What Are the Health Benefits of a Rocking Chair?

Telling someone to get off their rocker could actually now be a bad piece of advice. Many of us love to sit rocking back and forth while reading, watching television or doing some other activity due to the relaxation effect it has on the body. Studies today demonstrate that a rocking chair may actually do far more in terms of physical and mental health.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Patients with mid-stage dementia often are the most difficult to calm. At the mid-stage, they are losing their faculties at a noticeable rate but are still aware of what is happening. This can create a great deal of fear, anger and anxiety. A study sponsored by the University of Rochester School of Nursing found that the act of rocking released endorphins in the body that produced a calming and relaxing effect. The study also showed that rocking can reduce anxiety as well as pain.

A study by the Medical College of Virginia found that rocking one hour per day helped patients suffering from arthritis. The movement lulled the body into a natural rhythm that is believed to speed healing. Operating the rocking chair also increased muscle tone and flexibility around the knees.

Children with learning difficulties and attention deficit disorders are said to be able to focus better while rocking in a rocking chair. The Department of Exceptional Children in Iredell Statesville Schools in North Carolina placed rocking chairs in all its classrooms. Although not a scientific study, the company that supplied the chairs claimed to receive nothing but positive feedback from the school. In general, the children benefited from the relaxation provided from the rocking motion, but the rhythm also improved their ability to focus and concentrate.

Post-Operative Healing
Studies conducted by the Medical College of Virginia also show that rocking helps post-operative patients recover at a much quicker pace. Those who rock were seen to have fewer complications and were recovering faster than patients on a more traditional recovery program.

Back Pain
According to Dr. Barry L. Marks, founder of the Orange Spine and Disc Rehabilitation Center in California, the rocking chair combined with some basic exercises can help relieve chronic back pain. Again, the relaxation is partially credited for the findings as well as the flexibility and strengthening the act of rocking can bring to the muscles.