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Relaxation Techniques

There are many muscle relaxation techniques around today. A search on the web will give you a large choice. I have included here two that I use on a regular basis and find both satisfactory.

Muscle Relaxation

1. The Magic Massage Table

We are stepping straight into visualisation here. I want you to imagine a normal massage table. It will shorten, from the foot end, every time you exhale, whilst conducting your exercise.

  • Lay on the massage table;
  • Close your eyes;
  • Take two or three deep breaths and exhale;
  • Relax;
  • Place your attention on your feet;
  • Inhale slowly and whilst doing so, imagine your feet turning into black satin cutouts of your feet;
  • Exhale, slowly;
  • The massage table shortens enough for your feet, now black satin, to hang loosely over the end of the table;
  • Inhale slowly again, and now, your legs, from your feet to your knees turn into black satin cutouts of your legs;
  • Exhale slowly;
  • The massage table shortens enough for your black satin legs and feet to hang loosely over the end of the table;
  • Inhale slowly and whilst doing so, imagine your thighs turning into black satin, and as the table shortens again, your legs and feet hang over the end of the table;
  • Inhale, and now your torso turns into black satin and joins with your legs and feet, hanging over the end of the shortened table;
  • Next, when you inhale, your arms, shoulders and head turn into black satin;
  • Your magic table has vanished and a hook has appeared at the top of your black satin head;
  • The hook connects with a ring on the ceiling of the room you are in;
  • Your body, now completely black satin, is hanging freely from it’s hook, wafting gently too and fro, no bones, no tendons, no sinews. No tension, no stress.
  • Stay with this image for as long as you like and enjoy.

2. Count Down From 100 to 1

  • Place yourself in a comfortable position;
  • You are looking at a large white board;
  • In your hand you have a large felt pen. Choose a colour of your liking;
  • Take a long slow breath in;
  • As you slowly exhale, write the number 100 on the white board;
  • As you inhale, a cloth has replaced your pen, wipe the number off the board;
  • Breath out, and with your pen, write the number 99 on the white board;
  • Inhale, and wipe the number off the board;
  • Continue the process to the number 1 and relax.

Relaxing the Mind

1. Simple Count

  • Place yourself in a comfortable position, close your eyes and relax;
  • Place your attention on one of your hands, specifically your fingers;
  • With your attention on your thumb, count 1, as you inhale;
  • As you exhale, with your attention still on your thumb count 1 and then move your attention to your index finger, count 2;
  • Inhale with your attention on your thumb, count 1, move your attention to your second finger and count 2;
  • Exhale with your attention on your thumb, count 1, move to your index finger, count 2, move to the middle finger, count 3, then the next finger, count 4;
  •  Inhale, thumb 1, index finger 2, middle finger 3;
  • Exhale, thumb 1, index finger 2, middle finger 3, next finger 4, little finger 5, thumb 6;
  • Inhale, thumb 1, index finger 2, middle finger 3, next finger 4;
  • Exhale, thumb 1, index finger 2, middle finger 3, next finger 4, little finger 5, thumb 6, index finger 7, next finger 8;
  • Inhale, thumb 1, index finger 2, ,middle finger 3, next finger 4, little finger 5;
  • Exhale, thumb 1, index finger 2, middle finger 3, next finger 4, little finger 5, thumb 6, index finger 7, middle finger 8, next finger 9, little finger 10;
  •  Inhale, thumb 1, index finger 2, ,middle finger 3, next finger 4, little finger 5;
  • Exhale, thumb 1, index finger 2, middle finger 3, next finger 4, little finger 5, thumb 6, index finger 7, middle finger 8, next finger 9, little finger 10;
  • Inhale, thumb 1, index finger 2, middle finger 3, next finger 4;
  • Exhale, thumb 1, index finger 2, middle finger 3, next finger 4, little finger 5, thumb 6, index finger 7, next finger 8;
  • Inhale, thumb 1, index finger 2, middle finger 3;
  • Exhale, thumb 1, index finger 2, middle finger 3, next finger 4, little finger 5, thumb 6;
  • Inhale, thumb 1, index finger 2;
  • Exhale, thumb 1, index finger 2, middle finger 3, next finger 4;
  • Inhale, thumb 1;
  • Exhale, thumb 1, index finger 2.

You will have noted that on the exhale, counting to 5, the count doubles, and then halves, coming down to 1.

2. Advanced Count

To stay on track, and not loose concentration, I try and add visualisation wherever I can.

In the Advanced Count method, I have replaced the numbers 1 to 5 with items I can visualise.

It is easy to learn as the items rhyme with the relevant numbers.

Here is the list.

1 = sun

2=shoe

3=tree

4=door

5=hive

6=sticks

7=heaven

8=gate

9=wine

10=tent

The last one might not rhyme, but I think it is near enough.

To increase the effect of the above counting method, I have found it more effective if I can visualise the items as I say them. It slows my breathing down still further, whilst I find time to recall my image of the item e.g. tree for 3.

Hint: Recording #1 or #2 on your smart phone or a recording device may aid in a speedy uptake of the counting method.

Love to hear which method you prefer.

 

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