Sites from which to purchase relaxation mp3's, CDs'S and tapes
- Health Journeys
is a wonderful resource for guided imagery, meditation and general relaxation tools for anyone with or without any health problems. Many of the guided imagery sessions can be purchased as mp3s, and in most cases can be downloaded the next day.
- Pain Support
offers a lot of information on natural and non-drug pain therapies, but the site also offers an mp3 version of the CD "Relax and Release your Pain". This CD is excellent for pain and stress, and it's one of the best investments I could have made.
has an mp3 store, and there are several good CDS of relaxing music. Best of all, you can hear samples of most tracks and get a good idea if you might like the CD or song before you buy the mp3. Here are a few I like:
- Mountain Stream with Relaxing Music
This provides a nice background, and I've even fallen asleep to it. There are more from this provider which look good.
- Beethoven With Ocean sounds/Ode To Joy
Some people dislike the mixture of classical music with nature sounds, but I love it. This is one of my favorites.
- You can always do a search for music by genre from the main mp3 download page. Classical and new-age categories are good places to start.
- Mountain Stream with Relaxing Music
- Rebecca K
has excellent piano music. I highly recommend any of her CDS. Ordering information is on the site.
- Whisperings Solo Piano Radio
Both free and premium streams of piano music.
offers mp3 meditations on a subscription basis, but they do have one meditation available for free. I've used some of their programs and am finding that they are worth the subscription price.
- Empowered Within
has several CDS available for sale, and it looks like some of them are available in mp3 format. The one I listened to and used was helpful, but I haven't had a chance to check out many of the others.
looks like a neat tool, in which you can even mix your own sleep/relaxation soundtrack. It seems to be flash based, which I can't get to work. I don't know how much of that is me, and how much of that is a flash accessibility issue. Your mileage may vary.
Background Information, How-Tos and the basics
These are some basic resources on meditation, imagery and the premises behind them. They are generally not specific to any condition, but will give you some basics on how to get started. Remember, too, that resources in other parts of this list will also contain basic information you may want to use to get started.
- Relaxation techniques: Learn ways to calm your stress
This resource from the mayo clinic describes benefits of relaxation and some basic information on how to engage in relaxation techniques.
- Yoga: Improve your stress management and relaxation skills
This article explains what yoga is and how to get started. It's also from the Mayo Clinic.
- Meditation: Take a stress-reduction break wherever you are
These are some basics on meditation from the Mayo Clinic. Benefits for specific medical issues are discussed, as well as how to incorporate meditation into your lifestyle.
- Holistic Online: Guided Imagery
A large amount of information on the basic types of guided imagery. A good overview.
- CNN's Five Ways to Calm the Jitters
This covers some ways to manage anxiety.
- World Wide On Line Meditation Center
Okay, so I could've listed this under the mp3 purchasing section, but honestly, I found this link while preparing this section (gotta love not catching all the tabs in Firefox). Butt it actually does fit here. There are tons of information on various types of meditation and relaxation techniques. It's organized by "rooms", so it's very much like a school, where you go into a room based on what you want to learn about.
- Lovingkindness for our Unknown Neighbors
A cool meditation idea that could affect others, too..
- Top Ten Count-Down
How to Cope with Pain Blog
I put this here because it shows that relaxation doesn't have to mean just sitting with your eyes closed, and you don't need chronic pain to do any of thes. Well, in my opinion, I don't need chronic pain, period, but that's a different post all together.
- Mind Guide to Relaxation
This looks helpful, and it's pretty in depth.
- A Walk on the Beach
Susan Palwick describes how she helped a patient in the ER relax. The walk on the beach is always a popular relaxation choice, but this story shows why that is. And it shows that you truly can use relaxation in healing ways, even in the most trying of circumstances.
- Meditation Techniques for the Busy or Impatient
We're all busy lately, and I know I'm sure impatient. Here are some tips on how to fit meditation in.
- Three doors to Instant Relaxation
These are what are sometimes referred to as mindfulness techniques. They seem so simple, and yet that's exactly why they work.
- Meditation Swiftly Cuts Stress
Need proof meditation is good for you, make a clicky with the mouse and read the article.
- Seven Ways to Catch Your Breath
These ideas are so important when dealing with a stressful situation. Relaxation is important, and it extends to handling stressful situations. Here's what to do when you don't know what to do.
- Bending, Posing and Teaching Beyond the Mat
The social work student in me loves this article, which talks about using yoga. It describes the way yoga teachers are reaching out to those who can't pay for their services.
Seven Easy Ways to Destress
Another great How to Cope with Pain post. This one, also, applies to anyone and everyone.
Relaxation, Coping and Chronic Pain
The following are some articles which apply relaxation to life with chronic pain. A few of these are more about practical life, and many include relaxation tips.
- Eleven Chronic Pain Control Techniques
Describes 11 different techniques to help control pain. These are brief descriptions, but it gives a great idea of what may be worth trying. There are a few which I hadn't heard of, and I'd still like to work through a few of these which I haven't tried yet.
- Relaxation and Chronic Pain
An online version of a chapter from a chronic pain workbook. This one is really in-depth, and I highly recommend it. I like it because the credibility is pretty high.
- Using Guided Imagery to Help Relieve Chronic Pain
This is an interview which describes what Guide Imagery is and how you can use it to relieve chronic pain. It also contains a few resources on the topic.
- Pet Therapy: Or Sometimes a Human is Just not Enough
Again, this is one of those topics which isn't in the strict, typical definition of relaxation, but I feel it can be a huge possibility in this relm.
- Rejuvenate Yourself
Discusses several relaxation and rejuvination techniques, along with some brief directions on how to get started.
- 14 Natural Pain Relievers
Discusses several holistic techniques for relieving pain. True, not all of these fit into the imagery/relaxation technique idea, but many of these things can work with relaxation. For example, I sometimes find that if I need breakthrough medication, using heat and relaxation with that medication makes it work better. It's like delivering a tripple punch to the pain, in a kind, deep-breathing way, of course.
- Benefits of Support Groups and Psychological Intervention — An Interview with Dr. Sarah Whitman
This interview covers psychological interventions, which can include relaxation techniques. Many people with chronic pain know how important psychological help can be to getting through the experience of life with chronic pain.
- When we slip: Progress is not linear
Such an important fact to remember. We're all going to struggle at some point, and it's not always going to be easy. When that happens, read this article.
- 5 steps to start the new year right
This is another article from Chronic Babe, and as usual, it's excellent. I've included it here because it shows so many ideas on how you can incorporate relaxation into your day. The ideas on rituals are helpful.
- What Is Relaxation Therapy And When Is It Used For Pain?
A video (with transcript), which briefly describe how relaxation helps with chronic pain.
- What Is Imagery Therapy And When Is It Used For Pain?
Another video, with transcript, which describes how imagery can be used with pain.
- What is biofeedback and when is it used for pain?
Yes, another video, and yes, it has a transcript. This video covers biofeedback. I haven't tried this technique, but it has helped people. I do want to try it.
- Biofeedback: Using your mind to improve your health
This is a Mayo Clinic article covering biofeedback.
- Hypnosis: Another way to manage pain, kick bad habits
This article describes how hypnosis is used to manage pain. This is a technique I haven't explored as fully, but what I do know is that it's not as creepy as we often think.
- Can Hypnosis Help Chronic Pain?
This is an article from the How to Cope with Pain blog, and it answers the question quite nicely.
- Tai chi: Improved stress reduction, balance, agility for all
These are important skills for those with pain.
Previous Posts and My Personal Tips
There are several posts in this blog (a few of which show up in the book), which address relaxation and mindbody aproaches to life with chronic pain. This list includes some of those, but also has some non-link tips which I feel should be mentioned here.
- Remember that imagery doesn't have to be visual. As a blind person, I found that part of my problem with relaxation techniques were how visual they were. I discussed that with other people who are blind and my relaxation teacher, and we came up with adaptations for me. When I'm picturing my beach, I feel the warm sand and the beach towel. I feel the sun on my skin, the breeze and the warmth. I smell whatever smells I want to be on that beach. I see what I can with my light and color perception and I hear the ocean moving. Almost every relaxation technique can be adapted. Anyone who says it can't forgets that relaxation happens within us, and with the resources we have within us.
- Use multiple techniques when your pain is bad. This one is my preference, but I think it works. If my pain is really bad, sometimes it takes more to get into a relaxed state. I'll use lavender or other aromatherapy/essential oil blends, heat, medication, elevation, and relaxation techniques. What's important is paying attention to what works in which situations and using it then.
- Figure out when to do relaxation techniques by yourself and when to add the voice of a "guide". A guide can be the mp3 you downloaded or a friend, family member or other person adding guidance. I have learned that I do better with a guide, but that I should not use a guide when I'm out and about.
- Don't shunn the idea of affirmations. The imagery for pain I got from
comes with an affirmations track. It's simply a track/mp3 of various statements which you can listen to to help create changes in attitude. I thought that idea was weird, to be honest. Now, I use it, and it helps me feel better emotionally. Maybe that change can be helpful to my perception of my pain, too.
- Investigate other options. It's good to know what's out there and what could increase your ability to relax. Look at what might be helpful.
- Change your environment. One thing I find to be helpful is to make sure my environment is conducive to relaxation. Put simply, am I comfortable, is it quiet and do I have time for this? That's a question which is definitely important to ask.
- Images, stories and pain
How I use images and stories to deal with my pain.
- The Value of Acceptance
this is one of my best posts, and also the hardest to carry out. It discusses acceptance, which is an important concept for dealing with any situation.
- Junior Year Toolbox/Survival Strategies
This is an example of how relaxation skills fit into an overall strategy for dealing with life and all its challenges.
- Further Along In Relaxation Class
a humorous look at what doesn't work for me.
- Julio's Notes of Relaxation
Yep, Julio has an opinion about relaxation and my efforts to engage in it.
- All posts tagged Relaxation in this blog