Hectic, busy lifestyles and burning the candle at both ends, especially with children in the home, can cause stress to build up rapidly. Need a quick way to de-stress? Sit down for a few minutes in a rocking chair and see what happens. Whether reading a good book, rocking a baby to sleep or enjoying the breeze on the porch, rocking chairs provide a sure relief to daily stress.
A Short History of Rocking Chairs
The word “rocker” originated in the 15th century but it wasn’t until 1787 that “rocking chair” appeared in the dictionary. Cradles, horses and chairs had curved blades attached to the legs. It was a big part of colonial life, coming to the colonies from England as the garden chair but it was the Americans who made the rocking chair known worldwide.
The rocking chair became popular by 1750 as Americans brought the garden chair inside and added rockers. It was a common piece of furniture in most every home used to help soothe a fussy child to sleep, provide comfort to the sick and consolation to the emotionally wounded. While functional, the main purpose of the chair was to ensure a bond between mother and child.
Rocking Chairs and Relaxation
Some professionals in the healthcare field are now touting rocking chairs as “remarkable medical devices”, not just pieces of furniture. Studies have shown how the gentle rocking motion releases endorphins, which are known to improve mood and lessen pain. But, it doesn’t take a doctor to tell you the simple act of rocking is relaxing.
The rocking motion so familiar before birth now soothes babies that are rocked to sleep in your arms. They relax and stop crying–you relax and de-stress. It has even been said you can burn approximately 150 calories per hour while rocking! Stimulation to the legs may help prevent varicose veins so add the rocker to the nursery before baby arrives.
Choosing a Rocking Chair
If you don’t currently own a rocking chair, here are a few tips for selecting one:
- Must be well built to withstand the constant shift in weight and especially strong enough for a parent holding a child.
- Should be large enough for both an adult and child to sit comfortably but also fit the space in the room. Remember, rocking chairs require more space than regular chairs.
- Chair back should be slightly angled to avoid the feeling of falling over when rocking back.
- Look for good support in the armrests and the headrest should be comfortable when leaning back.
- The chair should move smoothly, without tipping over and is easy to get out of when holding a sleeping baby.
- Upholstered seats should be easy to clean.
When you pay attention, babies and children have a way of making you slow down a bit and often reorganize priorities that have gotten out of line. Rocking your baby, child or even grandchild has a way of relaxing you and minimizing the troubles around you…..just enough to perhaps improve your health, both physically and emotionally, while de-stressing your life for a short time. Stressed? Sound’s like now is the perfect time to invest in a good rocking chair.