Many years ago, in faraway lands (the US and Germany), I taught childbirth preparation classes. They consisted of anatomy and physiology and the basics of the birth process and becoming new parents. Most of the time was spent on giving my students techniques for reducing the pain of labor. I was eclectic in my approach and took techniques from several different theories as well as devising some of my own.
One aspect of pain reduction is relaxation and I copied from a book, perhaps Husband Coached Childbirth, an exercise that I read to the couples (yes, I had the husbands relaxing too) while they relaxed on the mats on the floor. It contained images that would help a person focus on another place and experience to distract them from some of the tension in their body.
I am long past the childbirth stage. I have, however, used many of the techniques over the years for uncomfortable medical and dental procedures. Sometimes, I use the images to simply reduce tension. Sometimes I use them just to make me happy.
So here are just some of the places I go– in no particular order:
1. A Chinese garden. Once of my favorites is the “Good Luck” Garden in Hangzhou, China. Not only is it lush and green and with some of the trees decorated with red ribbons, but it contains lovely sculptures and has beautiful Chinese music playing in the background. It’s a first class stress-reliever.
2. Bamboo raft ride on the Martha Brae in Jamaica. Sorry, this was in the days before digital photography! You’ll have to picture nearly still water with trees of all sorts on both banks of the river forming almost a canopy over us and lush vegetation everywhere. Except for the sounds of the birds, and the gentle poling of the gentleman taking us on this ride, there was silence. A fine mist contributed to making the experience magical.
3. Halong Bay in Vietnam. It is beautiful– breathtaking, actually.
4. The Rice Terraces at YuanYang, China. They are majestic. There’s something very clean and pure about the fresh stalks of rice, planted in rows, sculptured into the landscape.
5. Austria, just south of Salzburg. It’s just beautiful. I love the snow-capped mountains and this really isn’t a painting. It’s a picture I took myself in the month of May.
So tell me, where do you go??