Jeannette BessingerJeannette Bessinger, Board Certified Holistic Health Counselor and owner of Balance for Life LLC, is a co-author of the upcoming book Whole Life Nutrition A Simple Approach to Nourishing America's Busy Families, and the meal and recipe designer for the Dr. Jonny Bowden’s The Healthiest Meals on Earth 50 Recipes and Why You Should Eat These Foods (release: spring of ’08). A motivational speaker and health/nutrition educator, Jeannette regularly gives talks and classes to businesses, corporations, non–profits, wellness centers, hospitals, colleges and faith–based organizations with an interest in wellness and disease prevention. Jeannette has provided services in health education and prevention for individuals and groups in a wide variety of venues for fifteen years. Her professional specialty is the development and facilitation of unique, effective lifestyle change programs targeting complex health and wellness issues such as obesity, chronic stress, family balance and disease prevention. Creator of the Whole Life Nutrition™ approach to health improvement, she currently runs these successful lifestyle change programs in both hospital and holistic settings. Jeannette acts as a lifestyle health consultant to several public and private groups and coalitions working to improve the health of schools and cities. She was a lead investigator and strategist on a citywide assessment and intervention plan for obesity funded by the RI Department of Health. She also designed and facilitated an obesity prevention program for Head Start with a grant from the American Association of Pediatrics. A graduate among the first class of women at Columbia College, Columbia University, Jeannette has pursued an extensive, multi–modal education in teaching, health and wellness. As a very busy wife and mother of two children, she understands first hand how challenging it can be to maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle as a working parent. With a personal history of autoimmune disease and diabetes, she knows how vital it is to put your health first on your priority list. Much of the depth and practical nature of Jeannette's material arises directly from her own efforts to meet the challenges of balancing health, family and a lively career.
Host: How do I get my body to relax?
Jeannette Bessinger: The quickest way to get your body to relax is to actually tune into your breathing. If you notice the fact, if you take your attention and put it on breath, you bringing your attention into your body and that alone can sometimes begin to trigger a small amount of relaxation.
If you are able to spend the time, spend a couple of moments, you can allow your eyes to close focusing on the gentle inhalation and exhalation and natural rhythm of your breathing, your body will begin to shift into the parasympathetic state.
Another trick is to take a deep breath in, hold it for a moment and make your exhalation longer than your inhalation. In other words, you breathe in, you hold it and then you have a long gradual exhalation. When the body is in its stressed state we do not hold our breath, we do not exhale slowly. This tricks it into thinking that s in a more relaxed state.
The third possibility is to use a technique called progressive relaxation. In this technique, we systematically move through your body from your head to your feet or from your feet to your head clenching your muscle sets, holding them for a moment and then relaxing. This will trigger the body if you are holding chronic stress to let go and relax.