipating negative energy and feelings. We have been listening to these sounds almost everyday without realizing that they act as stress busters.

Sound therapy works on the same principle. A patient undergoing sound therapy is made to listen to soft continuous music which de-stresses him. A single session can last for an hour and a half. The duration can be varied to suit the patients condition.  Sometimes nature sounds like the chirping of birds or gentle breeze is also used for therapeutic purposes.

Another technique is to synchronize the vibrations of your body with outside music. Different times call for different genre of music. Some people prefer to listen to hard rock at high volume to calm their frayed nerves while others prefer slow and soft music. Over a period of time you find yourself completely recharged and free from hypertension, mental anxiety and depression. Your concentration power and focusing ability too is boosted.

Most of us are unable to deal with stress since we are under the impression that it is an involuntary response and cannot be changed. It has now been found that you can control involuntary responses to a certain degree. This method is called the biofeedback method which was developed in the late 1960s and is now being used to treat stress.

In this method, sensors are placed on the patients body to detect an auto response. The sensors continue beeping or vibrating till the individual is able to control the response. When the patient becomes aware of his body movements the sensors are removed. This therapy is extremely effective for treating migraines, chronic neural ailments that lead to stress and cardiac symptoms. 

Walking is an established stress buster. When you feel stressed out go out for a walk outside. It is best if you can work in three phases. First walk at a moderate pace allowing your thoughts to be heard. Find out the cause of the stress. Next pick up pace which will enable your brain to think fast. There are high chances that you might hit upon a possible solution to the problem or find an effective method to deal with it. In the end walk slowly and breathe deeply. This will allow you to release all the negative feelings caused due to stress.  At the end of a walk you would have fought off stress effectively.

Neuro linguistic programming and visualization techniques are relatively new methods that are being tried for stress removal. In the case of visualization technique, you need to visualize an environment that has the ability to de-stress you. It is an individual based technique. The visualization has to be so real that by seeing it you are de-stressed.  This technique aims at reducing stress by brainwashing your mind with positive ideas.