You’ve seen the clickbait titles, “This one weird trick does [something amazing].” I thought about titling this blog post like that, except the relaxation technique really does have many great benefits. It’s not a scam. Which relaxation technique am I talking about? Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR).
You may already be familiar with PMR but if not, in a nutshell, it is tensing and releasing groups of muscles in a specific order (that’s the “progressive” part of the name). It’s usually done either head to toes or toes to head.
Progressive muscle relaxation is one of the relaxation techniques I teach my insomnia clients, but it has benefits for a wide range of issues. According to Healthline, PMR has been shown in research studies to provide the following benefits:
- reduces anxiety
- reduces tension
- reduces anger
- improve sleep quality
- reduces neck pain
- reduces low back pain
- reduces systolic (but not diastolic) blood pressure
- decreases frequency of migraines
- reduces temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain
Now, progressive muscle relaxation is an acquired skill like any other. That means as you practice it, you will become more proficient at it and you will likely see more benefit from it. I recommend you practice at first at times when you aren’t particularly in need of it or are already relaxed. If you practice it at these times, then you won’t have to think as much to perform the exercise when you are stressed and in need.
This is a great video I recommend to my clients for a guided session of progressive muscle relaxation. It’s intended for kids but don’t let that turn you off. It’s the best guide I’ve seen and it’s probably the most fun, too!
I specialize in helping people with sleep issues get better sleep more easily and without drugs. I also specialize in dissociative disorders. I’m currently accepting new clients and if you’d like to meet for a free 15-minute video consultation to see if we’re a good match, just let me know. You are welcome to call or text me at 816-226-4678.