PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION TECHNIQUE

by G.W. Fisler



  

     This technique should be practiced in a dimly lighted room, if possible.  ABSOLUTE quiet and privacy are also necessary.  This exercise should be practiced daily for at least ten minutes.  Work up to 30 minutes as it becomes comfortable to do so.  Meditation music may be played to cover up any background sounds. 

     These exercises may be performed while laying down or sitting in a comfortable chair.  One of the well padded reclining loungers would be ideal.  A chair that enveloped you will make you feel safer.  It is hard to relax when you are trying to stay upright in a normal chair.  I prefer to work from the feet up when lying prone, but switch to working from the head down when I am using a chair.  Actually, you may use either method.  The choice is up to you.

     Those of you that are familiar with Yoga know the effect that breath has on the body.  The breath that we will use here is called  2/4 breathing.  It goes like this:

  • inhale to a count of four
  • hold breath to a count of two
  • exhale to a count of four
  • hold breath out to a count of two
All counting is done mentally at first.  After a while the timing will become automatic.  Do this for 2 to 3 minutes before starting the progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) exercise.  Try to continue with this breathing as much as possible during the PMR, but do not be too concerned if you do not get it right at first.  You do not have to get it perfect to get results.

     Close your eyes and clear your mind.  Try not to let any stray thoughts enter your mind.  I sometimes visualize a small sphere in the center of my mind.  I let this sphere expand and push all of the extraneous thoughts out of my mind.  Concentrating on your breathing will keep the mind free from thought from that point on.  Try to tense the muscle on an in breath and relax on an out breath. 

  • Curl the right foot and tense all the muscles in the foot. Relax and repeat once.  Do the left foot.
  • Tense the right calf muscles.  Relax and repeat once.  Same on the left side.
  • Tense the right thigh muscles.  Relax and repeat once.  Do the left side.
  • Tense the muscles in the buttocks and anus.  Relax and repeat once.
  • Tense the muscles in the back.   Relax and repeat once. 
  • Curl right hand into a fist.  Relax and repeat once.  Same on the left side.
  • Tense all the muscles in the right forearm.    Relax and repeat once.  Same on the left side.
  • Tense all the muscles in the right upper arm.  Relax and repeat once.  Same on the left side.
  • Tense all the muscles in the chest.  Relax and repeat once. 
  • Tense the shoulder muscles.  Relax and repeat once.
  • Tense the neck muscles.  Relax and repeat once.
  • Tense the head muscles.  Relax and repeat once.
  • Tense all the muscles in the body.  Relax and repeat once.
Your eyes should have been closed during this exercise.  You should have lost or reduced all sensations in the body.  This is an important step in any metaphysical pursuit.  Practice untill you get it as perfect as possible.

 
 

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