Muscle relaxationRelaxation is he process and result of relaxing or relaxing. This verb, for its part, refers to mitigating, softening or loosening something. Muscular, on the other hand, is that associated with muscles (tissues that are composed of contractile type fibers).

It is known as muscle relaxation to what happens when contraction of a muscle ends. Thus, relaxation implies that the fibers return to their original place as a consequence of the termination of a nerve impulse.

To understand this concept, you have to know how the muscle contraction process works. The muscles, from a stimulus, they acquire a some tension that leads them to stretch or shorten and leads to the production of a motor force. There are also involuntary contractions (called reflexes).

Muscle relaxation takes place at the end of the contraction. In this process, the tension is reduced until it disappears. This can be fostered through various training and even through the use of drugs (known as muscle relaxants).

Muscle tension is also associated with mental tension: muscle relaxation exercises, therefore, not only allow increasing physical well-being, but also help to minimize the anxiety and reduce the stress.

One of the best known muscle relaxation methods is the one proposed in the decade of 1920 for Edmund jacobson. This doctor maintained that anxiety and muscle tension were linked. That is why he helped his patients so that they could relax their muscles voluntarily and thus reduce symptoms linked to anxiety, insomnia and other disorders.

The technique developed by Jacobson is known as progressive muscle relaxation, and he himself put it into practice with his own patients, whom he trained to treat anxiety, hypertension, insomnia and ulcer, all disorders against which it is effective to relax the muscles voluntarily. It should be noted that this technique is still popular today.

Muscle relaxationTo carry out progressive muscle relaxation it is necessary to first sit in a comfortable chair or in an armchair, since the ideal is to leave the arms rested on a surface parallel to the ground. Another option is to lie down on a bed, as long as it offers more comfort than the chair. The legs, meanwhile, should not be crossed. Clothing is also important, as it is not advisable to keep your shoes on or wear tight clothing.

Once in the desired position, the first step is to take a couple of deep breaths. This is followed by a series of well-defined exercises to tighten and relax specific muscle groups, gradually take control of each zone and get it to relax voluntarily.

Some of these exercises to achieve progressive muscle relaxation are the following:

* close hands with force, tighten them and then loosen them. Next, open them and stretch your fingers, so that they relax;

* tensing your biceps, shaking your hands before and after to make sure not to tense them too;

* move your shoulders back carefully and then let them return to their normal position;

* leaving the shoulders in a relaxed position, turn the head to each side slowly, trying to reach the limit to achieve the tension but be careful not to overdo it, and then return it to its original position;

* You can also tilt your head forward, seeking to bring your chin as close to your chest as possible. The opposite movement (backwards) is not recommended, but it is another of the possible exercises;

* open the eyes until you reach the limit and then relax your eyelids.