PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION or

GUIDED BODY SCAN


Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a very effective stress relief technique that relaxes the muscles, lowers heart rate, blood pressure and breathing.

Most of us carry unnecessary tension in various muscles...

Want to know what you can do about this?...

I would love to tell you...

The idea is that you act as your own internal x-ray machine and do a body scan...

You move your attention into different parts of your body and release any felt sensations of tension or discomfort. With practice, you quickly learn to recognise the feelings associated with a tense muscle and the feeling of a completely relaxed muscle. With this simple knowledge, you can then induce physical muscular relaxation at the first signs of the tension that accompanies anxiety. Letting go of physical tension not only relieves the body but definitely promotes a calm and quiet mind.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation can be done sitting or lying down.

Take Note: The point is to stay awake and aware and become more conscious. It is very easy to become relaxed and drift off to sleep!...


You can try a Body Scan right now...

* Make yourself comfortable and take a few deep, slow breaths.

* Move your attention through your body - slowly and mindfully. Start at your head and move down to your toes. Pause for a moment at each part of your body and scan for tension, discomfort or tightness. Begin to allow yourself to actively release any soreness or tension that comes to your notice.

* Visualize the warmth of your in-breath going into the discomfort, and then, with your out-breath, dissolve and release the tension.

You can do this anywhere and anytime!!


Now let's have a look at how to do the Progressive Muscle Relaxation technique...

It involves a two-step process in which you systematically tense and relax different muscle groups in the body.

Most people like to start at the feet and work their way up to the face.

So...you TENSE up a group of muscles and hold for about 5 - 10 seconds. RELEASE the muscles all at once. Stay RELAXED for 10 - 20 seconds.

- Loosen your clothing, take off your shoes and make sure that you are comfortable.

- Relax for a few minutes. Breath in and out, deeply and slowly.

- When you are relaxed - but still wide awake!- shift your attention to your right foot. Focus on the way it feels.

- Slowly tense the muscles in your right foot, squeezing as tightly as you can. Hold for count of 10.

- Relax your right foot. Focus on the tension flowing away and the way your foot feels as it relaxes. This is the best part!

- Stay in this relaxed state for count of 10. Breath slowly and deeply.

- Now shift your attention to your left foot and repeat the sequence.

- Move slowly up through your body - legs, abdomen, back, neck, face - tightening and relaxing the muscles as you go.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation Sequence...

Right foot

• Left foot

• Right calf

• Left calf

• Right thigh

• Left thigh

• Hips and Buttocks

• Stomach

• Chest

• Back

• Right arm and hand

• Left arm and hand

• Neck and Shoulders

• Face

Some suggestions:

- Always practice in a quiet place with no distractions, not even background music.

- It’s best to practice before meals rather than after.

- Never practice after using any intoxicants.

- If you fall asleep, give yourself credit for the work you did up to the point of sleep.

- When you finish a session, relax with your eyes closed for a few seconds, and then get up slowly.


As you become more proficient in the progressive muscle relaxation technique you may want to practise with a guided meditation CD. This helps you to stay focused on your breath and pay more precise attention to the segments of your body.

Other relaxation techniques that can be self-taught and are great for stress relief are deep breathing and meditation.

I always suggest that my clients use a suitable essential oil blend and add it to a diffuser to enhance their relaxation practice.

Do you enjoy using muscle relaxation as part of your stress relief programme?

I would love to know...Any comments? Ideas? Contact Me...

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