Sleeping And Muscle Relaxation Technique

One of the most simple and easily learned techniques for relaxation is Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR), a widely-used procedure today that was originally developed in 1939.

The PMR procedure teaches you to relax your muscles through a two-step process. First, you deliberately apply tension to certain muscle groups, and then you stop the tension and turn your attention to noticing how the muscles relax as the tension flows away. 
Through repetitive practice you quickly learn to recognize-and distinguish-the associated feelings of a tensed muscle and 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. And with physical relaxation comes mental calmness-in any situation. 

Before practicing PMR, you should consult with your physician if you have a history of serious injuries, muscle spasms, or back problems, because the deliberate muscle tensing of the PMR procedure could exacerbate any of these pre-existing conditions.

If you continue with this procedure against a doctor's advice, you do so at your own risk.

There are two steps in the self-administered Progressive Muscle Relaxation procedure: (a) deliberately tensing muscle groups, and (b) releasing the induced tension. This two-step process will be described after you are introduced to the muscle groups. 

After learning the full PMR procedure as follows, you will spend about 10 minutes a day maintaining your proficiency by practicing a shortened form of the procedure. As you practice the short procedure, you will be simultaneously learning cue-controlled relaxation. 

Ultimately, you will acquire something that will probably become an indispensable part of your daily life, and the initial drudgery of practice will be long-forgotten. 

It is recommended that you practice full PMR twice a day for about a week before moving on to the shortened form (below). Of course, the time needed to master the full PMR procedure varies from person to person. 

Here are some suggestions for practice:

• Always practice full PMR in a quiet place, along, with no distractions like television or phones. We don't suggest even using background music.

• Remove your shoes and wear loose clothing

• Don't eat, smoke or drink right before practicing PMR. It's best to practice before meals rather than after to avoid problems with digestion.

• Never practice this while under the influence of any intoxicants.

• Sit in a comfortable chair or lying down in bed.

• Plan on falling asleep before the cycle is complete if you do this in bed

• If you are doing PMR just to relax instead of falling asleep, after you are done, relax with your eyes closed for a few seconds and then get up slowly. If you stand up too quickly, you could experience a sudden drop in blood pressure which could cause you to feel faint.

Some people like to count backwards from 5 to 1 timed to slow, deep breathing and then say "Eyes open, supremely calm, fully alert."

You will be working with most all the major muscle groups in your body, but for convenience you will make a systematic progression from your feet upwards.

Here is the most popular recommended sequence:

• Right foot

• Right lower leg and foot

• Entire right leg

• Left foot

• Left lower leg and foot

• Entire left leg

• Right hand

• Right forearm and hand

• Entire right arm

• Left hand

• Left forearm and hand

• Entire left arm

• Abdomen

• Chest

• Neck and shoulders

• Face - If you're left handed, begin with your left side.

One of the most simple and easily learned techniques for relaxation is Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR), a widely-used procedure today that was originally developed in 1939.


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