About the Work

SCIENTIFIC RELAXATION SKILLS WILL DRAMATICALLY CHANGE YOUR LIFE

Scientific Relaxation is a trained skill, not counseling or therapy. Most people think that “relaxation” can only be found outside of their daily life routines. However, even when on vacation, many are not really able to let go of their tension and worries. Our thoughts of fear and worry cause our brains to create chemicals that flood our bodies with tension. Tension is not a vague term. It is primarily the result of brain, nerve, and muscle activity which increases when we feel stressed and threatened. When this continues on day after day, it leads to both physical and emotional symptoms of discomfort. In an attempt to feel better, we reach for ways to soothe our discomforts – often adding the impact of self-defeating addictions to our lives.

In the 1930s, Edmund Jacobson, a brilliant Harvard M.D. and psychologist/physiologist, discovered a mechanism within the voluntary muscles that makes learning to relax chronic tension possible. His discovery, now known as The Relaxation Response, is one of the most important breakthroughs in medical history. Jacobson found that by using the mind, the body can be trained to remain relaxed but alert---allowing one to accomplish much more with less effort. By practicing this skill in daily life, symptoms of stress can be reduced or completely eliminated and your energy, efficiency, and creativity greatly enhanced.

The Relaxation Response is our natural state of being - a skill that Nature has hard-wired into our brain and nervous system. Upon learning this from Marylou, a doctor remarked: “The Relaxation Response is the best-kept secret in medicine.” Clients often ask her, “Why haven't I heard of this before?” Marylou feels it is her mission to educate people. Most people live their lives without knowing there is a way to optimize their mental and physical health with this simple skill. A skill that is designed into their very cells!

Scientific Relaxation is the combination of Proper Breathing, Progressive Relaxation, and Differential Relaxation. Marylou uses EMG Biofeedback and individualized stress management techniques to teach these powerful tools for navigating life’s challenges. These tools activate the Relaxation Response that exists within each and every one of us, just waiting to be discovered.
PROPER BREATHING
Stressed and anxious people breathe from their upper chest. This produces a shallow and rapid breath that overworks neck and shoulder muscles and creates a sense of strain. This chest breathing engages one’s “fight or flight” system, signaling urgency and threat. The heart and cardiovascular system goes into overdrive, working harder than necessary. Research shows that just a few minutes of this modified breathing can reduce oxygen levels by 30% to the brain and heart. Your training will begin with exercises to strengthen the diaphragm. In practice sessions, you will be taught to breathe at a slower, rhythmic rate. Proper breathing enhances your mood, builds resilience, and fights premature aging and disease.
PROGRESSIVE RELAXATION
While remaining alert and aware, you will learn to relax your body deeper than possible during restful sleep. Research shows that this deep muscle relaxation training minimizes the cumulative effects of stress, restores energy, and promotes mental clarity. With the practice of progressive relaxation, our bodies begin to release the years of chronic tension and habitual stress reactions stored in muscles. Seventy-five years of scientific research show that people unknowingly waste 30% to 60% of precious life energy in learned stress habits. In addition, T cells, a measure of the body's immune function, has been shown to increase 40% with this relaxation training. Clients often discover tension patterns they didn’t know they carried.
DIFFERENTIAL RELAXATION
It’s exciting for Marylou’s clients to learn they can hurry and be relaxed at the same time. She will help you identify knots of excess tension stored in your voluntary muscles. You will discover how tension builds, from sheer habit, in the shoulders, face, jaw, eyes and chest in stressful situations. Through Differential Relaxation training, you learn to use only the muscle tension needed to carry out a task. Even driving a car will feel different! Dissolving this excess tension becomes a new habit, and you will feel a relaxed alertness at work and in social situations that will become second nature.
EMG BIOFEEDBACK
Biofeedback is a comfortable, noninvasive method that measures the electrical activity in the muscles. Clients learn quickly, through this process, that stress is not a vague term but that it is directly impacting their bodies. Biofeedback offers the client a visual or auditory signal that assists them in rapidly learning the skill of Scientific Relaxation. In the “fight or flight” response, the brain, nerve and tension patterns heighten. This tension is measured by placing small sensors on the skin over different muscle groups (shoulders, jaw, forehead, arm, etc.). You will learn to dissolve painful knots and anxious feelings. If these stressful reactions are left untreated, they lead to symptoms, disease, and premature aging.
Marylou believes she can teach anyone to learn to relax. She provides confidential individual sessions, as well as workshops for special interest groups. Her approach is personalized to her clients' needs.
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