What Are the Steps to Performing Progressive Muscle Relaxation?


Quick Answer

There are two basic steps for performing progressive muscle relaxation, deliberately tensing the major muscle groups of the body one at a time, and then relaxing them. The muscle groups are targeted in a systematic manner, either starting from the legs and working up to the head, or the other way around.

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Full Answer

  1. Pick a comfortable position

    The first step of PMR is to pick a suitable position that comforts the entire body. It can be achieved by either sitting in a comfortable chair or lying down. Take off shoes, and wear loose clothing. Pick a quiet place without any noise or disturbance.

  2. Tense the muscle groups

    Either starting from the legs and working upwards to the head or the other way around, focus on the major muscle groups one at a time. Tense the targeted muscle group, and hold that muscle in the tensed state for five to eight seconds.

  3. Relax the muscles

    After tensing a muscle for five to eight seconds, release the tension, and let the muscle relax for 15 seconds. If deemed necessary, tense and relax a muscle several times to increase the sensation of relaxation.

  4. Work throughout the entire body

    Target one muscle group of the body at a time, and then move on to the next muscle group. Tense and relax all the major muscle groups of the body. Once satisfied with the completion of the process, relax for a few seconds with the eyes closed, and get up slowly.

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