The discoverer of this relaxation procedure is the American physician Edmund Jacobson. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he focused on the function of the muscles and found out that deep relaxation can be achieved through targeted tensioning and subsequent release of individual muscle groups. When we are afraid, under strong tension or pressure, our muscles automatically become tense, for example, one unconsciously closes one's hands to one's fist. The greater the psychological tension caused by events such as stress, anxiety or anger, the more pronounced are the muscle tensions. There may be blockages that cause pain and psychosomatic disorders.
Muscle tension is the result of stress
The progressive muscle relaxation (PM), called deep muscle relaxation or "progressive relaxation", helps by dissolving muscular states of tension to mental and physical rest and recovery from the often stressful everyday life. True to the motto: Through physical relaxation to mental relaxation. Stress-related symptoms subsided, the relaxation has a positive effect on the whole body, makes you calm and relaxed.
Progressive muscle relaxation is easy to learn, you need no previous knowledge or a strong imagination. The method is even easier to learn than autogenic training: Autogenic training is based on autosuggestive basis, while the progressive muscle relaxation is a purely physical method. As a relaxation method it is - in addition to the treatment of tension and postural damage - well suited for stress management for nervous and restless people.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation: How does it work?
The principle of this deep relaxation is very simple and is based on first tensing muscles, keeping the tension short and then relaxing. The goal: The targeted tightening of different muscle groups and subsequent release of the tension should relax the muscles beyond the initial level.
- First, focus on a muscle group, for example the right hand. The hand is slowly clenched into a fist. Feel the tension in the muscles of the right hand and tighten the muscles more and more.
- Hold the voltage for about 5 to 8 seconds.
- Then loosen the hand for about 30 seconds. Repeat exercise.
- After 40 seconds of relaxation you go to the next muscle group.
The basic procedure involves 16 muscle groups, which are started and then relaxed one after the other. The exercises can be performed while lying down or sitting. The higher the contrast between tension and relaxation, the greater the subsequent relaxation state.
Noticeable progress through regular training
Over time, you learn to get a feeling of tension and relaxation. You can quickly see how the number of exercises can be increased, how often the exercises can be repeated, and when to stop so as not to reverse the positive effects of progressive muscle relaxation.
The training is progressively progressive, as the practitioner, after the short period of tension, gradually learns to relax the corresponding muscle group as the practice progresses. This requires, however, that is practiced regularly.
When will PM be used?
- Muscle tension, tension headache, migraine
- Stress, inner restlessness, sleep disorders, anxiety
- Nervousness, feelings of tension, psychovegetative fatigue syndrome
- Health care - Increased tolerance to stress
- Increase body awareness
- Improvement of body perception and body feeling
- Improved self-attention and heightened sensitivity
Conclusion: progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobson
The procedure is considered one of the easiest and most effective relaxation exercises and you can learn it in a few weeks. Many people who struggle with relaxation techniques can easily learn this method. It is very effective and applicable almost everywhere and at any time.