December 9, 2009

Relaxation Day 2

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:52 am by kellyfdennis

Yesterday, I reminded us to breathe…aah, just breathe.
Today I am revisiting Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR). PMR is a relaxation technique used to release stress. It can relax the muscles and lower blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration. Wow! No wonder I feel so good after doing it!
Ok, PMR is pretty simple. It is the tensing and then relaxing each muscle group of the body, one group at a time. Though this technique is simple it may take several sessions before it is ‘mastered.’ You can do it sitting or lying down.
Tense a group of muscles – tense hard but don’t strain – and hold for about 5-10 seconds. Release the tension from the muscles all at once almost in a dramatic way. Stay relaxed for 10 – 20 seconds. It is important to Pay close attention to the feeling of relaxation when you release the contracted muscles because you are actually training your brain and body to notice the difference between tension and relaxation. We spend so much time feeling tense, our bodies may actually experience it as “normal.”
You can start anywhere you like, but it helps to be systematic about it.
Here we go:
Let’s start by doing some belly breathing. Take a deep breath in, and release it. Repeat about 3 times.
Now we’ll begin PMR:
• Hands – Clench fists
tense for 5, release, rest for 10
• Right forearms and hands – Extend arm, elbow locked, and bend hand back at the wrist
tense for 5, release, rest for 10

• Upper right arm – Bend arms at elbows and flex biceps
tense for 5, release, rest for 10

• Forehead – wrinkle forehead into frown, tense, release, rest, and/or raise eyebrows
tense for 5, release, rest for 10

• Eyes – close eyes tightly, hold and release
tense for 5, release, rest for 10

• Mouth – press lips tightly together
tense for 5, release, rest for 10

• Jaw – open mouth wide and stick out tongue
tense for 5, release, rest for 10

• Buttocks – tense
tense for 5, release, rest for 10

• Abdomen
tense for 5, release, rest for 10
(Don’t forget to breathe!)

• Chest
tense for 5, release, rest for 10

• Back – arch back
tense for 5, release, rest for 10

• Neck and shoulders
tense for 5, release, rest for 10

• Thighs
tense for 5, release, rest for 10

• Lower legs and feet – Point toes toward shin
tense for 5, release, rest for 10

• Feet – Point toes and curl them under
tense for 5, release, rest for 10

You may repeat relaxing and tensing muscle groups that have you have already done to relax them further.
Sometimes it helps to listen to a recording of someone guiding you through the PMR. This website has some mp3 recordings of progressive relaxation that you can listen to on your computer: http://hws.edu/studentlife/counseling_relax.aspx

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stefdennis

ponderings on life, food, God, and love

Grace on the Moon

Do Not Weigh Your Self-Esteem on a Scale

on anything and everything

my thoughts on what I see

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