Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive Muscle Relaxation


>>Progressive Muscle Relaxation. In our society today, we often get
so busy that we forget how to relax. We lose touch with our bodies as
we just try to get through the day and accomplish the tasks
that we have to get done. In order to keep energized, our
muscles often work overtime, and that slowly becomes our normal experience. Tense muscles start to feel more
familiar than relaxed muscles, and that comfortable feeling
of relaxation is forgotten. Progressive muscle relaxation is designed to re-familiarize you with
how it feels to be relaxed. It is a series of tensing and then relaxing
different muscle groups in the body. Tensing reminds you how it feels
when the muscles are tense, and the relaxation portion reconnects you to
the feeling of relaxation throughout your body. If you start feeling pain during this
exercise, make sure to stop or just skip over that portion of the exercise. Let’s start by going over the tensions together,
and then we will do an entire PMR session. We will practice doing these as we go over them. Let’s begin by getting into
a comfortable position. Make sure that your weight is
supported completely by sitting and that your arms and legs are uncrossed. You may want to loosen your clothing
and remove your shoes to ensure that you are feeling as relaxed as possible. If you are seated, put both
feet flat on the floor. Now close your eyes if you feel
comfortable, and keep them closed. I will ask you to tense and
hold and then to relax many of the muscle groups throughout your body. Let your mind focus on the different
feelings that you have when you tense, hold, and then relax each muscle group. Let’s begin to relax as you
take a few slow deep breaths. Continue to breathe slowly while
you think about relaxation. With every breath you take, imagine
inhaling relaxation and exhaling tension. Inhale relaxation and calm. Exhale tension and stress. Now, as you let the rest of your body
relax, clench your fists and bend them back at the wrist, tighter and tighter. Feel the tension in your fists and forearms. And now relax. Feel the looseness in your hands and forearms. Notice the contrast with the tension. Now, bend your elbows and tense your biceps. Observe the tension. Now let your hands drop and relax, noting the
difference between relaxation and tension. Turning your attention to your head and face,
wrinkle your forehead as tight as you can. Feel the tension in your forehead and scalp. Now relax and smooth it out. Imagine your entire forehead and
scalp becoming smooth and at rest. Now frown and notice the strain
spreading throughout your forehead. Now let go of the tension and allow
your brow to become smooth again. Now squeeze your eyes closed a little tighter. And now relax your eyes. Let them remain closed gently and comfortably. Now open your mouth wide and
feel the tension in your jaw. Now relax your jaw. When the jaw is relaxed, your
lips will be slightly parted. Notice the contrast between
tension and relaxation. Now press your tongue against
the roof of your mouth. Experience the ache in the back of your mouth. And relax. Feel the relaxation in your forehead,
scalp, eyes, jaw, and tongue. Let go of your tension with each exhale. Now turn your attention to your neck. Gently allow your head to fall
towards the right shoulder, feeling the tension in the
left side of your neck. Now allow your head to fall
towards the left shoulder. Hold it. Feel the tension in
the right side of your neck. Next, let your head fall towards your chest,
feeling the pull on the back of your neck. Finally, let your head fall back,
looking up towards the ceiling, feeling the tension in the back of your neck. Now relax, allowing your head to return
to a comfortable upright position. Next, shrug your shoulders, bringing
your shoulders up towards your ears. Hold it. Now drop your shoulders back down
and feel the relaxation spreading through your neck, throat, and shoulders. Pure relaxation. Now breathe in and fill your lungs completely. Hold your breath. Experience the tension. Now exhale, and let your chest become loose. Continue relaxation, letting your
breath come freely and gently. Notice the tension draining out
of your muscles with each exhale. Next, tighten your stomach and hold. Feel the tension. Now relax. Place your hand on your stomach. Breathe deeply into your
stomach, pushing your hand up. Hold, and relax. Feel the contrast of relaxation
as the air rushes out. Now, arch your back without straining. Keep the rest of your body
as relaxed as possible. Focus on the tension in your lower back. Now relax. Let the tension dissolve away. Now tighten your thighs. And relax and feel the difference
between tension and relaxation. Now straighten and tense your
legs and curl your toes downward. Experience the tension. And relax. Now straighten admitted tense your legs
and bend your toes toward your face. And relax. Feel the comfortable warmth and heaviness of
deep relaxation throughout your entire body as you continue to breathe slowly and deeply. You can relax even more as
you move up through your body, letting go of the last bit
of tension in your body. Relax your feet. Relax your ankles. Relax your calves. Relax your shins. Relax your knees. Relax your thighs. Let the relaxation spread to your
stomach, to your lower back, to your chest. Let go more and more. Feel the relaxation deepen in
your shoulders and your arms, down to your hands, deeper and deeper. Notice the feeling of looseness
and relaxation in your neck, your jaw, your face, and your scalp. Continue to breathe slowly and deeply. Your entire body is comfortable,
loose, relaxed, calm, and rested. Take a few more deep breaths and know
that you can come back to this place of relaxation whenever you want to. When you are ready, take another deep breath
and slowly become aware of your surroundings. Move your feet, legs, hands, and arms. Stretch out if you would like. Rotate your head. Open your eyes slowly, feeling
refreshed and relaxed. [ Music ]

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