Progressive Muscle Relaxation
By Annette E. Barton, ACSW, BCD

(Note:  If you have a history of muscle spasms or any other medical condition that involves your muscles, please check with your physician before utilizing this approach.  When you tighten your muscles, be sure to only tighten them enough to feel the tension, not enough to feel pain.)

1. Tighten and scrunch up your face and hold it... hold it... hold it...

2. Now slowly, gently, let the muscles in your face start to relax. Feel the tension drain out your face like warm melting butter.......

3. Next tighten up your neck and hold it... hold it... hold it...

4. Now slowly, gently, feel the muscles in your neck start to relax. Feel the warmth spread down your neck and the tension begins to drain down your neck to your shoulders.

5. Now, tighten your shoulders. Feel the tension in your shoulders and hold it... hold it... hold it...

6. Slowly, gently feel the tension drain out your shoulders. Feel your shoulders sink deeper and deeper as all the tension drains down your neck and down your shoulders like warm melting butter.

7. Next tighten your arms, without your hands and hold it... hold it... hold it...

8. Slowly, gently let the tension drain out your arms. Feel the warm relaxation spread down your shoulders and down your arms.

9. Now tighter your hands and hold it... hold it... hold it...

10. Slowly, gently, feel the tension in your hands begin to relax. Feel your fingers start to uncurl and the warm relaxation spread down your arms, down your wrists and out through your hands.

11. Next, tighten your stomach muscles and feel the tightness in your lower back at the same time. Hold it... hold it... hold it...

12. Now, slowly, gently, feel the tension drain down your back and your stomach, as all the muscles start to relax. Feel the warm, melting butter sensation spread down your back.

13. Now tighten your buttocks. Hold it... hold it... hold it...

14. Slowly gently, let your muscles relax. Feel yourself sink deeper and deeper into your chair as all the tension drains out your body.

15. Next tighten your thighs and hold it... hold it... hold it...

16. Slowly, gently, let the muscles relax as you feel all the tension drain down your thighs and you sink even deeper into the chair.

17. Next, tighten your calves. Hold it... hold it... hold it...

18. Slowly, gently, let the muscles of your calves relax and feel the warm melting butter sensation spread down your legs.

19. Now, tighten your feet and hold it... hold it... hold it...

20. Slowly, gently let your feel muscles begin to relax. Feel the tension drain down your legs, down your ankles, down your feet and out into the floor.

21. Now feel the relaxation spread even more. Feel your face become even more relaxed as the warmth spreads down your face, down your jaw, and your jaw opens up a bit. The warmth and relaxation spreads down your neck, down your shoulders, and your shoulders sink deeper and deeper. Feel the warm melting butter relaxation spread down your arms, down your wrists and down through your hands. Feel the relaxation spread down your back, as the warm melting butter relaxation travels down your shoulder blades, down your lower back and you feel yourself sink deeper and deeper into your chair. The warm relaxation spreads down your legs, down your knees and the warm melting butter relaxation spreads down your calves, down your ankles and out through your feet.

22. Now tell yourself, "I’m relaxed."

(The more you practice this, the more relaxed you will become and the longer you will maintain a relaxed feeling. Remember it took a lifetime to get this tense. It will take awhile to retrain yourself to be relaxed.)

2005-2007, Annette Barton, ACSW, BCD

 

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The information provided on this website is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or in any other way substitute for the assistance of a professional.

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4660 Marsh Rd.
P.O. Box 684
Okemos, MI  48805-0684
(517) 347-7457

 

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