“Don’t worry, it will be fine,” is a familiar saying that gets old real fast when it is stated without any instructions on how to get those thoughts out of your head. As a massage therapist in outpatient cancer centers I have the opportunity to introduce simple relaxation techniques to patients as they receive chemotherapy. Even mini moments can make a difference in their stress level. I love to encourage time in nature, meditative moments, and of course massage.
I hope these simple relaxation techniques give you a few moments of calm. One of the first thing I teach patients is how to breathe, slowly, effortlessly and calmly. The simplest breathing technique is to ask patient to pick two words of importance to them; their kids’ names, part of a prayer of simple mantra. The beauty of picking two words is that you always have to perogotive to change the words to suite your frame of mind. Then as I massage their shoulders I ask them to place their hands on their abdomen and inhale. It’s a comforting feeling to feel your abdomen raise, then with the second word of phrase, exhale. In that moment they feel the touch of the massage, center on their breath and concentrate on their words of importance. Even for a few minutes, their head is empty of concerns.
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