The history of Progressive Relaxation
The Progressive Relaxation Exercise is one of the most well-known relaxation exercises in existence. The American doctor Edmund Jacobson developed this exercise in the 1920s. This doctor discovered that restlessness, excitement, stress and anxiety are all associated with increased muscle tension. If the muscle tension that arose in, for example, a stressed person could be reduced, the stress was subsequently reduced as well.
The meaning of progressive
Jacobson’s method stimulates progressive development. This means that you start by focusing your attention completely on one muscle, performing the exercise, and then shifting your attention to a completely different muscle group. This builds up with increasing difficulty. For example, you start with your hands and arms, and finish with the organs associated with speech and breathing.
Our body and mind are closely connected with each other. Therefore, physical relaxation can lead to mental relaxation and a decrease in negative thoughts and feelings. A good way to acquire physical relaxation is to do a relaxation exercise. With this Jacobson Progressive Relaxation exercise, you will, one by one, tighten and then relax each muscle group of the body. Using this method, you will learn how it feels to have tension in your muscles and also how the absence of tension feels. The purpose of this exercise is to learn to let go of the tension.