It's interesting to note in today's busy world that we are often drawn to activities that have more of a yang or heating effect on the body rather than investing time in activities that are more yin in nature. Yin activities cool and slow down the metabolism whist having a calming effect on the whole body. Think of eating yoghurt or cucumbers to cool the effects in your mouth of a hot spicy curry, they both compliment and balance each other!
The definition to relaxation means something different to all of us yet it is something we all need to invest in for a healthy state of being in our ever increasing frantic world that we live in. For some of us meditative exercise such as lap swimming or long distance running challenge the physical body whist at the same time they help to put life back into perspective again. Whist these yang activities do bring about a sense of balance in life, finding time to flop and completely let go also puts life back into perspective again.
Holistic therapy and body work can be classified as a yin practice and may help with life coping mechanisms for stress. Often relaxation and re-balancing body work is associated with a treatment we have when we are on holiday or as a once-off pampering treat rather than considering the treatment as a monthly maintenance program. The correlation between stress and disease has been proven many times over and there are many research programs and articles to support this. Having a regular massage is one option amongst many other stress busting techniques such as yoga and a healthy eating program to assist in bringing balance to the yang and yin in life.
Whist I am not suggesting becoming a hermit and mediating for the rest of life, I am encouraging a focus of bringing about more of a balance in life by having regular quiet, nurturing moments. Holistic therapy is not a guarantee that we won't fall prey to disease yet it is a path towards a more stress free life.