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Deep Muscle Relaxation Techniques

Of all the meditation processes available, deep muscle relaxation techniques are the easiest for a beginner to learn. If you have never meditated before and you think you have experienced relaxation, you are definitely wrong! The first time you attempt deep muscle relaxation techniques you will be astounded by the profound feeling of bliss and peace that overcomes your entire being, and you will be hungry for more of it!

Most people are aware of the power and strength their muscles have, but little thought is given to the way the body stores stress and tension in the physical body. Although you can achieve a state of rest while sleeping, it isn’t the same as the levels of relaxation reached via deep muscle relaxation techniques. The body can be so consumed with holding onto muscle tension that there is no energy or mind space left to focus on replenishing and healing. It is only when you reach the point of letting go and completely relaxing that you energies can turn towards repairing the body.

If you find it difficult to unwind and find space to meditate, you should consider taking some time for respite and relaxation. Life is full of meaning and the mind is constantly analyzing and appraising the world and your reactions to it. Regardless of how much time you spend trying to find yourself and your path in life, if you don’t take quiet moments and clear your thoughts you will never find the answers you seek. Visit a meditation retreat if need be or join a meditation class and you will see countless benefits in all areas of your life.

When your muscles are tense there is a lessening in circulation and of blood flow, nerve communication is inhibited and nutrient assimilation is decreased. For some people their first experience with deep muscle relaxation techniques is mind blowing, allowing energy and healing to flow freely to every area of the body for the first time. The best way to picture it is like millions of pores usually open and waiting for fresh blood and nourishment, but when they are tense the pores close and don’t allow for any refreshing.

A simple deep muscle relaxation technique for beginners is to first tense your muscle/s as much as you can, then consciously relax them. If you were focusing on your toes you would tense them as much as you could for a few seconds, then relax them and move on to the next muscle. You can begin this practice by sitting in a comfortable chair and taking three deep breathes and close your eyes. Next, imagine each part of your body:  Right foot, right lower leg and foot, entire right leg, left foot, left lower leg and foot, entire left leg, right hand, right forearm and hand, entire right arm, left hand, left forearm and hand, entire left arm, abdomen, chest, neck and shoulders, face and scalp. As you visualize each muscle group, tense then relax.

If you fall asleep the first few time you attempt deep muscle relaxation techniques, this is okay. It is common when you first experience such deep relaxation to drift off, and over time you will become more aware throughout the whole process. When you reach a place of total relaxation, you will find you have a desire to simply sit for an extended period of time, enjoying the peaceful feeling. When you are ready, you can wriggle your fingers and toes, stretch your arms above your head and open your eyes.

The deliberate process of ordering all your muscles to tense then relax causes a rush of fresh blood to flow through them, healing and repairing daily damages they incur. Don’t live a life continually storing stress and tension without honoring the bodies need for release, and instead introduce deep muscle relaxation techniques as part of your daily routine. When you start doing it for a few days, you will be hooked and will continue to look forward to your next spare moment for meditation.

By John Shone

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