Progressive Muscle Relaxation

This form of relaxation starts with simple breathing techniques and then gets the person to focus their thoughts so they are aware of what their body is feeling. Person should identify where they are holding tension in different muscles and learn how to let go of that tension.

They then actively tense and relax various muscle groups to discriminate feelings of tension from those of relaxation.

After tensing and relaxing all major muscle groups from head to toe, (or toe to head) focus on making muscle groups increasingly relaxed.

Autogenic Relaxation is a similar method but rather than tensing and relaxing – the focus is on creating a desired state (warm, heavy, relaxed muscles) in successive muscle groups. Then focus on areas where tension remains. This method depends on the person's ability to use their imagination.

This audio is 27 minutes 25 seconds
Voiceover: Louise Mason, Occupational Therapist, NHS Lothian