Understanding the Power of PMR - Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Tree in calm water - just breathe and stay calm.Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) is a powerful technique used in hypnotherapy, NLP, mindfulness practice and meditation. It is a great too to have in your toolbox that can help you tackle your stress and anxiety head-on. By reading on you will being to understand more about the power behind PMR. Then you can begin to unlock its potential and harness its benefits for your own well-being.

How PMR Works

PMR can be used as an induction into hypnosis or deep relaxation in other therapies like NLP. During an induction In hypnotherapy PMR can be used to gently suggest that you are slowly, gradually … (pause for effect) … relaxing. It works by systematically relaxing different muscle groups in your body. There are several different approaches to it. A mindful approach helps you become more aware of what the sensations of relaxation actually are for you personally because, everyone’s experience feels different. It’s very individual. In some sessions you may also be asked to tense up muscles for a moment, then relax. Doing this you get to feel the contrast between the two very different states.

History of PMR

tian tan big buddha statuePMR has ancient roots in Eastern meditation practice. Buddhist monks passed down the secret tradition for centuries. In western society Edmund Jacobson first described a form of PMR around 1930. Hypnotist Dave Elman is also worthy of note with his famous Elman induction. It was then popularised in mindfulness practise in the late 20th century as the  full body scan practice. It is still popular today as a useful form of stress and anxiety management.

How Do I Do It In Layman's Terms?

Traditionally in mindfulness practice you start relaxing your feet and gradually work upward through your entire body to your head and face. So would be relax your feet, calves, thighs, buttocks, stomach, chest, back, hands, arms, shoulders, neck, head, face and top of your scalp. Then finally relaxing the entire body all at once, as a whole. This order is not set in stone. It can change depending on who is guiding you through the session. The idea is to do it in such an way that there is a continuous flow to it. You are promoted by your therapist to gain a heightened awareness of how this feels as you go. This in turn allows you to release built-up tension and achieve a wonderful deep state of relaxation.

Another bullet points example of PMR might be;

  • Relax your Feet – Lower Legs (calfs) – Upper legs (thighs)
  • Hips – Tummy – Chest – Shoulders
  • Down Spine – Across back
  • Shoulders again – Neck – Jaw -Cheeks – Over your nose . Around your eyes – Temples – Forehead – Top of head
  • Now a wave of relaxation washes all the way down your body
  • Totally relaxed

I have produced a PMR script for you if you wish to understand more here >>>> Hypnotherapy PMR Script

Effects of PMR on the Mind and Body

Woman silhouette sundown landscapeOne of the reasons PMR is so effective is because it activates the body’s natural relaxation response. In contrast to this when we experience stress or anxiety, our bodies enter a state of fight-or-flight. This causes muscles to tense up, ready to escape from a threating situation and stress hormones flood our system. By engaging in PMR, we are essentially flipping the switch in the body and mind to do the opposite of that. PMR activates the body’s relaxation response, releasing endorphins which counteract the effects of stress and bring a more balanced homostasis.

Use as a Hypnotic Induction

PMR during a hypnosis treatment induces a state of deep relaxation that can lead to a heightened sense of calmness and well-being. When our muscles are relaxed, it sends signals to our brain that we are safe, which in turn reduces anxiety and stress. Just as when we are asleep, this state of relaxation allows our bodies to repair and rejuvenate, boosting our overall physical and mental health.

The Many Benefits of PMR

In addition to its immediate effects on stress and anxiety, PMR can also have long-term benefits. Regular practice of PMR has been shown to improve sleep quality, enhance focus and concentration, and increase overall resilience to stress. By incorporating PMR into your daily routine, you can train your body and mind to respond more effectively to stressors in your life.

Understanding the power of PMR can empower you to take control of your stress and anxiety. By learning and practicing this simple technique, you can experience the profound effects of deep relaxation and create a foundation for improved well-being. So why not give PMR a try and see how it can transform your life for the better?

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