Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Reduce Tension with Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Overall body tension can be reduced by great technique called Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR). By doing this you will feel less stress and will get increased mental and physical health. Check below to get started.

1. Find a quiet place, sit or lie down and make yourself comfortable.
2. Begin by tensing all the muscles in your face. Make a tight grimace, close your eyes as tightly as possible, clench your teeth, even move your ears up if you can. Hold this for the count of eight as you inhale.
3. Now exhale and relax completely. Let your face go completely lax, as though you were sleeping. Feel the tension seep from your facial muscles, and enjoy the feeling.
4. Next, completely tense your neck and shoulders, again inhaling and counting to eight. Then exhale and relax.
5. Continue down your body, repeating the procedure with the following muscle groups:
• chest
• abdomen
• entire right arm
• right forearm and hand (making a fist)
• right hand
• entire left arm
• left forearm and hand (again, making a fist)
• left hand
• buttocks
• entire right leg
• lower right leg and foot
• right foot
• entire left leg
• lower left leg and foot
• left foot
6. for the shortened version, which includes just four main muscle groups:
• face
• neck, shoulders and arms
• abdomen and chest
• buttocks, legs and feet

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Music soothens women during pregnancy

According to new study, listening to good music can help pregnant women to get relieved from psychological stress. The pregnant women varies from 18 to 34 weeks expected to have uncomplicated vaginal deliveries after listening to good music.

All but five of the 241 women, who were recruited from the antenatal clinic at a medical centre in southern Taiwan, completed the pre and post-test assessments. The demographic profiles of the two groups were very similar when it came to factors like education, occupation, social class and happiness with their marriage.

Half of the women were pregnant for the first time and just over half of the pregnancies were planned. The number of women in their second and third trimesters was more or less equal. Four pre-recorded 30-minute music CDs were created for the study and each featured music that mimicked the human heart rate, with between 60 and 80 beats per minute.

The lullaby CD included songs like Brahms'' Lullaby and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and composers like Beethoven and Debussy were included on the classic CD. The nature sounds included Tropical Mystery and Friendly Natives and the crystals'' CD comprised Chinese children’s rhymes and songs, like Little Honey-Bee and Jasmine.

Women taking part in the music group were given copies of the CDs and asked to listen to them for 30 minutes a day for two weeks. They then completed a diary saying which CD they had listened to and what they were doing at the time. Most of them listened to the music while they were resting, at bedtime or performing chores. The control group did not listen to the CDs.

Participants in both groups were asked to complete three well-established scales, which are used to measure stress, anxiety and depression, before and after the music intervention.

The results showed that, before they took part in the study, women in the music group scored 17.44 on the Perceived Stress Scale, which ranges from zero to 30. After the intervention their stress levels had dropped by an average of 2.15, which is statistically significant.

Women in the control group reported a much smaller fall of 0.92. Anxiety was measured by the State Scale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, which ranges from 20 to 80. It fell by 2.13 from 37.92 in the music group and rose by 0.71 in the control group.

Depression was measured by the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression scale, which ranges from zero to 30. The music group reported an average level of 12.11 before the intervention and a reduction of 1.84 at the end of the two-week period. The score was almost constant in the control group, falling by an insignificant 0.03.