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Is Progressive Muscle Relaxation a way to Relief?

Are you someone who is overwhelmed by daily stress and anxiety? You’re not alone. In this world where people are moving fastly, it’s easy for you to carry tension in your body without even realizing it. But what if we tell you there is an effective way that can take your stress away? Surprising right? It is true and the technique for that is Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR).

Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a technique that was developed by American physician Edmund Jacobson in the 1920s. And, it is a method that is used to give you relief from stress, anxiety and tension. Because, when you systematically tense and relax different muscle groups you learn about releasing physical tension which leads to a calmer and more peaceful state of mind. And, in this blog we would understand together what is progressive muscle relaxation is, how you can practice it and what are some benefits you’ll receive out of it. 

What exactly is Progressive Muscle Relaxation? 

Progressive muscle relaxation usually consists of two steps: muscle tension and relaxation. The process begins by tensioning a specific muscle group in your body, you then release the tension and wait for the muscle groups to relax. This process is done systematically to various muscle groups of yours from feet to your head. 

When you alternate between state of tension and relaxation at that time you become more aware of physical sensations and can easily differentiate between the feelings of a tensed muscle and a completely relaxed one. The awareness that you receive helps you to spot and counteract muscle tension that you receive from stressful situations. And, to be honest one of the key aspects of PMR is mind-body connection because this technique is not just limited to relaxing your muscles, but it also relaxes your mind. 

Step by Step guide to practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)

Yes, it is true that progressive muscle relaxation is a way to relief for your tensed muscle and here we have given a step by step guide on how you can practice PMR:

  • The best way to practice PMR is by finding a quiet space for yourself. So choose a place where you know that you won’t be disturbed.
  • After finding the right place for you, sit or lie down comfortably.
  • Then, close your eyes and inhale and exhale deeply through your nose.
  • And imagine tension leaving your body. 

Other way to perform this technique is by doing muscle groups sequence:

  • Start this process with your toes and feet.
  • Firstly, Inhale then squeeze your muscles and count to four.
  • After this, exhale gradually and release your tension.
  • Now, move to your calf muscles, thighs, abdomen, chest and arms.
  • After this tense each muscle group while inhaling and relax while exhaling,
  • Continue this process through all major muscle groups and take your time and focus on the sensations of tension and relaxation. 

3 Benefits of performing the Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) technique

Here we have mentioned 3 benefits that you will receive if you perform progressive muscle relaxation technique for muscle relaxation:

1. Anxiety Reduction  

You might be thinking how it is possible that we see a reduction in our anxiety after trying the PMR technique. It is possible because as mentioned above when you’re anxious, your muscles tend to tense up as well. This muscle tension actually builds up your anxiety and PMR helps you by becoming more aware of the physical sensations in your body. This increased body awareness helps you with finding out the early signs of anxiety.

Other than this PMR also affects you mentally by moving your focus to different muscle groups which serve as a form of distraction from your anxious thoughts.

2. Improve sleep quality 

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) technique does promote better sleep by inducing relaxation. How? Well, you know it by now that it involves a system which firstly makes your muscle tense and relaxes it which leads to both physical as well as mental relaxation and when you’re relaxed, it is easier for you to fall asleep.  

Not only does PMR improve the quality of your sleep but overall relaxation through this technique also promotes more deeper and restful sleep. And remember, when you will start this process you will find out that you wake up less often during the night or that you will feel more rested in the morning. And like  any other technique it is important for you to practice progressive muscle relaxation daily to see better results. 

3. Other health benefits 

It is true that you also receive other health benefits while doing PMR. Other benefits include reduction in stress levels, which in turn will help manage high blood pressure. But it is important to remember that while PMR manages high blood pressure it should not be used for medical treatment. 

Similarly, migraines accompanied by symptoms like headaches, nausea and sensitivity to light and sound can also be managed through PMR. Additionally, there is no doubt that PMR is also beneficial for managing pain and improving overall well-being. 


There is no doubt that Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) offers numerous benefits including reduced stress, lower anxiety levels and improved sleep quality. Therefore, we recommend you to try PMR as it can be easily incorporated into your daily routine and significantly enhance your overall health.