A Relaxation Technique from Foot to Head
View more related buyers guides
Published by TOP4 Team
The most effective way to relax the whole body starts by deliberately tightening the muscles before releasing them, then focusing on the feeling of tension draining away. This can take from five minutes to as long as you like.
You’ll need a rug to lie on. Using the same one in the same place each time helps to build up the relaxation habit. Turn up the heating, or put a blanket over you. If you wish, put on a tape of peaceful music without a strong rhythm.
- Lie on your back on the floor with feet apart and arms slightly away from the body, palms up. Close your eyes and let your breathing slow down.
- Breathe out before you tense each part of your body. Breathe naturally as you lie and feel the relaxation before tensing the next part.
- Starting with the left foot, clench your toes, flex the foot with toes upwards and try to tighten every muscle in the foot, lifting it slightly off the floor. Hold this for a few seconds, then relax, letting the foot roll naturally outwards. Feel tension pour out like a liquid soaking through the floor and away. Pause for a moment after relaxing each part of the body to feel this release of tension.
- Tighten the calf muscles. Hold this for a few seconds, then relax the calf. Tighten the thigh muscles, feeling tension around the knee as well as the thigh. Hold this for a few seconds, then relax. Feel the relaxation in your whole leg and foot. Now work up the right leg in the same way.
- Work your way up the body – buttocks, abdominal muscles, chest and finally upper back, pushing shoulder blades together before releasing them.
- The arms follow the same patterns as the legs. Clench the left fist tightly before releasing, then flex the left arm like a body-builder and relax it, then press the whole arm tightly to the body, tensing the shoulder, and release. Do the same with the right arm, clenching the fists and tensing all the muscles before releasing.
- Lift the shoulder and tense the neck slightly as you can, raising the head slightly, then release.
- Clench your teeth, tightly close your eyes and knot up every muscle in your face. Relax with your lips slightly parted.
- Feel how heavy your head is, sinking into the floor, your whole body perfectly comfortable. Lie peacefully for a few minutes, letting the relaxation spread into every cell of your body.
- Roll onto your side and get up slowly. Stretch your arms high above your head and bring them gently down to your sides as you say to yourself “I’m calm”.
You can also work your way round the body just focusing on each part for a few moments, relaxing it and concentrating on feeling the tension drain away. This is the safer method if you suffer from high blood pressure (make extra-sure you don’t hold your breath), or if you have injuries or health problems that make it painful to tense the muscles.
Yoga is also a popular relaxation technique. If you’re considering to join yoga sessions, consider these yoga centres in Australia.