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Relaxation Techniques

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This can be done standing, sitting or lying down.

STEP ONE. Start by tensing all of the muscles in your feet and ankles.

STEP TWO. Without relaxing the tension in your feet, tense the muscles of your calves.

STEP THREE In a similar manner, tense the muscles of your thighs, hips, stomach, chest, back, arms, hands, neck and head. In other words, tense every muscle in your body, starting at the feet and ending with the head. Hold your body in this totally tensed condition for five to ten seconds only.

STEP FOUR. Suddenly, relax all of your muscles at the same time. Permit your body to go as limp as the position you are in will allow.

STEP FIVE. With your mind, 'look" through your body for any tension. Be especially aware of the neck, forehead, shoulders, stomach and lower back. If there is any tension, immediately send the "golden glow" of the relaxation ritual to that area and the tension will fade.

Caution: This technique is physiological as well as psychological. The sudden change in muscle tension and its sudden release may, in a very few people, cause a muscle spasm commonly known as a "charlie horse." If this occurs, stop immediately and deeply massage the area until the spasm ends. Then do the regular relaxation ritual as soon as possible. If you are a person who gets a charlie horse, do not shy away from using this technique. Once your body becomes used to the sudden change in body and muscle tension, the spasms should cease and you will have a wonderful and fast system of relaxation and stress reduction.

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