How do you like to relax? With a chair massage? Dancing like crazy? Or turning inward to quietly meditate? At this year’s National Relaxation Day (Aug. 15), hundreds of people had lots of options to choose from at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) in San Francisco.
With the shared belief that art has measurable impacts on individual and community health, Blue Shield of California sponsors this day of engaging and relaxing activities – all free to the public – created in collaboration with YBCA for Bay Area residents, from 11 a.m. through 7:30 p.m.
Celebrated every year on the same date, this whimsical, unofficial national holiday encourages people to take a break from their hectic lives and participate in activities that rest their minds, bodies and souls.
Throughout the day at YBCA, chair massages from San Francisco Massage Works, dance classes run by The Dance Loft, and guided meditation sessions led by WITHIN Meditation should be enthusiastically embraced by National Relaxation Day believers. Later in the afternoon, YBCA’s monthly “3d Thursday” program will kick into high gear, with complimentary cocktails and a DJ spinning in the center’s lobby, followed by an artist-to-artist talk with Lisa Cralle of Heavy Breathing and pianist Sarah Cahill.
Early this year, Blue Shield announced a multi-year collaboration with YBCA to raise public awareness around the relationship between active engagement with the arts and improved health and well-being for individuals and communities. This event is one of several Blue Shield has sponsored to date.
“Blue Shield’s sponsorship of this day of relaxation-focused activities, and the arts in general for the positive impact they can have on health and wellbeing, aligns strongly with our Wellvolution philosophy,” said Bryce Williams, vice president, Lifestyle Medicine.
Expanding this “arts and health” perspective on a broader scale directly to its members, Blue Shield recently announced its reimagined Wellvolution program, a new digital therapeutics and community-health network that focuses on the importance and effectiveness of lifestyle medicine in improving general health and preventing, treating and even reversing chronic diseases. With nearly 70 digital health programs and access to more than 30,000 brick-and mortar community health resources, the Wellvolution program delivers innovative ways for enrolled members to reach their optimum health potential including helping to reduce stress through relaxation ideas.
And yes, massage, meditation and dance can figure into that kind of outcome.