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Relaxation Techniques For The Body

There are two relaxation techniques to learn, they are both very similar but are designed to be used in different situations. They are:

  1. Total relaxation method one – designed to be learned first to give you a full understanding of the process and to be used when you have more time and are able to relax fully, usually at home.
  2. Rapid relaxation – method two – Once method one has been learned this method is a shortened version that can be carried out when you need a quick burst of relaxation, at work, shopping etc.

Total Relaxation Technique – Allow 20 to 30 minutes

At first you may find the process a little strange but with practice you will soon enjoy the whole experience.

Make sure the room is quiet and warm and that you will not be disturbed. Once the method has been learned, practice with eyes closed.

Lie down or sit comfortably with your head supported.

During the relaxation technique exercises, do not strain yourself and cause your breathing or heart rate to increase. Breath slowly and regularly throughout.

Before moving on to the next part of your body, after tensing each muscle group, Notice the feeling of release and the relaxation of the muscles.

  • Hands - First clench your fists and hold tightly for a few seconds, then release. 
  • Arms - Tense the muscles in your upper arms and hold for a few seconds, then release.
  • Shoulders – Pull your shoulders up tightly around your ears and hold for a few seconds, then release.
  • Neck – Move the head backwards and stick your chin out to cause some tension in your neck. Hold for a few seconds and release.
  • Face – Screw up your facial muscles into a frown and tighten your jaw. Hold for a few seconds and release. Hold for a few seconds and release.
  • Back – Arch your back slightly and pull your shoulders down. Hold for a few seconds and release.
  • Tummy – Pull your tummy muscles in, hold for a few seconds then quickly release.
  • Legs – Push your toes away from you and gently tighten calf muscles. Be careful not to cause yourself cramp. Hold for a few seconds and release.

Now sit or lie still and quickly for a few minutes and slowly begin to rouse yourself and become more aware of your surroundings.

Rapid Relaxation Techniques

picture by Leland

Once you are familiar with the total relaxation exercise you may feel that you would like to gain the same benefits but using a quicker process.

Method one

  • Lie or sit comfortably as before.
  • Spend a few minutes with your eyes closed concentrating on your slow regular breaths.
  • Now focus on your mind on your hands. Do not clench them; instead concentrate on allowing the tension to drain away from them.
  • Now slowly do the same for all other areas of the body as before, Arms, shoulders, neck, face, back, legs.

Method two

  • Lie or sit comfortably as before
  • Now tense up your whole body all at the same time, your hands, arms, shoulders, tummy, legs etc and hold for a few seconds
  • Now let go quickly all at once and relish in the feelings of relaxation as your muscles relax. This process can be repeated once more.

Now that your body is relaxed, move on to relax your mind.

› Relaxation Exercises