Tuesday is National Relaxation Day.
You may not have heard of it. August is very busy; it's National Inventors Month, National Golf Month, National Catfish Month and Foot Health Month. National Relaxation Day is sandwiched between International Left-Handers Day (Sunday) and Roller Coaster Day (Wednesday). Whew!
* According to Merriam-Webster, the word "relax" dates to Middle English in the 15th century and comes from Latin relaxare, from re- plus laxare (to loosen; from laxus, loose). It's unclear whether people in the 15th century would have understood the word as we use it today or even appreciated a National Relaxation Day. But clearly, relaxation today is considered a good thing.
* The Internet offers many sites on various relaxation techniques, including progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, visualization, biofeedback and cognitive-behavioral therapies.
* The Web site http://www.soundchoices.com offers the soothing music of harpist Susan Mazer and woodwinds performer Dallas Smith, touted as "some of the finest music for inspired listening and relaxation available," in addition to books and videos to help you get loose. The Web site http://www.nutritionalgoddess.com offers aromatherapy and other products "to soothe the body, mind and spirit."
* The San Fernando Valley has a variety of massage therapists to help you celebrate National Relaxation Day. Prices vary, but expect to pay between $60 and $80 for a one-hour treatment. Swedish, shiatsu, deep-tissue, acupressure, energy-balancing, trigger-point and other methods are available. If you're not sure what you want, the California chapter of the American Massage Therapy Assn. offers referrals. (800) 696-2682.
* Maybe a walk would do the trick. The Sooky Goldman Nature Center in Franklin Canyon offers guided nature walks. (310) 858-7272, Ext. 131. Also, the Children's Nature Institute offers guided nature walks and hikes for families with children 8 and under. (310) 364-3591.