Relaxation is a very important practice for our physical and mental health. In an increasingly fast-paced and stressful world, it is essential to find ways to unwind and reduce the accumulated tension in our body and mind. Progressive muscle relaxation is one of the most effective techniques. It can help us to reduce anxiety, improve sleep quality, reduce pain and muscle tension, as well as improve our general mood.
What is progressive muscle relaxation?
The progressive muscle relaxation technique was developed by the American physician Edmund Jacobson around 1920. It is based on the idea that mental and emotional tension can be reduced by working the muscles. It is relatively easy to learn and can be practised anytime, anywhere.
How this technique works
The technique consists of progressively tensing and relaxing the different muscle groups in our body. First, a specific muscle group is tensed for a few seconds, and then the tension is relaxed for a few seconds more.
This is then repeated with other muscle groups, progressing from the feet to the head. This helps the person become aware of the muscle tension they may be holding without realising it, and learn to consciously relax those muscles.
Therefore, it can be a very useful tool to reduce tension and stress in daily life. Furthermore, the practice is safe for most people, although it is recommended to consult a health professional before starting.
Steps for performing the progressive muscle relaxation technique
There are ten steps to the progressive muscle relaxation technique:
- Find a quiet place: find a space without noise or distractions where you are comfortable. You can start practicing this technique sitting or lying down, whichever is more comfortable for you.
- Breathe deeply: start by breathing deeply, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Several repetitions are necessary to relax.
- Tense and relax the muscles in your feet: it is time to tense the muscles in your feet for a few seconds and then relax them. It is important to notice the sensation of lightness that is produced in them.
- Activate your legs: the leg muscles are as follows. A few seconds of contraction is enough to relax them. Enjoy the calmness you experience.
- Work the abdominal muscles: this muscle group is contracted for a few seconds and then relaxed. Again, it is not enough to activate and deactivate the area, it is essential to confirm the feeling of relief and relaxation that is achieved.
- Tighten and relax the muscles of the arms: for a few seconds the arms should feel tight and tense, and then gradually let them return to their natural state. As you feel the relaxation sensation in this area, you can start to think about the next muscle group.
- Continue to apply this technique to the chest: you work on contracting and relaxing, until you stop and rest, noticing how the whole area relaxes.
- Activation of the neck muscles: this is perhaps one of the most complicated parts to activate and deactivate, but with practice you can contract and relax, until you reach the sensation that confirms that you have completed the exercise correctly.
- After applying the technique of progressive muscle relaxation on the face: for a few seconds, and with the help of light pressure with the hands, the different facial muscles are contracted and then relaxed, being aware of the state of relief and calmness that is reached.
- Breathe deeply: to finish, breathing in and out several times completes the session which frees the mind and body from stress and tension.
Remember that you can do this progressive muscle relaxation technique at any time of the day and the more you practice it, the easier it will be to relax.
Benefits of progressive muscle relaxation
The progressive muscle relaxation technique offers numerous advantages for our physical and mental health. Some of the most commonly experienced are:
- Reduction of stress and anxiety. By consciously tensing and relaxing your muscles, you can release accumulated tension and promote physical and mental relaxation.
- Relief of muscle tension. It is particularly useful for this purpose and, in fact, the more it is practised, the better the results it delivers.
- Improved sleep quality. The progressive muscle relaxation technique can help to achieve this goal by reducing stress and anxiety, relieving worries and facilitating the onset of the night’s sleep process.
- Pain reduction. By releasing muscle tension, you can reduce stiffness and inflammation, and promote blood and lymphatic circulation. It is recommended to reduce pain in muscle groups and joints.
- Improved mood. By reducing stress and anxiety, the progressive muscle relaxation technique promotes physical and mental relaxation, improving the individual’s ability to face daily challenges with a more positive attitude.
Tips to improve results
If you have already decided to practice the progressive muscle relaxation technique, you should pay attention to these recommendations, which will help you to achieve better results:
Find a quiet and comfortable place
Find a place where you can be quiet and comfortable, and where you will not be distracted by noise or interruptions. You can choose a quiet room in your house, a park, or any other place where you feel at ease and can relax without interruptions.
Wear comfortable clothes
Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes that do not restrict your movement. This will make it easier for you to tense and relax your muscles without feeling uncomfortable.
Practice the technique on a regular basis
For best results with the progressive muscle relaxation technique, it is important that you practice it regularly. You can establish a daily or weekly routine for practising the technique, for example, before going to sleep or after exercise.
Start with short sessions
If you are a beginner in the progressive muscle relaxation technique, it is recommended that you start with short sessions of 10-15 minutes. As you become more comfortable with the technique, you can increase the length of the sessions.
Focus on your breathing
Breathing is a key element in the progressive muscle relaxation technique. Concentrate on your breathing and make it deep and slow. Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth.
Be patient and persevering
The progressive muscle relaxation technique takes time and practice to achieve significant results. Be patient and persevering in your practice, and don’t get discouraged if at first you don’t get the results you expect.
By following these tips, you can improve your results with the progressive muscle relaxation technique and reap the benefits it offers for your physical and mental health. In addition to consistency, supplementation (based on a balanced diet) will help you achieve optimal muscle tone more quickly.
Orgono Articomplex contains a blend of essential minerals, vitamins and organic silica, designed to compensate for the loss of minerals that occurs in our body. The silica powder in this product is stabilised in an organic base that is easily absorbed and supports cartilage. In addition, the product also contains trace elements, which are important for athletes (a lack of which can cause injury).
Start a new chapter in your life stress-free and more fit than ever by including progressive muscle relaxation in your routines and the organic silica supplement Orgono Articomplex in your diet.
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