Progressive Relaxation

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Progressive relaxation is a very effective technique to ease out muscle tension. In this technique a particular muscle is first tensed and then allowed to relax. It provides a way of identifying particular muscles and muscle groups and distinguishing between sensations of tension and deep relaxation.

Why progressive relaxation ?

Progressive relaxation of muscles reduces pulse rate, blood pressure, perspiration and respiration rates.

Frequency and Duration

Daily one session of fifteen minutes.

How to do / Technique

  • Make yourself comfortable in a quite room free from disturbance and distractions.
  • Wear loose and comfortable clothing.
  • Start by taking a few slow breaths.
  • Wrinkle your forehead tightly and notice the tension in your forehead and scalp.
  • Relax.
  • Close your eyes tightly.
  • Relax, let them remain closed gently and comfortably.
  • Open your mouth wide tensing your jaw.
  • Relax and feel the difference.
  • Press your tongue against the roof of your mouth.
  • Relax.
  • Press your lips tightly.
  • Relax.
  • Roll your head on your neck first clockwise and then anti-clockwise.
  • Relax letting your head return to a comfortable position.
  • Shrug your shoulders bringing your shoulders up towards your ears.
  • Hold it for some time and then relax.
  • Take a deep breath filling your lungs completely.
  • Hold your breath for sometime and then slowly exhale.
  • Clench your fists and bend them back at the wrist tighter and tighter till you feel the tension in your fists and forearms.
  • Now relax your fists and feel the looseness and relaxation in your hands and forearms.
  • Bend your elbows and tense your biceps.
  • Relax and feel the difference.
  • Now arch your back carefully without straining.
  • Relax and slowly come back to normal posture.
  • Now tighten your buttocks and thighs.
  • Relax
  • Straighten and tense your legs.
  • Relax
  • Tense your ankles pointing your feet outward.
  • Relax


Davis M., Eshelman E.R., McKay M. Progressive Relaxation; The relaxation and stress reduction workbook, 5th.  edition.