RANDOM THOUGHTS ON RELAXATION
by C. Leslie Thomson
“How can I relax?” has become one of the commonest questions we are asked.
The answer, as in so many other situations, in another question: “Why are you tense?” It need not be put into words, of course, but the second must be answered in one way or another before any really constructive advice can be offered for the ﬁrst. To most people, excessive tension is in the same category as a headache, and the popular belief is that there can be a cure analogous to aspirins. The medical profession, too, seems to favour the drug approach, and sedatives and tranquillisers are prescribed wholesale to undo the destructive tensions.
There are other methods, which have nothing whatever to do with medication, but which are just as short sighted as the use of aspirin for pain killing. It is no news to most of us, but may be a disturbing idea to some, that to stop a pain without removing its cause is to put the patient in a precarious situation. Pain has a purpose, and it is primarily protective. Its function, above all, is to warn the sufferer that he or she must stop doing whatever is responsible for the pain.