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Progressive Muscle Relaxation to Relieve Chronic Stress 

What is progressive relaxation? 

Progressive relaxation is a method that targets tense muscles and helps them attain a state of relaxation.
 

How do I practice progressive relaxation?

You can practice progressive relaxation in a chair or lying down.
  1. Flex each muscle group for 10 seconds then relax for about 30 seconds.
  2. When you release the tension, let it go instantly; let your muscles become suddenly limp. Releasing too slowly actually requires sustained tension.
  3. Repeat this process up to five times per muscle group, especially if the muscles you are tensing are tight and rigid.

Listen to a progressive muscle relaxation technique.

(Audio format: RealPlayer)
 
Tips for progressive muscle relaxation:
  • When you tighten your muscles, be careful not to over do it. This can result in muscle cramping and pain.
  • Avoid any movement that causes you pain.
  • You may experience deeper relaxation by removing your shoes (and glasses, if you wear them) and wearing loose clothing (no belts or clothes that constrict your body).

Contact Us

For more information about UPMC's Healthy Lifestyle Program
  • Call 800-533-UPMC (8762)
  • E-mail Dr. Bruce Rabin,
    Director, Healthy Lifestyle Program
    hlp@upmc.edu

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