Progressive/Passive Muscle relaxtion

by Celia
(Boston, MA)


For the most part progressive muscle does not work for me except interestingly enough on my face. My face will feel warm and relaxed after progressive muscle relaxation-the rest my body will just ache afterwards. I don’t feel any relaxation.

Passive muscle relaxation works pretty well. However, I can not "will" or deliberately relax my shoulder muscles. Breathing away the tension in the area just does not seem to work. They just stay tense.

Shoulder shrugs seem to help to relax them and generate some warmth and heaviness in the my shoulder area.

Any suggestions on how to passively relax shoulder muscles?

Shoulders can be one of the most difficult areas to relax. This is a very common area for tension to build up.

Progressive muscle relaxation (tensing and then releasing) can cause muscle cramping and soreness if muscles are already very stiff. Passive progressive relaxation (focusing on muscles and allowing them to relax) can be difficult if relaxation just does not seem to happen.

An alternative technique that can work for the shoulders is stretching. Stretching the muscles can allow some of the tension to be released. It is also possible to do shoulder circles or shrugs where you gently raise and lower the shoulders.

Massage can also help the muscles relax. Knead the muscles gently (you can do this yourself by placing your left hand on your right shoulder, and right hand on your left shoulder) to induce relaxation.

If you try all of these things and still find that your shoulders feel tense, you may want to try applying heat to the area. A warm pack or heating pad applied for 10 minutes can help give the relaxation a head start.

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