The art of deep muscle relaxation involves tensing and then releasing muscles in your body. It is a way of releasing physical tension in the body. Deep muscle relaxation was developed into a systematic approach by Dr Edmund Jacobson in 1929.
His methods use deep muscle relaxation to raise awareness of muscle tension and to achieve higher than usual levels of ease of tension. Lying on your back or in a comfortable chair, you begin by raising your right leg and then your left several inches from the floor and holding. You should notice the release of tension when you relax the leg. You then move on to clenching and unclenching your fists and tensing your arms.
Next the shoulders and neck are tensed and relaxed followed by the facial muscles. You are encouraged to focus on your breathing and on relaxing your mind. The whole process takes approximately half an hour.
What are the benefits?
People using these methods describe an extraordinary feeling of warmth and deep relaxation after a session. Most of us are unaware how much tension we hold in our bodies. Our muscles are often chronically tense. This makes us tired and stiff. Stress stored in the body in turn causes us discomfort leading to more stress. In this way our mental and physical states are entirely interdependent. By using these methods, you can learn to physically relax which in turn leads to a greater sense of emotional and spiritual calm.
The treatment leaves you feeling physically relaxed but more mentally alert. Stress and tension are now proven to be a major cause or contributor to illness and poor health. Releasing physical tension in this way can help improve your overall well being including your physical and mental state.