Slow is a Fast Route to Health and Wellness by Larry Cammarata, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist Copyright September 11, 2013September 11, 2013 at 12:23 am | Posted in Mind Body Medicine, Mindfulness, Self-Regulation, Stress Management, Uncategorized | 4 Comments
The other day, I observed a man walking hurriedly on a downtown street. With his cell phone to his ear and an eye on his watch, he seemed to be late to an appointment. His brow was furrowed, his body tense, and if I had to make a quick assessment, I would say that he was stressed! Have you ever noticed how you feel when you are rushing about your house, impatient, or simply feeling pressed for time? In that sort of situation, chances are that your heart rate is elevated, your breathing is shallow, and more of the stress hormone cortisol is flowing through your bloodstream.
From time to time, everyone experiences stress, and that’s not necessarily a problem. However, when stress is chronic or uncontrollable, we become vulnerable to physical illnesses and emotional problems. The good news is that there are easily learnable mind-body practices that can reverse this pattern. In addition to being healthy for you, these activities are also extremely enjoyable.
Research shows that slow movement practices such as Tai Chi, Yoga, and Qigong can have numerous physical and emotional benefits that support mood, sleep, and cardiovascular health, while also reducing stress and pain. The article at the link below by Psychology Professor Alan Fogel, Ph.D. describes the benefits of slow movement with awareness. I encourage you to read it slowly, with a relaxed body, and while taking long, slow, deep breaths. Enjoy!
(with contributing editors, Heather Butts, J.D., MPH, MA, Linda Cammarata, RN, RYT, and Ed Glauser, M.Ed., N.C.C., LPC)