For a very brief introduction to relaxation, click through to my Coping Skills section.
Relaxation training is a very popular component of pain management. By itself, relaxation can be an enjoyable experience, but when used as a way to extend activity and help a person maintain control, it becomes a very potent tool. It’s important that if the latter aspects of relaxation are to be a focus, relaxation must become habitual, well-developed so that it can be employed quickly, and then integrated into activity.
If relaxation remains a soothing withdrawal activity it can become just a passive coping strategy, encouraging reduced interaction with the ‘real’ world and feared activities.
There is a good deal of research into relaxation as a coping strategy – for the moment I’ll leave citing references as I want to focus on specific types of relaxation in future posts. Suffice to say that if you use Google Scholar and type in ‘relaxation chronic pain’ you’ll come up with a huge number of references (go on, try it – you know you want to!).
If you have a specific relaxation technique that you’d like to learn about (or want to share) – don’t forget to leave a message below, or drop me a line at my email – adiemus [at] clear [dot] net [dot] nz
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