Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)
Authors Ian Geddes and Susan Chan
PMR was invented by Edmund Jacobson in the 1930’s and is based on the principle that you cannot be anxious in your mind at the same time as you as relaxed in body. PMR is all about letting go of physical tension and emotional stresses. PMR involves systematic tensing and relaxing of muscle groups. With regular practice you can benefit from PMR.
A sense of calm
Slower pulse rate
Reduced blood pressure
Deep, deep relaxation
Reduced levels of anxiety
Allow a minimum of 10 minutes
Be comfortable. You can lie on the floor or sit comfortably on a chair
Keep warm. Dress comfortably.
You can practise PMR anywhere, but to start with, you may find a calm quiet area the best place
It is best to practise on an empty stomach
Learn how to relax your body and mind with PMR
Start by focussing on your breath. Be aware of each stage. Concentrate on creating a rhythm as you slowly inhale, hold it, and gently exhale. Feel the freshness of the cool air filling your lungs. Repeat this for a couple of minutes. There are many variations, and to an extent the sequence is not so significant. You choose what suits you. Experiment as you practise. For example if you start at your toes. Breathe in, Clench the toes in one foot and hold for 5 seconds. As you breathe out, let go of the tension. Relax and repeat with the other afoot. Now continue with this activity as you move throughout the body: Legs, thighs, buttocks, stomach, chest, arms, hands, shoulders, back, neck and face. With practise you may be able to relax larger sections of your body at the same time. You will feel the tension leaving your body. Some people conclude this activity by visualising all the tension and anxiety leaving your body, down through your legs into the ground. Practise this technique regularly and feel the difference.
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