What Is Stress?
A quick introduction to what we do...
The Relaxation Space is a Wellness Centre located in Bundanoon, NSW. We offer a comprehensive approach to health and wellness, with a specific focus on stress education and relaxation techniques. Our centre includes a holistic health clinic where we offer natural alternatives for managing stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue. To complement this work, we also run a boutique fitness studio where we offer instruction in Reformer and Mat Pilates, and "Calm Mind" group relaxation classes. Our purpose is to educate our clients to have a greater understanding of what stress is and how they can build resistance to it - both in their minds and their bodies.
So what is stress?
Stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue exist on a continuum such that one leads to the other when left unaddressed. The simplest definition of stress is - "Stress is the body's reaction to any change that requires an adaptation". When a person is unable to adapt to the changes that have presented themselves, anxiety can develop. Anxiety is a sign of over-activity in our body's internal regulatory systems which go into "high alert" in response to immediate challenges. This is known as being in "fight or flight" which is an automatic survival mechanism. When challenges are resolved our body returns to equilibrium and life goes on. When challenges are not resolved our internal regulatory systems remain in this chronic state of "high alert", reducing our capacity to respond appropriately to new challenges. If our regulatory systems are left in this "high alert" state for extended periods of time, they eventually become exhausted and this is what we call depression, fatigue, burn-out, etc. This is how unresolved constant stress can lead to depression and collapse. Similarly, unresolved acute stress - such as a traumatic incident or accident - can lead to what we call Post-Traumatic Stress and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This is a similar process but the stress is concentrated over a much shorter time frame and the stress is such that it is well beyond the boundaries of normal experience, and therefore it is difficult for our minds to process and reconcile what has occurred. Again, our internal regulatory systems go into "high alert" in an ongoing attempt to process and reconcile the traumatic event. This is classic PTSD, where a person is constantly on edge and easily triggered into an over-reaction.
With this understanding of stress and its related conditions, it is easy to see how a reduction in the activity of the body's internal regulatory systems can bring relief to those people who experience unresolved chronic or acute stress. Our fast-paced modern lives are presenting us with myriad sources of stress that force us to constantly respond and adapt. Unacknowledged sources of stress such as electro-smog and chemical overload are of particular concern. Research conducted 50 years ago confirmed that the rate of change in society had already exceeded our ability to adapt! The state of bewilderment that results from such a condition was termed "Future Shock", where excessively rapid change induces a state of shock that interferes with normal mental and emotional processes and is characterised by overwhelming stress and disorientation. It's no surprise then that we now have an epidemic of depression and PTSD symptoms in society because the challenges we are facing in the 21st Century are not only more numerous than 50 years ago, they are increasingly interfering with every aspect of our daily lives. If we are to thrive in modern life it is essential to have strategies for dealing with this constant pressure to adapt and change so that our minds and bodies have a chance of maintaining some form of equilibrium and resistance to collapse.
At The Relaxation Space our purpose is to help people develop those strategies. We help our clients to create lifestyles and mindsets that are both physically and psychologically healthy. We offer a variety of holistic therapies, education and relaxation programs, and fitness options that are designed to reduce tension and build resistance to stress. We equip our clients with skills and knowledge instead of prescription drugs. The services we offer in our wellness centre include Holistic Counselling, Reiki, Reconnective Healing, Kinesiology for Stress Release, Expressive & Creative Arts Therapies, (using art & craft materials, guided journalling and music), and The Unity Bubble. Details of our five-step "RELAX" education program will soon be available on our "Articles" page as an online guide. It is also being expanded into a short reference book. In the fitness studio we offer Reformer Pilates and Mat Pilates group exercise classes, semi-private and private Pilates classes, and "Calm Mind" deep relaxation classes.
At The Relaxation Space we firmly believe in the power of nature for healing and for general well being. We advocate a decades-old movement known as Ecopsychology, which explores the relationship between nature and well being. The therapeutic application of the principles of Ecopsychology, known as Ecotherapy, Nature Therapy or Bush Therapy, helps people to improve their quality of life by harnessing the physical, psychological and developmental benefits of regularly engaging with mother nature. The Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku (literal translation - "forest bathing") and the Swedish practice of Gökotta (literal translation - "rising early for the specific purpose of going outside to hear the first birds sing") are just two examples of traditional cultural understandings of what we are now calling "Ecopsychology". Science is rapidly catching up with these long-held cultural beliefs and practices. The consensus is - regularly engaging with nature is the best antidote to the stress of modern living. Put simply - just get into nature!
In the studio, our "Calm Mind" deep relaxation classes combine breath control, fascia release techniques and guided muscle relaxation. The fascia release exercises are based on the principles and practice of Yin Yoga. The classes run for 90 minutes and are composed of 60 minutes of breath control and fascia release (Yin Yoga), followed by an optional 30 minutes of guided muscle relaxation. Participants are able to exit at the 60 minute mark if desired. There is a maximum of six participants per class.
Our "Strong Body" Reformer Pilates group exercise classes are small and personal with a maximum of four participants per class. They are small group personal training sessions where each participant receives one-on-one instruction in relation to their individual needs. The Reformer is a gentle and very effective form of low-impact exercise, suitable for all levels of fitness. It is an incredibly versatile piece of equipment, lending itself to gentle, therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises as well as challenging and athletic exercises. Reformer Pilates classes are surprisingly enjoyable and are particularly suitable for people who feel uncomfortable or uninspired in a regular a gym. They are also suitable for people who live with chronic stress or trauma as the movements generally do not antagonise an overactive Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS), ie. those people who are stuck in "fight or flight". Therefore Reformers can be used for both physical and psychological rehabilitation but they are not ideal for people with acute injuries or significant physical conditions.
Our classes include General Fitness Reformer, Semi-Private and Private Individual programs (we offer sport-specific programs for equestrian, golf, bowls/bocce, croquet, running, baseball/softball, tennis & cycling, as well as general programs), Easy-Paced Reformer (Posture, Mobility, Joint Stability & Balance), and Posture classes for gamers, screen users or anyone whose job or hobby leads them to having poor posture. Private classes are available by appointment.
We operate on a ten week term program where classes are bought by the term for a significant discount. We offer a further 10% discount for multiple classes per week, and an overarching 10% discount for Seniors and Pensioners.
We run "Strong Body Calm Mind" weekly wellness programs which combine Reformer Pilates classes, "Calm Mind" deep relaxation classes and clinic consultations in a targeted stress management strategy. Significant discounts apply when classes and consultations are packaged into one of our Wellness Programs.
We run "Strong Body Calm Mind" weekend wellness retreats where you can pamper yourself with our range of fitness, relaxation and education services. Please see "Programs" and "Prices" pages for more information.
We are an agent for a range of ayurvedic stress management supplements and skin care products.
Please see our Special Offers page for all of our special offers and discounts.
Please see our Terms and Conditions page for more information about attendance and cancellations.
Booking are essential for all classes. Please call or text us on 0451 721 032 to book in.
Private consultations in our wellness centre are available by appointment. Please call or text us on 0451 721 032 to make an appointment.