Therapeutic stress relief

Stress Busters: 4 Integrative Treatments

Stress Busters: 4 Integrative Treatments | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Nearly half of women report a rise in stress levels over the past five years. And while women and men tend to cope with stress differently, we know that chronic stress contributes to a range of health problems in both sexes, including mental health disorders, heart disease and obesity.

Integrative treatments like meditation and acupuncture can help reduce stress and related problems. These techniques are gaining mainstream acceptance as research demonstrates their positive health effects.

Managing stress calls for addressing the mind as well as the body, since both the brain and body contribute to symptoms.

  1. Meditation and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

    Meditation and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) are therapies proven to help manage anxiety and depression.

    Meditation is an ancient practice that helps you reach a relaxed state by focusing on breathing and awareness of the body in the present.

    MBSR is a program that draws on the principles of meditation to help people become more aware of how negative thoughts impact physical feelings. Research has shown that benefits of MBSR include:

    • Reduced stress and worrying
    • Improved memory and focus
    • Fewer emotional ups and downs, and greater resilience
    • Improved relationships

    Evidence supports the idea that meditation and mindfulness-based stress reduction are very helpful for managing mood disorders, and experts recommend it.

  2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of talk therapy focused on pinpointing and questioning negative, often mistaken thoughts that can lead to behavioral and mental health problems, such as anxiety.

    Research shows that people who receive CBT have a greater reduction in mental health symptoms as compared to people who use medication alone.

    There is solid evidence that CBT, meditation and MBSR are effective.

    All of these techniques are safe and have no side effects. A motivated person can practice them on their own. While integrative medicine may support traditional medicine, it is not a replacement, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about your symptoms.

  3. Acupuncture

    Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice involving the use of tiny needles to stimulate the nervous and immune systems. During the procedure, a licensed acupuncturist inserts hair-thin needles into the skin at specific points on the body. Acupuncture is painless, and research shows it helps support conventional treatment for a range of problems that include stress, chronic pain and digestive disorders. Experts note that it may be particularly effective for insomnia.

  4. Massage

    While many of us think of massage as a rare, indulgent treat, studies indicate massage helps treat a variety of stress-related disorders, including anxiety and insomnia. While one treatment is good, a series of massage treatments can be even more effective.

    It's important to talk to your doctor about whether massage is right for you. It may not be appropriate for people with certain conditions, such as bleeding disorders or osteoporosis.


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What Works, Who to Work With, and Destressing ASAP

Stress is a normal part of life — good stress and bad stress. With bad stress, you have both physical and emotional reactions to certain triggers that can cause you to worry and feel on edge. Stress can fluctuate at work or at home, while challenging situations and other changes in your life can trigger it, too.

If you’re curious about how you can manage stress through therapy, read on to learn more about what types of therapy and therapists can help.

While stress itself is a normal part of life, recurring stress that interferes with your daily activities and overall well-being is not. Stress can manifest itself in different ways, including excessive worrying, inability to sleep at night, and body aches.

Stress can take its toll, but therapy can help you manage it better. Some types of therapy may even equip you with strategies to cope with future stress. Below are the most commonly used therapies for stress and related mental health conditions.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for short-term help

CBT is perhaps one of the most common types of therapy available, as it addresses your thought patterns and behaviors. Your therapist will help you identify your stressors, and help you come up with healthier responses to reduce the impact of your triggers.

CBT may be used on either a short-term or long-term basis. This can make it suitable for helping to treat chronic mental health conditions, as well as helping you get through traumatic events and other causes of acute stress.

You may benefit from CBT if you’re concerned about:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • bipolar disorder
  • sleep disorders, such as insomnia
  • phobias
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Psychodynamic therapy

Like CBT, psychodynamic therapy aims to help you identify thought patterns that may dictate behavioral responses. Psychodynamic therapy, however, is used on a more long-term basis. It may be best suited for stress caused by long-standing issues that you have been dealing with, which are intertwined with other mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression.

Behavioral therapy

Behavioral therapy is similar to CBT with its focus on changes in behavior. But unlike CBT, behavioral therapy is more focused on your actions, rather than your thoughts.

According to this type of therapy, your actions are dictated by previous behaviors. By changing your behavioral responses to stress now, you can create new patterns and possibly avoid further stress.

Behavioral therapy tends to work best for long-term triggers of stress, including traumatic events, as well as conditions such as anxiety, phobias, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Exposure therapy

Exposure therapy is a technique traditionally used to treat phobias, PTSD, and anxiety disorders. You might benefit from this type of therapy if you have a mental health condition that causes you to avoid certain situations, objects, people, and places.

This type of therapy may also help address chronic stress if you practice avoidance in an effort to avoid more stress. Unfortunately, such avoidance can make stress and anxiety-related disorders worse by making you feel even more uneasy.

Exposure therapy works by allowing your therapist to help gradually expose you to the triggers that you intentionally avoid. The idea is that, over time, you will become accustomed to these fears and become less stressed about them.

Group therapy

In some cases, group therapy may be an option if you’re dealing with an extremely stressful event. Examples include a natural disaster, child loss, divorce, and more. A trained therapist leads sessions, and you may find the group setting allows you to feel empowered and less alone.

Trained psychologists or a psychotherapists are generally the best type of mental health professionals for stress-related therapies. Their mission is to help you identify triggers of stress while collaboratively developing a plan with you to manage them. Psychotherapists are also referred to as “talk therapists.”

When looking for a therapist, you can ask a prospective professional what modalities they specialize in. For example, many talk therapists use CBT, while others might specialize in psychodynamic therapy. Also, some psychotherapists specialize in stress and related mental health conditions such as anxiety.

While psychologists and psychotherapists tend to be the most helpful in assisting their clients with behavioral changes in response to stress, some situations may warrant other types of mental health professionals who also use talk therapy techniques. These include:

  • Psychiatrists, who can also administer mental health medications and have medical training
  • Group counselor, who specializes in working with a small group of people with similar struggles
  • Play therapists for younger children
  • School counselors, who may address stress in school-aged children, as well as college students

No matter which professional you seek stress therapies from, be sure that they are licensed in your state and have the relevant education and experience to help you.

If you feel that stress is starting to interfere with your daily activities, it’s time to reach out for help. The American Psychological Association is a good place to start your online search. Check out their free psychologist locator to find therapists in your state. You can also ask your family doctor for recommendations.

While many insurance companies cover mental health services, it’s important to check with your provider regarding in-network therapists. You’ll also want to check out information regarding co-payments and other fees.

There are affordable therapy options no matter your insurance coverage and budget.

Some therapists don’t take medical insurance due to privacy concerns. You may check to see if they offer sliding scale fees to help off-set your costs. Local clinics, blogs, therapy apps, and virtual sessions may also be less expensive.

It’s important to schedule an initial consultation to gauge your comfort level with your therapist. You may find that it takes a few different therapists until you’ve found the right fit.

Aside from therapy, there are other steps you can take to reduce stress in your everyday life right now. You can start with the following:

  • Exercise regularly. Research shows that even walking for 30 minutes each day can decrease stress and boost your overall mood.
  • Schedule regular relaxation intervals. Do something that relaxes you for at least several minutes a day. Just some ideas include taking a warm bath, gentle yoga stretches, deep breathing exercises, or reading a book.
  • Prevent social isolation. While seeing friends and family for in-person activities can help, even making phone calls or talking virtually can keep you socially connected and reduce your stress.
  • Reassess your priorities. Focus on daily tasks without worrying too much over what you can’t get done. Also, say “no” to unnecessary tasks, and delegate extra work when you start to feel overwhelmed.

The above techniques can work for both chronic and acute forms of stress, and they can complement any therapies you decide to try. If you’re struggling with ongoing stress, see a mental health professional for advice.

Occasional stress isn’t necessarily a cause for concern if you are able to manage it on your own. But if stress interferes with your life on a regular basis and you’re feeling overwhelmed, it may be time to seek help.

Left untreated, ongoing (chronic) stress may contribute to (or worsen) certain mental health conditions, including anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression.

Unmanaged stress can also have other consequences to your health. These may include digestive ailments, high blood pressure (hypertension), and sleep disorders. Long-term stress is also linked to metabolic disorders.

Therapy can be an invaluable tool for stress, whether you’re going through an unusually tough time or if you’ve been struggling with chronic stress. It can even address stress related to mental health conditions or chronic illnesses.

9 techniques to help relieve stress quickly

Photos: Pixabay. Illustrations: Julia Zamzhitskaya

Teacher's everyday life is filled not only with joyful moments and victories of students, but also with stress, anxiety and irritation. We talk about techniques that can be performed right at the workplace.

Creative Techniques

Circle Drawing

Take two A4 sheets and any art materials (crayons, paints, pastels, pencils or markers). On both sheets, draw in a large circle. Focus on the problem situation and the emotions it evokes. Fill in the first circle with images and symbols that you associate with the current state. Try not to go beyond the boundaries of the circle, but if you do, draw a new border so that the drawing stays in the circle.

After completing the drawing, take a few deep breaths in and out. Take the second sheet and fill in the circle with those images and symbols that you associate with harmony and tranquility. Draw details carefully. Think about what you associate the depicted images with in real life. What action could become resourceful and fulfilling?

Frame technique

Take any creative materials - paints, pencils, pastels. Draw a frame on a piece of paper, stepping back a few centimeters from the edge of the sheet. Choose three colors that match your current state. Fill in the space inside the frame with these colors, acting intuitively. Give the name of the depicted emotion, mentally say it. By speaking out your feelings, you can distance yourself from the experience and reduce its tension. Choose three colors that make you feel good. Fill the frame space with them.


This is a graphical method of organizing and rearranging thinking. Focus on the stressful situation and make a sharp stroke with a marker on an A4 sheet of paper. It is necessary to try to put all negative emotions into the picture. The resulting figure has many intersections and sharp corners that need to be rounded off, and then, using smooth lines, “dissolve” the figure in the background. Due to the rounding, a therapeutic effect and removal of psycho-emotional stress are achieved.

Diary techniques

Freewriting (freewriting)

This technique involves non-stop and non-judgmental writing for a certain amount of time (for example, 5-10 minutes). At the same time, you should not follow the beauty of speech, punctuation and grammar. The essence of freewriting is to “drain” tension and stress onto paper, and it’s not for nothing that the writer Julia Cameron called this writing format “brain sewers.”

Analysis of thoughts and emotions

If a stressful situation is repeated, try to analyze what emotional and behavioral reactions lead to it. A simple technique from cognitive-behavioral therapy is suitable for this.

Divide a sheet of paper into three columns (ABC). In the first column (A), write the event that triggered the stress response, conflict, or emotional downturn. In the third (C), describe how the stress reaction manifested itself (what feelings and emotions you experienced, what actions you performed). In the second column (B), write down the thoughts that preceded these manifestations.

Example: a “difficult” student again came to the lesson without homework and, moreover, was rude (A). This event caused anger and despair in the teacher, and he shouted at the student. (C) The bodily manifestations were heart palpitations, high blood pressure, headache. Starting to analyze the situation, the teacher "caught" an automatic thought that led to such a reaction:

“By his behavior, he lowers my authority and sets the whole class against me. Soon they will all be rude to me and run away from classes, and I won't be able to do anything about it. I am helpless" (B).

But another automatic thought can evoke the same emotions. For example:

“Because of these scandals, I will have problems, I will be deprived of my bonus. I won't be able to pay the mortgage."

The work and understanding of automatic thoughts from the second column is a key factor in working with stress. Try to analyze how and where the harmful attitudes from column B came from, why they are strong and cause stress, and also realize that these thoughts have no serious basis and are caused only by your fears.

Physical exercise

Stress and negativity accumulate in the body in the form of unspent energy. To come into balance and calm down, it is necessary to throw it out through the body or through the breath.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

This method was developed by American physiologist Edmund Jacobson. He believed that maximum physical and psycho-emotional relaxation can occur only after extreme stress.

Tighten as much as possible the muscle where you feel the tension is. Hold at the extreme point for 5-10 seconds, then relax the muscle for 15-20 seconds, concentrating as much as possible on the feeling of relaxation.

Shaking Technique

This body technique helps to activate the parasympathetic system, release excess stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, and relieve tension.

Before doing the exercise, close the door so that no one can see you. Stand on the floor with bare feet or comfortable shoes. Start shaking with your hands, gradually including your elbows, shoulders, body, head, legs. You can stomp your feet on the floor a little. The shaking must be intense so that the whole body “turns on”.

"Square breathing"

Find any square object in space: a window frame, a picture, a book. Fix your gaze on the upper left corner and take a slow breath, mentally counting to four, look at the upper right corner and also hold your breath for four counts. Move your gaze along the sides of the square, alternating inhalation, breath holding, exhalation. The head remains motionless, the muscles are relaxed.

Five Senses Exercise

This is a very simple and effective exercise for switching from one emotional state to another. It will help you return to the "here and now" and reduce stress. At the moment when you feel tension, anxiety or anger, note around you:

  • five things you can look at;
  • four sounds you hear;
  • three objects with different textures that you can touch;
  • two smells that you can smell;
  • is one flavor you can try.

Related materials:

  • How to restore healthy sleep and get rid of lack of sleep
  • Teachers, breathe deeply!
  • Work, personal life and self-expression: how to find a balance if you are a teacher

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De-stress program

Balancing the state of the body and its biorhythms


Balancing the state of the body and its biorhythms


Nowadays, stress becomes a constant companion of people living in modern megacities. In the whirlpool of life, many of them do not take seriously this factor that negatively affects health, which can cause apathy, irritability, chronic fatigue and depression. It is for such cases that the De-stress anti-stress program was developed.

Program structure

  • Collection of body data through early and very early diagnosis

    Includes a comprehensive laboratory check-up, cortisol levels in the body and electrocardiography.

    Cortisol is a biologically active hormone responsible for the stress response.

    Electrocardiography can help decipher the effects of prolonged stress on the cardiovascular system;


  • Personalized therapy

    Our approach to therapy is focused on restoring the body at the cellular level, relieving muscle spasms and clamps, increasing reserves of resistance to stress through the impact on the functioning of the brain and internal organs.


  • Mental well-being

    The block is aimed at reducing stress and normalizing the emotional background with the help of individual psychological diagnostics and therapy, breathing exercises and keeping an emotional diary of the First Line.


  • Developing a personalized health strategy

    Through a preventive and participatory approach to wellness, the Mentor Physician compiles the Guest's health strategy, which includes personalized recommendations for therapy, nutrition, sleep, physical activity and nutritional support.


  • Analysis of the dynamics and making adjustments to the strategy in real time

    The resort provides support for the Guest after completing the program - online monitoring of indicators, telemedicine and remote communication with the doctor.


3 components of action on chronic fatigue

Action at the cellular level

Through a course of xenon therapeutic inhalation

Studying on the body

due to the magnesium-salt wrapping of the Thalion and the author's methodology Body and Mind WellBeing


Biocastic Correction "Music" and magnetic therapy

BEL correction "Music of the brain" + Xenon therapeutic inhalation

Bioacoustic correction "Music of the brain" is aimed at harmonizing the cerebral hemispheres. Thanks to the procedure, the youth hormone, melatonin, is stimulated, which protects the body from stress, increases concentration, normalizes sleep and improves overall well-being.

Inhalation with xenon inert gas - gentle and incredibly effective recovery of the nervous system with the help of a relaxing gas - xenon. The action is aimed at relieving stress, prolonged regenerating and relaxing effect.