Progressive Relaxation Technique
Progressive relaxation technique is a technique of systematically tensing and releasing of your muscles, in order to create whole body relaxation. By consciously letting go of tension from our bodies and creating an environment which is peaceful and quiet, our bodies go from an activated mode into a deactivated one.
The technique was developed by Dr. Edmund Jacobson in the 1930's and described in his book Progressive Relaxation. This technique is a muscle relaxation technique and can relax the body within minutes. However, at the beginning it takes practice to learn to release the muscles. Once your body knows how to tense and then relax muscles, you can relieve tension and stress on the spot.
Progressive relaxation is based on a fact that complete physical relaxation is the absence of tension. If you are completely relaxed it is impossible to be tense and anxious. Progressive relaxation can help you achieve a state of profound physical relaxation by soothing the chronic muscle tension that keeps the sympathetic nervous system in overdrive.
There are four stages in progressive relaxation technique:
The best position for practicing progressive relaxation technique is lying down. Some people use this technique just before falling asleep, but you can use it at anytime of the day.
16 muscle groups are a focus of training "tense and release":
Some practitioners teach shortened versions where muscle groups are combined, for example, into four groups:
We often become so accustomed to physical tension in our bodies that we literally do not know that it is there. Progressive relaxation teaches you to recognize the difference between tension and relaxation in your body and with this awareness you get a choice on how you want to be. Do you want to be tense or relaxed? I think the answer is pretty simple.
Experts say that the more you practice progressive relaxation technique, the quicker and easier it will be to experience physiological relaxation with all of its benefits. You will also find that the more you practice, the deeper you will be able to relax.
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