“The Relaxation Response” – Book by Herbert Benson

‘Relaxation Response’ by Herbert Benson, M.D. Dr. Benson is a must read!

“The Relaxation Response” is a book written many years ago by Herbert Benson, M.D. Dr. Benson wrote on the topic of how to create a habit that could help you keep your body from being damaged from the effects of the stressed placed upon it by living in this day-and-age. It is in actuality a very simple process and one I teach to my students in Mediation 101. I highly recommend you get his book.

We live in such a stressful time. Everything is being thrown at our energy fields at million-miles-a-second and that in turn kicks our adrenals into and locks them in the ‘on’ position. Being locked in this position creates a problem with cortisol production, affects sleep, decreases our immune defenses, helps us gain weight and accelerates the aging process. There are hundreds of great supplements on the market for helping with ‘adrenal fatigue’ but by and large the best, most effective with the least cost option is to begin a Relaxation Response Method or Meditation Practice. Please keep in mind these are both effective. You please choose whichever method speaks to your higher self and your personal aspect of God.

The important thing is to find a place and make it, even if for only the time you are using it, your sacred space. Use this same space each time. Be comfortable and sit wherever you are happy and relaxed. You may fall asleep the first few times. That’s ok! Your body needed it. This will happen less and less as your practice grows. Be gentle and non-judgmental toward yourself during these times. Spending about 15-30 minutes once per day is fantastic and very doable in most peoples schedules. Great teachers of meditation like Deepak Chopra of the Chopra Center in Carlsbad, California recommends optimally approximately 30 minutes at sunrise and 30 minutes at sunset of meditation each day. Great if you can do this!! My recommendation would be to not mediate too much past sunset as this could effect your sleep for the evening.

Chose a prayer, saying or mantra to help keep you focused during your practice. Remember practice makes perfect. I recommend the one from Dr. Darren Weissman who developed the Lifeline Technique – ‘INFINITE LOVE AND GRATITUE’. Use the term and see it gently play in your mind like a ticker tape anytime you notice or get frustrated with your thoughts. Please do not be frustrated with your thoughts if they seem to be over-abundant – and don’t be upset if you fall asleep. The thoughts are healthy and detoxing. They will decease. If you fall asleep, your body needed it. This will also decrease as your body heals. I firmly believe you can repay a sleep debt on your body.

This is all part-and-parcel to creating the Relaxation Response. Remember it is a practice and is something you should be doing at least once every day, especially if you experience some stress in your life or would like to expand your consciousness. It will take time for your body to heal. It is best to play some relaxing music, burn a candle of your choosing or some incense to help remind the brain and body when it’s time to relax during your sessions of the Relaxation Response. This response will be easy to bring into your awareness at any point with just a little practice. It will have a profound effect on your overall health. In conventional medicine we have seen its benefits from lowering blood pressure and balancing hormones to reducing stress and anxiety. All with no potentially negative side-effects and free! Seems like a no-brainer to me. Even just burning your incense from your practice at other times with help to trigger the relaxation and you might just be making dinner. Its benefits will eventually become apparent when you most expect it. You will be so surprised just how differently and calmly you respond to things that at one point would have enraged you. Its benefits shouldn’t be overlooked.

Additional Resources:

“What’s Your Love Language” by Gary Chapman is a great resource for relationship help.

Nag Champa incense for burning during meditation.

“The Secret” is a great movie for positive inspiration and affirmations.

Bruce & Brian BecVar make great music for relaxation, meditation and dosha balancing.