Thursday, April 8, 2010

Top Eight Health Benefits of a Rocking Chair

According to an American legend, the rocking chair was purportedly invented by Benjamin Franklin by taking a standard chair and adding rockers to it. Why would Benjamin Franklin be this creative and invent the Rocking Chair. Perhaps, he understood the benefits, which are widely the motivation and drive to purchase one. Rocking chairs are sometimes associated with maturity (as with Antique rockers) and class. They are also often associated with parenting, as the gentle rocking motion often soothes and quiets a fussy infant.

Rocking is an activity performed with a Rocking chair or rocker. A Rocking chair is a type of chair with two curved bands of wood (also known as rockers) attached to the bottom of the legs. The chair contacts with the floor at two points only, giving the person rocking the ability to rock back and forth by shifting his/her weight or pushing lightly with his/her feet.

Through personal insights, medical research, opinions of others, this article offers insights into the healthy and therapeutic benefits of rocking in a rocking chair

1. When rocking, blood pressure falls and respiration slows, yet energy is being exerted in shifting

your body weight back and forth. As a result, it is a good exercise for the mind, body and spirit, and helps those with sedentary lifestyle to achieve muscle tone through manageable, non-weight bearing exercise. Instead of lying in bed, opt to rock instead! You will rock away depression and stress, and lose some weight in the process too.

2. Rocking Chair Therapy Research has information that rocking helps students with ADD and ADHD better adapt and focus in the learning environment. It is assumed that the motion of the rocking chair can accommodate the need to keep moving while these students are studying and listening.

3. One of the steps recommended in an article written by the staff at Mayo clinic as a way to relieve back pain during pregnancy, is to sit and stand with care. Sitting with feet slightly elevated and choosing a chair that supports your back are two of the steps advised to take. Most rocking chairs, like the glider rockers, have cushioned back supports that relieve back pain. When sitting you can place your feet on an ottoman or a low step stool.

4. Nursing mothers recovering from C-sections reduced their hospital stay by a full day by rocking regularly during the day. This is evident from the fact that in most hospitals, if not all, rocking chairs are provided. I can personally attest to the benefit and speedy healing that rocking provided to me. Whenever I sat down, after resting my feet and cuddling my baby, I had to exercise my muscles and use my body weight to get back up. It also helps in practicing good posture.

5. The back and forth motion of a rocking chair provides social, emotional and motor development. It helps calm crying babies, makes them smile and hold their heads up. Its roomy seat and armrest are high enough to make breastfeeding or bottle feeding easy and comfortable. It is important that these chairs are sturdy and solid. The mother-child or father-child attachment is also fostered. Rocking chairs are very useful bedroom furniture as well.

6. As in the case of Dr. Milton Erickson who was born in 1901 and later became the world’s leading practitioner of hypnosis, he contracted polio at the age of 17, and was told he would never walk again. Dr Erickson started rocking in a rocking chair and discovered his ability to convert past memories of muscular movement into small motions while he sat in the chair.

7. Rocking has prenatal benefits in that it is believed to promote the development of the fetal nervous system. It has been quoted that Anne Ayres; an American nerve psychologist recommends that at the start of the 10th week of pregnancy, women should rock 5-10 minutes twice a day.

8. Many pregnancy support articles and web sites recommend rocking in a rocking chair to prevent the development of varicose veins by stimulating circulation and improving muscle tone.

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