Progressive muscle relaxation PMR is an anxiety-reduction technique first introduced by American physician Edmund Jacobson in the s. If you suffer from social anxiety disorder SAD , your muscles are probably tense quite often. By practicing PMR , you will learn how a relaxed muscle feels different from a tense muscle. However, practicing the technique alone will give you a greater sense of control over your body's anxiety response. If you practice this technique correctly, you may even end up falling asleep. If so, congratulate yourself on obtaining such a deep level of relaxation, and for the work that you did up to that point.
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Progressive muscle relaxation is a mind-body technique that involves slowly tensing and then relaxing each muscle group in the body. It is sometimes called Jacobson's or deep muscle relaxation procedure. Typically used to tame stress, progressive muscle relaxation is said to increase your awareness of the sensations associated with tension and, in turn, help you identify and deal with the physical effects of everyday stress. Indeed, a number of studies show that regular practice of progressive muscle relaxation may help keep your stress in check as well as treat stress-related health problems like insomnia and anxiety.