Jacobson’s progressive muscle relaxation

Even if you don’t have a medically relevant disorder, many people are unable to control their levels of stress, nervousness or anxiety. When a person is psychologically and emotionally overwhelmed, the behaviors, cognitions or attitudes they can adopt are very different. Do you know what Jacobson’s progressive muscle relaxation is?

To deal with this kind of problem, some have helpful strategies, such as leaving the seat or doing some pleasant activity. The problem arises when, due to the situation in which we find ourselves, it is not possible for us to freshen up or go for a walk. This can happen to us, for example, at a meeting, on the subway or at home with small children.

Precisely in this type of case, Jacobson’s progressive muscle relaxation may become an important asset in its control. It’s a simple, yet effective, technique that can be practiced almost anywhere once the person learns to do it.

What is the goal of progressive muscle relaxation?

progressive muscle relaxation
Through progressive muscle relaxation, it is sought that the person can control his state of stress and anxiety in those moments in which he cannot carry out other types of relaxing activities.

Progressive muscle relaxation has two goals: to teach us to identify our physiological signals coming from muscles when they are under tension and to implement the skills learned to reduce them.

All the activation – anxiety, stress, etc. – follows a curve: it has a starting point that rises, more or less rapidly, until it reaches the maximum point of personal activation.

When it is at its maximum, the organism goes crazy and, consequently, we won’t have any kind of control over the things we do, how we respond, or over the anxiety itself.

In many cases, all signs that you are getting nervous are dismissed the popular belief that excitement or anxiety cannot be controlled. It is not so. It is necessary to identify these cues to check for activation.

There is no reason to reach maximum activation to start taking action and implementing relaxation techniques. Indeed, when you reach the peak of your stress, it is nearly impossible to apply a relaxation technique.

It is necessary to act first, with the signals, so that they function as discriminators of the technique that we must use.

What is RMP?

Jacobson’s Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) is aimed at achieve deep levels of muscle relaxation. It is applied to the muscles of the whole body, face, arms, stomach, etc.

Because of this, It is important that the person knows how to identify the level of muscle tension which he experiences in the different parts of his body, through tension and relaxation exercises.

With these exercises, which provide training in RMP, you look for that person being able to hear what your muscles are saying when you start to get nervous.

When we start to feel anxious, we can frown, stretch our thighs, extend our hands, change position, among others. Even if we don’t notice that tension in the different parts of our body, the truth is that it is there, and long before the anxiety reaches its peak.

In this way, knowing how to identify the voltage, we will prevent stress from reaching too high points that make us overflow.

How to train progressive muscle relaxation?

How to train progressive muscle relaxation
To practice progressive muscle relaxation, it is essential to find a comfortable place, preferably away from distractions.

While Jacobson’s progressive muscle relaxation should ideally be trained, at least the first few times, with a person who knows and masters this technique, it can also be practiced at home. For this heThe first thing you need to find is a comfortable and familiar place.

Although, later on, it can be used in any context, for your training it is vital that we feel comfortable, that we’re not sleepy —it’s a bad idea to practice it after eating—, that we know we won’t be interrupted, and that, in general, conditions are as calm as possible.

  • Once we find that place —we can sit or lie down—, we will begin to tense the muscles of our bodyone by one, following the different muscle groups.
  • Each muscle should tense for about five seconds, then relax and relax for about twenty seconds.
  • It will be difficult to control the times at first. Therefore, to avoid counting instead of focus on muscle tensionit is useful for someone you trust to help and advise you.
  • By contracting and relaxing one muscle, you will move on to the next and so on until you do it with all.

List of muscle groups to train

THE muscle groups that need to be tightened and loosened, in order, are as follows. A little explanation is needed to try to facilitate the gesture —or the tension— that is sought in that certain muscle:

  • Dominant hand and forearm: Clench your fist as if throwing a punch.
  • dominant biceps: relaxing the hand, try to join the wrist with the shoulder.
  • Non-dominant hand and forearm
  • non-dominant biceps
  • Forehead: strongly raise the eyebrows.
  • Eyes: close your eyes, squeezing tightly.
  • Upper nose and cheeks: wrinkling his nose making a grimace of disgust.
  • Jaw, lower cheeks and tongue: clench the teeth by pressing the tongue on the palate.
  • neck and throat: if you’re sitting, try touching your chin to your chest; if you are lying down, press your head against the bed.
  • Shoulders and upper back: tries to touch his shoulders from behind.
  • Chest: take a deep breath and exhale forcefully.
  • Abdomen: Contract your stomach as if you were to receive a punch.
  • lower back: arching your back, sticking out your abdomen – it’s not just pulling your belly out.
  • Dominant leg: is pressed hard as if pressing a pedal. If you’re lying down, extend your leg with your foot out.
  • Non-dominant leg.

Why is training so important?

Young woman practicing progressive muscle relaxation.
This type of training has gained prominence, as it helps overcome anxiety and associated symptoms.

Relaxation and breathing techniques work if they are practiced. If they’re not trained, they’re definitely a waste of time. The ideal is to practice progressive muscle relaxation twice a day, for about twenty minutes.

By exercising, we teach our muscles that after tension comes relaxation. As, as we become more educated, we will achieve the purpose of the RMP:

For this reason, even if we practice tension release in training, day by day it will not be necessary for us to overcome the tension. We will get to know our muscles and know when they are tense, going directly to relaxation.

As this is learned, progressive muscle relaxation it can also be performed with relaxation-tension in different contexts.

Thus, if we get nervous on the subway, for example, we can do our exercises secretly so that no one notices. We can clench our fist and open it, close our eyes tightly and open them, etc.

Progressive muscle relaxation not only trains our muscles to relax when they feel tension, and thus reduce our anxiety levels, it also increases the self-efficacy a person can feelas he is no longer at the mercy of his anxiety and nervousness when he decides to appear at will.

Now you have an ingenious tool, progressive muscle relaxation, which properly trained and practiced can easily lock the door that the anxiety had previously opened.

Jacobson’s post Progressive Muscle Relaxation appeared first in altsalute.



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