Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) deeply relaxes your body and counters the effects of stress. This stress management technique is a relaxation exercise that systematically tenses and relaxes muscles.
How often do you hear someone tell you, “Just relax”? It may be the dentist when you tense in fear, or the suggestion from a colleague or family member as you express your work or home frustrations?
Many people tell us to relax but never tell us how to do it.
Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that was developed by Dr Jacobson in the 1920’s.
This technique counters the fight or flight response by activating the relaxation response.
PMR does this by tensing and relaxing various muscle groups while maintaining the rest of the body in a state of relaxation.
Jacobson found that initial activation of a muscle group then allowed greater relaxation of that group compared to simple relaxation without the initial activation.
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PMR works by tensing a muscle group for 5-10 seconds and then letting the muscle group relax completely for 20-30 seconds.
Try to concentrate on tensing and then relaxing the muscle group completely.
Review the directions below to guide yourself through the progressive muscle relaxation exercise.
One of the most common mistakes that beginners make is that they proceed too quickly. The entire process should take 20-25 minutes.
Overview of the basic PMR technique
A good way to do this is to say to yourself slowly “Relax and let go, Relax and let go, Relax and let go” as you breathe out.
Stress and Health Medical professionals estimate that 75-85% of illness is precipitated or aggravated by stress. PMR is a stress management technique that counters the stress response.
Stress and HealthStress and health are closely connected. Too much stress for too long can lead to fatigue and burnout.
Medical professionals estimate that 75-85% of illness is precipitated or aggravated by stress.
PMR is a stress management technique that counters the stress response.
Progressive muscle relaxation deeply relaxes the body and counters the effects of stress.
Related stress management articles
Stress Causes: Some Common Stress Causes
Definition of Stress: A Contemporary Stress Definition
Breathing Exercises: Breathing Techniques to Reduce Stress
Biofeedback Techniques: Biofeedback Machines to Reduce Stress