Picture taken from – www.facebook.com -Stillness Speaks Page
I have provided this picture for you to escape into using Guided Imagery Relaxation Technique if PMR isn’t for you 🙂
What is Progressive Muscular Relaxation (PMR)?
PMR is a form of relaxation designed to reduce muscle tension that can occur during periods of anxiety in accordance to our fight or flight responses and also long periods of immobility.
- Start off by systematically tensing particular muscle groups in your body, such as your neck and shoulders.
- Release the tension and notice how your muscles feel when you relax them. This exercise will help you to lower your overall tension and stress levels, and help you relax when you are feeling anxious.
It can also help reduce pain & physical problems such as stomachaches and headaches, as well as improve your sleep.
What sort of treatment is it?
I would, personally, classify this as an Alternative or Complementary treatment, which can be used alongside other medications and treatments but will always advise anyone to speak to their GP first before trying anything new, apart from anything else, they may be able to help you.
Can you do this yourself at home?, or, do you need to see a specialist physio or someone specially trained in this field?
Yes, you can do this by yourself at home, although, it would be best to seek advise from a medical professional first and possibly see a trained physio perhaps in the field of PMR, relaxation in general. Always check credentials to make sure that you are seeing someone legitimate as it is always best to seek treatment from people trained and with the correct knowledge.
So, in short a combination of both to begin with should help you begin your PMR journey. 🙂
How long does this technique take to do?
It can take approx 15-30 minutes to work through the routine properly and possibly another 15 – 30 minutes to rest and bring yourself round afterwards. It’s always best to leave a little space in your diary for after doing it as you may be so relaxed that you doze off :-d
Speaking in general terms it can take a long time to master this technique and it needs practice and many attempts before you find your own niche with it.
Do I require space and/or peace and quiet in order to practice it?
Personally speaking, I’d say both, especially, if you are easily distracted by the littlest of noises.
Space is a good idea because it can help you so that you don’t feel suffocated and shut in, but free as a bird and it should be easier to relax yourself and be more comfortable while you work your way through the routine. using your guided Imagery skills you can lay relax and naturally work both techniques together…. well not straight away! it’s taken me years of practise to manage it.
For instance I use my bed or a quilt on the floor 🙂
I have provided a picture above to escape into if you’re already experienced at PMR and maybe fancy expanding you’re relaxation skills and trying it alongside guided Imagery!?! With time we get naturally used to the routine of PMR that we don’t need to concentrate on it quite as much as in the beginning.
Practise, practise, practise 🙂
Learn more from the links provided below about how to practise PMR properly and also how this helps to reduce your pain levels 🙂
Useful links for information regarding Pain, Pain Managament & Treatments, Therapies:
The first link gives you clinical directions as to how to perform PMR.
Centre for Clinical Interventions: Progressive muscular relaxation
- Mayo Clinic – Massage – mayoclinic.org – stress management & massage techniques
Information & tools for a healthier Lifestyle – Healthy Lifestyle A soothing massage can help you unwind, but that’s not all. Explore the possible benefits of massage and what to expect. By Mayo Clinic Staff
- Pain Drawing (American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) from 2001 but I like the simplicity of it and the colours help make it easier on the eye than a black and white picture- PDF
- Selecting Pain Treatments – www.healingchronicpain.org – selecting pain treatments
- The American Academy of Pain Medicine – Pain Management Tools: (AAPM) painmed.org- Pain Management tools
- (NIH) U.S. National Library of Medicine – Home Page
- (NIH) U.S National Library of Medicine – www.nlm.nih.gov medlineplus – pain