Progressive Muscular Relaxation Technique


This relaxation technique involves getting to know and understand your muscles. It involves tensing and then relaxing different muscles.

Once you are familiar with the technique, then you just ‘scan’ your body for the points of tension and just focus on those to make you feel more relaxed.

Begin by lying down or sitting in a comfortable position with your head supported by pillows.

When you practise this technique make sure you can feel the tension in your muscles but not so much that it feels painful. Keep the muscle tensed for around 5 seconds (Count 100; 200; 300…to slow your counting down).

When you relax the muscle, keep it relaxed for a slow count to 10. Focus on the difference between how the muscle felt when it was tense and how it felt when it relaxed.

Tense and relax each muscle before moving onto the next one.

  1. Right hand and forearm. Make a fist with your right hand. Feel the tension in your hand and arm as you count slowly to 5. Relax your arm and hand and count slowly to 10. Feel the difference between the tension and the relaxation.
  2. Bend your right elbow by bringing your hand up to your shoulder. Feel the tension in your arm and shoulder as you count slowly to 5. Relax your arm and count slowly to 10. Feel the difference between the tension and the relaxation
  3. Left hand and forearm. Make a fist with your left hand. Feel the tension in your hand and arm as you count slowly to 5. Relax your arm and hand and count slowly to 10. Feel the difference between the tension and the relaxation.
  4. Bend your left elbow by bringing your hand up to your shoulder. Feel the tension in your arm and shoulder as you count slowly to 5. Relax your arm and count slowly to 10. Feel the difference between the tension and the relaxation
  5. Forehead. Raise your eyebrows up as far as they will go. Feel the tightness in the muscles in your forehead for a count to 5. Release them for a count to 10. Feel the difference between the tension and the relaxation
  6. Eyes and cheeks. Squeeze your eyes shut tight for a count to 5. Release them and count to 10. Feel the difference between the tension and the relaxation.
  7. Mouth and jaw.  Open your mouth as wide as you can, feeling your mouth and cheeks stretch. Hold this for a count to 5 then release and let it relax for a count to 10. Feel the difference between the tension and the relaxation. Leave your lips slightly apart and your tongue dangling in the middle of your mouth.
  8. Neck.  Twist your neck to the left slowly and hold it for a count to 5. Slowly bring it back to the middle and count slowly to 10. Repeat to the right.
  9. Shoulders.  Bring your shoulders up towards your ears and hold for a count to 5. Let them go and count slowly to 10. Make sure you drop your shoulders right down to the relaxed position. Feel the difference between the tension and the relaxation.
  10. Shoulder blades.  Push your shoulder blades back so that you feel your chest stretch at the front. Hold this for a count of 5 and then release. Count to 10 slowly in this relaxed position. Feel the difference between the tension and the relaxation.
  11. Chest and stomach.  Breathe in deeply, filling your lungs with air. Hold for a count to 3 and then release slowly.
  12. Hips and buttocks.  Squeeze your buttock muscles together for a count to 5. Relax and count to 10. Feel the difference between the tension and the relaxation.
  13. Upper legs.  Squeeze your thighs together and hold for a count to 5. Slowly release and count to 10. Feel the difference between the tension and the relaxation.
  14. Right lower leg.  Pull your toes towards you to stretch your calf muscles. Hold for a count to 5 and then relax and count to 10. Feel the difference between the tension and the relaxation.
  15. Left lower leg.  Pull your toes towards you to stretch your calf muscles. Hold for a count to 5 and then relax and count to 10. Feel the difference between the tension and the relaxation.

By Alison Bourne MA (Cantab) BSc MCSP ACPWH

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>