Make 2016 the year for a more relaxed and stress free you.

With Christmas just a few days away many of us may be beginning to feel the stress of this busy time of year.  Organising, preparing, shopping, budgeting, celebrating and entertaining can pile on the pressure and leave some people longing for 2016.  Why not start 2016 the way you mean for it to go on by trying our top 5 treatments for relaxing over the festive period and starting the new year a stress free way.

1. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is one of the longest established forms of healthcare in the world and focuses on the individual, not the illness.  It involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body to affect the flow of your body’s qi, or vital energy.  Contrary to the perception that acupuncture will be painful, the reality is that the needles are so fine that most people don’t feel them being inserted.  Most people find acupuncture relaxing, as it is known to calm the nervous system and increase endorphin production.  Acupuncturist Nicola Rycroft reports that “Some people choose acupuncture when they feel their bodily functions are out of balance, they may have no obvious diagnosis but undertake regular treatments because they find it so beneficial and relaxing”.

2. Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy is recognised as a form of relaxation therapy.  During a hypnotherapy session the conscious mind is repressed and the subconscious mind bought to the foreground allowing changes to be made in the form of new thoughts and responses, attitudes, behaviours or feelings.  “Hypnotherapy can help train your mind and body to respond to the stresses and strains of everyday life in ways you would not have considered before” (Paul Barratt– Hypnotherapist).

This relaxation therapy is comfortable, safe and has benefits for  both the mind and body. Hypnotherapists can also teach self-hypnosis to enable individuals to manage their own stress and use this as a home based relaxation technique.  Hypnotherapist Guy Thorold believes that one of the reasons hypnotherapy is so successful is because it “enhances good health by learning deep relaxation and self hypnosis”.

3. Meditation

Meditation is a state of profound deep peace that occurs when the mind is calm and silent yet completely alert.  The benefits of meditation are not only proven to support our mental health but can have direct physical affects on our body.  There are a number of different types of meditation but all practices involve techniques to develop concentration, emotional positivity and relief from stress.  Meditation can be practiced as an individual or in a group setting depending on personal preference.  Jayney Goddard reports in ‘Natural Health’ that new research suggests that just 12 minutes of meditation a day is required to gain the health benefits from meditation (1).


4. Massage

When we think of a treatment/therapy associated with relaxation, massage is often the first thing that comes into our mind.  But why is massage so relaxing? As soon as our skin feels positive touch, the brain releases endorphins which make us feel good and gives a natural high.  Endorphins also supress the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline to give that feeling of euphoria and total relaxation.  Children’s Physiotherapist and Infant Massage Instructor Rachel Pailes reports that “Oxytocin (also known as the love or cuddle hormone) is released in response to positive touch.  During infant massage, relaxation is experienced not only by the baby but by the parent/caregiver as well.  Christmas can be a stressful time for babies (as well as adults).  Overstimulation from noise, lots of people and disruption of routine can influence even the most settled baby.  I recommend to all my families that they take time out during the busy festive period for infant massage to help regulate both their and their babies stress levels.”

5. Reflexology

Reflexology works on the principles that specific areas of the feet (reflex points) correspond to different areas of the body.  Treatment uses pressure massage to the reflex points, which can release areas of tension and encourage energy to flow more freely throughout the body.  Reflexologist and Hollistic Therapist Amanda Howell works with the “Light Touch” reflexology approach.  She believes that relaxation is key to allowing the body time to respond to everyday stresses and strains. “Most of us have demanding, busy and often highly stressed lives, and taking the time to “switch off” allows our bodies and minds to re-charge, stimulating the body’s own natural healing abilities to promote health and well-being,  aiding relaxation and maintaining calm and equilibrium.”


These treatments are just examples of some of the therapies available at Rowan House Health and Wellbeing Centre.  If you know someone who would benefit from a relaxing treatment why not buy them a Rowan House Centre voucher and let them choose their route to a relaxed and stress free 2016.  Call us on 01603 813999 or email


1. Jayney Goddard ‘The 12 Minute Miracle’ Natural Health January 2016.