Progressive relaxation was developed by Edmund Jacobson, a physician in 1930's.He taught his patients a series of exercises in order

to reduce their muscle tension syndrome. Firstly,it required them to contract a muscle group,then relax it, and then move from one

muscle group to another. The purpose was to teach them to recognize what their muscle tension and relaxation felt like,and to familiar

with progressive relaxation training, so that they could practice progressive relaxation when they felt tense.

Benefits of Progressive Relaxation Training:

Physiological aspects: It can relax muscles, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems. It can reduce tension and headaches.
Psychological aspects: It can minimize depression and anxiety, boost self-esteem, make sleep easier, increase job and competitive performances.



Cues Identifying Tension
It is important to recognize the cues for your tension. When you are tense, you may have backache, headache or aches in shoulders and neck. You may tremble, and feel itch and muscle tension. When you can identify these cues, you can develop exercises to release your stress.



When performing progressive relaxation training, the environment should be relatively quiet and distraction-free. You have to switch off your mobile phone and pager. Make sure the room is warm and the light is dim. Avoid wearing tight clothing and jewelry. You can take off your shoes if necessary. When you feel uncomfortable or feel your muscles are strained, pained or cramped, you have to stop the practice immediately



Body Position
When practicing progressive relaxation training, you have to stretch out on the mat. The purpose is to let your body be supported by the floor, not by your muscles. Therefore, when you are lying on the floor, you can stretch out your hands and legs as much as possible. If you want to be more comfortable, you can put a pillow under your neck or knees. Make sure you are relaxed and comfortable before your practice.


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