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Stress Management for Health Course

Cautions/Contraindications - Relaxation

It is best to be cautious when dealing with stress, so do not diagnose yourself as suffering from stress but see your physician to get an accurate diagnosis because there are some medical conditions whose symptoms are similar to those of stress and if this is so the medical conditions need treating.
Relaxation is a very safe Stress Management technique, but there are a few cautions which must be borne in mind in order to gain maximum effectiveness:

       Do not drive or operate machinery straight after practicing  relaxation.


       Do not practice relaxation whilst driving or doing any other activity that requires your concentration.


        Do not practice relaxation on a full stomach.


        Do not cross your arms and legs.


       If you have any form of chronic medical or psychological health problem check with your doctor that relaxation is suitable for your particular condition.


       Do not practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation (tense/release) if you have High blood pressure or other cardiovascular problems.


       Never practice relaxation to treat undiagnosed symptoms; always see your Doctor for an accurate diagnosis.


       If you find you have any uncomfortable symptoms while practicing relaxation discuss these with your Doctor.


       A few people may experience new sensations such as a feeling of floating, if this worries you just stop the relaxation and bring your consciousness back and the symptom will resolve.


       In some individuals relaxation techniques may enhance the action of certain drugs. Let your doctor know you are regularly practising relaxation techniques, in case he/she wants to monitor your dosage of anti-anxiety, anti-hypertensive or other medications you may be taking.


       Do not stand up straightaway after practicing relaxation, remain seated or lying down for a few minutes with your eyes open then get up.


       It is advisable that people who are suffering schizophrenia do not practice relaxation techniques unless advised that they can by their qualified medical practitioner.


For the vast majority of people who practice relaxation on a regular basis it provides many benefits, however there are a minority of people who practice relaxation for whom it can have a paradoxical effect and heighten anxiety instead of reducing anxiety.  The best way to overcome this is to initially practice relaxation for five minutes at a time and over time build up the length of time in relaxation.  Another possible reason for relaxation-induced anxiety is that people may be breathing too quickly or too deeply.  If you have any problems with relaxation then consult your stress management advisor or your doctor.


Click here to be taken to Relaxation - Introduction