Saturday, March 15, 2008

Progressive Relaxation Points

Progressive relaxation involves tensing a muscle group to a point where the group is tight, but not to the point where it’s quivering, and holding that point for a count of five. Then let go and let the muscle group relax.

An easy way to practice this technique is to tighten your arm muscle while sitting in a chair with someone holding your hand. Then, have your partner try to lift your arm while it’s tensed. Assuming that your partner isn’t a weight lifter trying to prove her strength, she shouldn’t be able to lift it if you’re tensing it correctly. Then close your eyes, let your arm relax, and see if your partner can lift your hand.

Call your fully tensed position a hundred, and your relaxed position zero. That range of
tension is what you are trying to achieve with all of your muscle groups. You should go from one group to another according to the following plan:

  • Separately tense individual muscle groups

  • Hold the tension for five seconds

  • Relax the tension slowly, and say to yourself, “Relax and let go.”

  • Take a deep breath

  • Breathe out slowly, silently saying “Relax and let go.”

  • One arm at a time: push your hand against the surface on which you’re resting

  • One arm at a time: from a straight position, make a fist and slowly bend your elbow, pulling your fist toward you while tightening your arm.

  • Chest and Lungs:
    Take a deep breath; while holding, tighten your chest muscles.

  • Back:
    Arch your back. Ideally, while lying on your stomach with your hands on the small of your back, arch your back so your head and feet are off the floor

  • Stomach:
    Tighten your stomach area. Push your stomach area out. Pull your stomach area in.

  • Hips to Feet:
    Tighten your hips.Push your heels against the floor or footrest. Tighten your leg muscles below the knee. Curl your toes down (try to touch the bottom of your foot). Curl your toes up.

    . And here is the rest of it.

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