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Progressive muscle relaxation | Effect, studies, therapy

Progressive muscle relaxation: an effective relaxation technique

PROCEDURE FOR DEEP MUSCLE RELAXATION

Progressive muscle relaxation (PME) was founded by the American doctor Edmund Jacobson. As a relaxation method with scientifically proven effects, progressive muscle relaxation aims at the conscious, voluntary tension and relaxation of certain muscle groups, which can put the body in a state of deep relaxation. The application is effective not only in patients with various diseases, but also in healthy people.

However, there are also some contraindications for which Progressive Muscle Relaxation should not be used.

Progressive muscle relaxation, also known as Deep muscle relaxation or progressive muscle relaxation is called, concentrates on conveying the muscular relaxation and enabling the user to consciously initiate this state of relaxation at any time.

Therapeutic use of PME in classical and alternative medicine

AREAS OF APPLICATION FOR PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION ARE VERSATILE

Progressive muscle relaxation is considered to be the most suitable relaxation method in clinical practice, especially because it is easy and quick to learn for most patients. The method is often used, also in conjunction with classic and naturopathic treatments.

Areas of application for progressive muscle relaxation

Effect of progressive muscle relaxation on the entire body

PME INFLUENCES PSYCHE AND ARBITRAL AND INVOLVED FUNCTIONS

Progressive muscle relaxation has an effect on the entire organism. The procedure equally addresses voluntary muscles, mental state and unconscious body functions. The following states and body functions can be positively influenced by muscular relaxation:

How the PME works

  • Improved body awareness
  • Reduction of states of excitement and physical restlessness
  • Reduction of pain by detecting and releasing muscle tension
  • Promote stress relief
  • Reduce tension in muscles
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Promote relaxed calm breathing
  • Promote mental and physical relaxation
  • Promotion of inner calm and serenity
  • Expansion of the vessels of the skin muscles

More than 75% of the studies show improvement in symptoms

PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION, IMPROVED SYMPTOMS AND SENSITIVITY

By 1985, more than 60 studies with approximately 3000 participants on the effectiveness of progressive muscle relaxation as a stand-alone therapy had been carried out. In 75% of the studies, participants reported a significant improvement in symptoms. 60% of the studies carried out demonstrated a lasting general improvement in the well-being of the test persons.

The effectiveness of the progressive muscle relaxation could be proven especially in anxiety and tension states and the associated physical complaints. When looking at the differential effectiveness, the researchers found that the PME method worked best in patients with milder symptoms who were positive about this form of therapy and its effectiveness.

Progressive muscle relaxation rarely shows side effects

SIDE EFFECTS AND CONTRAINDICATIONS

Side effects rarely occur with progressive muscle relaxation, but the relaxation method is not suitable for everyone. The procedure is unsuitable for various diseases and complaints. In the case of certain diseases, it should only be used after consulting a doctor:

  • uncontrollable blood pressure (malignant hypertension)
  • Heart failure
  • Acute psychosis
  • asthma
  • Severe nerve disorders
  • Mental disabilities
  • Anxiety disorders

Very tense people can tend to overreact during use, e.g. headaches and nausea.

If you have a migraine attack, progressive muscle relaxation can also worsen the symptoms.

If the blood pressure is low, there is a risk that the blood pressure will drop.

PME exercises in practice

THERAPY - EXERCISES OF PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION

The exercises are technically easy and quick to learn for most people in a few minutes. In progressive muscle relaxation, the exercises gradually extend to individual muscle groups in each section of the body. Usually you start with clenching your fists before continuing the exercises on your arms, head, neck and other parts of the body down to the feet.

One after the other, the muscle groups in different areas of the body are tensed and concentrated in a targeted manner for 5 to 7 seconds and then released again. The tension is followed by a relaxation phase of at least 10 seconds.

Progressive muscle relaxation can be practiced with or without accompanying background music. The exercises can be performed lying down or sitting. All you need is a quiet room. Both a short version of progressive muscle relaxation, which focuses on only a few large body sections, and a long version, which also focuses on smaller muscle groups of the respective body section, are used.

Through constant practice, relaxation can be brought about consciously with concentration and body control.

LEARNING THE TECHNIQUES

Progressive Muscle Relaxation techniques can be learned in a number of ways. The offers range from CDs, books and videos for self-training, to special courses at adult education centers and therapeutic use in rehabilitation centers and clinics. Statutory health insurance companies also promote courses on progressive muscle relaxation according to the requirements. More on the subject under Health courses