Better Health through Progressive Relaxation Techniques

July 8, 2011

I was first exposed to techniques of progressive relaxation in a required class for my undergraduate major in Fitness Instruction. Though I tried and tried to learn how to relax my muscles thoroughly, I did not quite become proficient enough in the class to earn an A for the class (I got a B+).

In the more than two decades since I took that class, my ability to relax muscles in various places of my body has increased immensely. Through intensive study and practice, I have acquired valuable proficiency in progressive relaxation that I am confident has helped me to be healthier than I would have been otherwise.

I used to have many colds when I was younger. Many years ago, I got bronchitis, and my doctor said that it would probably take weeks for me to get over the illness. In part through the relaxation techniques that I had learned, I was able to get over that illness in a week or so!

When I took voice lessons a number of years ago, I used what I had learned about relaxing muscles (and some other techniques) to attain a fair amount of ability to relax my jaw and throat muscles. As a result, I was able to improve my singing ability noticeably, especially my range.

Through learning to identify unnecessary tension in my eye muscles, I have seen a fair amount of improvement in my vision over the past couple years. Although my unaided vision is not such that I can do without my glasses completely, I am thankful for being able to do without them for greater periods.

Many years ago, I injured my right shoulder and neck by falling asleep with my right arm extended overhead. Apparently, the injury was caused, ironically, by some muscles relaxing in that position in such a manner that it damaged my shoulder and neck. I had to keep my arm in a sling for a few days after that happened.

I have tried for years to get the muscles in my neck and shoulders to relax properly with the hope that I might yet recover fully from the damage from that injury. Recently, praise God, I have experienced vast improvement in my ability to relax my neck, head, and shoulders, and that improvement has decreased the damage from that injury in a noticeable way!

I suffered a bout of Bell’s palsy a few years ago that caused some minor but lasting damage to the left side of my face, including my left eye. I am certain that the limited lasting damage to my face that I have had resulted in part through my being able to learn to relax muscles in my face that were affected by the palsy.

I thank God that in the past year or so, He has granted me more recovery from some of the damage from the Bell’s palsy by allowing me to relax some affected areas more thoroughly than I have ever been able to before. I hope that there may yet be more healing in the future.

Although learning progressive relaxation techniques is certainly not a cure-all, I can attest to much benefit that I have received from the skills that I have acquired over the years at relaxing many of the muscles of my body. I think that many people would experience similar improvements in their health through their learning and using progressive relaxation techniques.

Rajesh

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