Physician Edmund Jacobsen developed this powerful relaxation technique in the 1920s based on a refreshing common sense approach to both body and mind. He theorized that since muscular tension accompanies anxiety, one can reduce anxiety by learning how to relax muscles. Studies have found that those who practice Jacobson’s relaxation technique show a decreased amount of the stress hormone cortisol in the bloodstream.
1. Lie down in a comfortable and quiet place.
2. Take a few deep breaths.
3. Inhale for 10 seconds while tensing your right foot.
4. Exhale slowly while relaxing your right foot.
5. Repeat for the left foot, calves, thighs, buttocks, stomach, lower back, biceps, triceps, hands, neck and face, working your way up the body to the scalp.
Note: In order to receive maximum benefit from Jacobson’s Relaxation, practice 20 minutes a day for five days, at the same time each day.