Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a stress management technique that focuses on purposely tensing and then relaxing muscles as a form of removing tension from the body. The goal of PMR is to scan our entire body and systematically remove excess tension that can be left over from stress. During PMR, an individual will focus on specific muscle groups and go through two phases: a tensing, or tightening, phase and a relaxing phase. Typically, we focus on tensing a muscle on the deep inhale and then focus on relaxing, or letting go, during the deep exhale. Eventually with sustained practice, the goal is for an individual to notice tension in the body and be able to engage in the relaxing phase to remove the tension and stress.
Follow along to the video below to practice PMR. Remember to engage in deep breathing throughout! Never tense or tighten a muscle group to the point of pain. Additionally, avoid areas of the body with sustained injury or soreness. Enjoy!
By Matt Lewandowski