Relaxation Exercise

By | November 2, 2021

Lie in a dark or dimly lit room. Music can be very restful. Lie on your back with your knees elevated and your neck supported by pillows. Breathing is very important as well. Inhale when you tighten muscles and exhale through pursed or tightened lips. We are going to progress from your feet to your head with exercises.

Follow these exercises:

  • Think about the bottom of your feet and point the toes down as you inhale. Tighten the muscles of the calves and of bottom of the feet tighten. Exhale as you relax your muscles.
  • Bring your toes up toward your head, flexing your ankles upward as you inhale. Exhale as you relax your muscles.
  • Tighten the tops of your thighs as if you would straighten your knees as you inhale. Exhale as you relax your muscles.
  • Dig your heels down into the bed or floor. Think about the muscles tightening in the back of the thighs as you inhale. Exhale as you relax your muscles.
  • Squeeze the muscles of your buttocks. Exhale as you relax your muscles.
  • Take a deep breath in and exhale through your mouth.
  • Tighten the muscles of the lower abdomen muscles as if to lift your knees toward your chest. Feel the tension in the hip muscles in the front of your pelvis and of the lower abdomen. Exhale as you relax your muscles.
  • Tighten the lower back muscles. Arch your lower back slightly as you inhale. Exhale as you relax your muscles.
  • Tighten the muscles in your upper abdomen and try to squeeze your lower back down against the bed or floor as you inhale. Exhale as you relax your muscles.
  • Take a very deep breath and feel your chest expand as you inhale. Exhale as you relax your all your muscles.
  • Roll your shoulders forward and feel your chest muscles tighten as you inhale. Exhale as you relax your muscles.
  • Flatten your shoulders down and back. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and lift your chest up as you inhale. Exhale as you relax your muscles.
  • Squeeze your fists as you inhale. Exhale as you relax your muscles.
  • Flex your wrists backward and extend the fingers, bringing the hands up like claws as you inhale. Exhale as you relax your muscles.
  • Bend your elbows and feel the muscles tighten in the front of your arms as you inhale. Exhale as you relax your muscles.
  • Straighten your elbows as you inhale, tightening the muscles in the back of your arms. Exhale as you relax your muscles.
  • Take another deep breath. Exhale as you relax your muscles.
  • Shrug your shoulders up toward your ears. Exhale as you relax your muscles and lower your shoulders.
  • Breathe in as you reach your hands down toward your knees. Exhale as you relax your muscles.
  • Push your head back against the pillow and feel the muscles in the back of the neck tighten. Exhale as you relax your muscles.
  • Lift your head just slightly off the pillow as you inhale. Lower it slowly and exhale as you relax your muscles.
  • Visualize the muscles in your face and the jaw. Try to squeeze your teeth together, clenching just slightly as you inhale. Exhale as you relax your muscles.
  • Squeeze the muscle of your ears if you know how to wiggle them. Exhale as you relax your muscles.
  • Tighten up your facial muscles as you inhale. Exhale as you relax your muscles.
  • Squeeze the muscles around your nose and mouth. Exhale as you relax your muscles
  • Raise your eyebrows up as you inhale. Exhale as you relax your muscles.
  • Now stretch as if it was morning and you were just waking. Tighten all the muscles of your body at once as you inhale. Exhale as you relax your muscles.
  • Stretch again, reaching your arms over your head and extend your legs, feeling all the muscles tighten as you take a deep breath in. Then bring your arms down to your sides as you exhale as you relax your muscles.

In this relaxed situation, you have the opportunity to suggest some things that may help you stay relaxed and to sleep better. Refrain from grinding your teeth. Tell yourself, “I will not grind my teeth when I sleep. My jaw will be relaxed when I sleep. My face will be relaxed when I sleep.”

Remember to relax your jaw and to concentrate on muscle tension during the day in your neck. As you feel the muscles tighten in your neck throughout the day, remember that you know techniques to relax them. You also know that they can be relaxed, just as they are now.

This concludes the relaxation program. Repeat this program every day for two weeks to achieve a better sense of body awareness and to perfect your techniques in relaxing muscle tension.

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About Paul O'Brian

CEO, Paul O’Brian founded Accelerate Physical Therapy , P.C. in 1989 in Arvada. Specializing in orthopedic and neurological rehabilitation over a 40-year-career, Paul is experienced in shoulder, knee, spine, foot/ankle, elbow, wrist and hand rehabilitation, quadriplegia, hemiplegia, multiple sclerosis, weakness and balance issues, and geriatric conditions, arthritis, functional decline), postural pain an problems, sports injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and workers’ compensation injuries. He has been a youth sports coach for a total of 25 years in swimming and diving, soccer, football and rugby. Paul has served on the Board of Directors for multiple Colorado non-profit Colorado corporations, including Colorado Physical Therapy Network (20 years), Rugby Colorado (5 years) and Tigers Rugby Football Club (19 years).