Progressive Muscle Relaxation (Military Meditation Coach Podcast)

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[Dr. Kinn] Welcome to the “Military Meditation
Coach,” your source for meditation, mindfulness, and relaxation exercises. Made for the military, but good for everyone. I’m Dr. Julie Kinn with the Defense Health
Agency. Today, nurse Rebecka Cooperman joins again,
this time to lead a progressive muscle relaxation. Let me remind you that the Military Meditation
Coach is produced by the Naval Center for Combat and Operational Stress Control and
by the Defense Health Agency. You can get in touch with us at the email
address on the show notes or on Facebook and Twitter @MilitaryHealth. Thank you for sharing the show with others,
and for rating and subscribing on iTunes or wherever you get podcasts. The views expressed here are those of the
presenters and do not reflect the official policy of the Department Of Defense or of
the United States government. Now onto nurse Cooperman for a progressive
muscle relaxation. [Nurse Practitioner Rebecka Cooperman] The following recording
is called a progressive muscle relaxation. This relaxation is a physical relaxation where
you will be tensing and releasing your muscles. By contracting and relaxing different muscle
groups in the body, you can deeply relax your whole body. This relaxation can be done in a seated position
or lying down. Take a few moments to adjust yourself so that
you are comfortable. If you are seated, have your feet flat on
the floor. If you are lying down, have your legs extended
out in front of you. You may choose to take off your shoes. Begin by taking a deep breath in and let it
go. Take another deep breath in and let it out. Between each muscle group I will say, “Breathe.” When I do, think of breathing in relaxation
and breathing out tension. We will now begin by tensing the muscles in
your forehead by raising your eyebrows up as far as you can. Hold, and now release and relax. Imagine your forehead muscles becoming smooth
and limp as they relax. Breathe. [Cooperman] Now tense the muscles around
your eyes by squeezing your eyelids shut. Hold, and now release and relax. Completely relax your eyes. Breathe. Now tighten your jaw by opening your mouth
as wide as possible. Hold, and now release and relax. Let your lips part as your jaw hangs loose. Breathe. Say to yourself, “My whole face is relaxed.” Next, tighten your shoulders by raising them
up toward your ears. Hold, and now completely relax your shoulders. Breathe. Tighten the muscles around the shoulder blades
by drawing them back towards each other. Hold that tension, and now release and relax. Breathe. You can say to yourself, “My neck and shoulders
are completely relaxed.” Now tighten the muscles in your chest by taking
a deep breath in and extending your chest forward. Hold, now relax. Breathe. Now moving on to your arms. Clench both of your fists and make a muscle
with your upper arms by drawing your fists towards your shoulders. Hold. Feel the tension, and now release. Completely relax your arms and hands. Breathe. You can say to yourself, “My chest and upper
body are completely relaxed.” [Cooperman] Now squeeze the muscles
in your hips and thighs all the way down to your knees. Hold, and now release. Completely relax your hips and thighs. Breathe. Now tighten your calf muscles by flexing your
toes towards your knees. Hold, and now release and relax. Breathe. Tighten your feet by curling your toes and
squeezing them. Hold, and now completely relax your feet. Breathe. You can say to yourself, “My legs and feet
are completely relaxed.” Now take a moment to scan your body from head
to toe, and release any tension that you still feel. Breathe in sensations of relaxation and comfort,
and breathe out any feelings of tension. Say to yourself, “My whole body is relaxed. I am peaceful and at ease.” Take a few moments to breathe in feelings
of relaxation knowing that your breath is like an anchor, keeping you steady and focused
in your mind and body. Take as long as you wish to continue to breathe
in relaxation and breathe out any tension, and continue to say to yourself, “My whole
body is relaxed. I am peaceful and at ease.” [Cooperman] Now as we approach the end
of our meditation, begin to notice any sounds of the room around you. Feel your body being supported by the chair
that you’re sitting in or by the floor beneath you. Notice how you feel in your body and the quality
of your mind, and know that you can return to this place of relaxation anytime you wish.

 

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