Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) therapy involves sequential tensing and relaxation of major skeletal muscle groups and aims to reduce feelings of tension, to lower perceived stress, and to induce relaxation.
Reports of patients who participated in PMR training following cancer treatment indicate that they experienced reduced state anxiety, pain, and symptoms of depression, as well as improvements in sleep parameters and overall quality of life.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Source: American Holistic Nurses Association
One of the most simple and easily learned techniques for relaxation is Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR), a widely-used procedure today that was originally developed by Edmond Jacobson in 1939.

It is recommended that you practice full PMR twice a day for about a week before moving on to the shortened form. Of course, the time needed to master the full PMR procedure varies from person to person.

The information, facts, and opinions provided here are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always consult your primary healthcare provider for any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and before undertaking a new diet or exercise plan.

Here are some suggestions for practice:

  • Always practice full PMR in a quiet place, alone, with no electronic distractions, not even background music.
  • Remove your shoes and wear loose clothing.
  • Avoid eating, smoking, or drinking. It’s best to practice before meals rather than after, for the sake of your digestive processes.
  • Never practice after using any intoxicants.
  • Sit in a comfortable chair if possible. You may practice lying down, but this increases the likelihood of falling asleep.
  • If you fall asleep, give yourself credit for the work you did up to the point of sleep.
  • If you practice in bed at night, plan on falling asleep before you complete your cycle. Therefore, consider a practice session at night, in bed, to be in addition to your basic practice.
    Read the full article at American Holistic Nurses Association


Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)

Source: CAM-CANCER

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) therapy involves sequential tensing and relaxation of major skeletal muscle groups and aims to reduce feelings of tension, to lower perceived stress, and to induce relaxation. PMR is purported to decrease the arousal of the autonomic and central nervous system and to increase parasympathetic activity.

Reports of patients who participated in PMR training following cancer treatment indicate that they experienced reduced state anxiety, pain, and symptoms of depression, as well as improvements in sleep parameters and overall quality of life.

The evidence is however insufficient due to the limited number and low methodological quality of published studies.

PMR is considered to have few adverse effects, although some concern has been raised about the use of relaxation therapy interventions among individuals who have a history of psychiatric disorders.

History and provider
Edmund Jacobson, an American physician, drew on studies in psychology and physiology, to develop his own understanding of the mind-body relationship and its role in health, and a method of stress reduction that he described it in his book Progressive Relaxation, published in 1938.

He stated that the mind and voluntary muscles work together in an integrated way. Keeping the mind calm allows muscles to relax, and freeing the body of tension reduces sympathetic activity and anxiety. He initially developed PMR to induce relaxation by promoting awareness of tension in skeletal muscles. Bernstein and Borkovec later developed a shortened, modified procedure that is now the most frequently used form of PMR.

Meta-analysis
A meta-analysis examined the effectiveness of relaxation training among patients undergoing acute non-surgical cancer treatment including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, bone marrow transplant and hyperthermia. In 14 of 15 studies reviewed, PMR, guided imagery and other modalities were lumped together and evaluated for their effects on symptom control. The review concluded that clinically significant reductions in nausea, pain, anxiety, depression, hostility and physical arousal (blood pressure and pulse) were achieved following relaxation training. However, because PMR was not analyzed separately, its effects on those outcomes were impossible to determine.


 

Published Clinical Trials / Studies / Reviews

A randomized clinical trial of alprazolam versus progressive muscle relaxation in cancer patients with anxiety and depressive symptoms.

The effectiveness of progressive muscle relaxation training in managing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in Chinese breast cancer patients: a randomised controlled trial

Progressive Muscle Relaxation: An Adjuvant Therapy for Reducing Pain and Fatigue Among Hospitalized Cancer Patients Receiving Radiotherapy

Progressive muscle relaxation and guided imagery in cancer patients.

A pilot study of the use of progressive muscle relaxation training in the management of post-chemotherapy nausea and vomiting

Where can I get this treatment and more information?
HOW TO DO PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION

Video

 

Warning
1. Some cancer therapies can conflict with others. Do not start ANY therapy without consulting your doctor to ensure it’s safe and beneficial to do so.
2. Just because any given therapy worked for someone else does not necessarily mean it will work for you.
3. Although there are many viable alternative cancer treatments, there isn’t a “best” treatment for a certain type or stage of cancer.

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