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Ways To Reduce Stress - Topic Overview

In addition to meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and breathing exercises to relieve stress, you might try these other therapies.

Ways to relax your mind

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Few sensual experiences rival a full-body massage for pleasure and stress relief -- at least among those things you can talk about in front of the children at the dinner table. Word on the health benefits of massage therapy for stress relief has spread. In 2006, 39 million Americans -- one in six adults -- had at least one massage, according to a nationwide survey by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). "Americans are looking to massage for much more than just relaxation," says Mary...

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Ways to relax your body

  • Massage, such as a shoulder and neck massage, uses touch to relieve tension. You can see a massage therapist or have a friend or family member give you a massage. You can even give yourself a massage.
  • Aromatherapy uses the aroma-producing oils from plants to help you relax.
  • Biofeedback teaches you how to use your mind to control skin temperature, muscle tension, heart rate, or blood pressure. All of these things can be affected by stress.

Herbal supplements

Some people use herbal supplements such as valerian, kava, gingko, St. John's Wort, and chamomile to relieve stress symptoms such as anxiety and insomnia. But supplements like these can be sold with limited or no research on how well they work. Talk with your doctor if you are taking supplements, especially if you have another health condition.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: May 15, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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