Relaxation Therapy – Fibromyalgia Symptom Relief

Relaxation Therapy can be beneficial for Fibromyalgia Symptom Relief.  After practicing relaxation therapy for about 6 – 8 weeks you will notice that you become more composed, recovering from stress more quickly and it  will also make it easier for you to learn other relaxation therapy techniques for Fibromyalgia symptom relief.  Relaxation Therapy or PMR was invented by Edmund Jacobson. The basic idea is to systematically train groups of muscles, tensing and relaxing.  This technique is best learned with the aid of a trained practitioner, and experience suggests that you can develop the ability to call on a relaxed state at will, even in the middle of a very stressful situation.

Relaxation therapies can be used for FIBROMYALGIA symptom relief, as they are most commonly used in medical circumstances in which stress is believed to play a particularly large role –  for insomnia, surgery, chronic pain and cancer chemotherapy.  Although many studies have been performed on relaxation therapies, most of the studies  suffer from inadequate design since it is not easy to design a proper double-blind, placebo-controlled study of relaxation therapy.

Relaxation Therapy Sequence for Fibromyalgia Symptom Relief

In this first session you can learn to tense and relax muscle groups in a given order. First, simply go through the complete sequence, then you can do your first training.

Sit on a chair, or where you can sit upright with both feet flat on the floor.  Do the following exercises in this order to learn the sequence.

  • Right hand & forearm – make a fist, release
  • Right upper arm – bend the arm, tighten the muscles, release
  • Left hand & forearm – make a fist, release
  • Left upper arm – bend the arm, tighten the muscles, release
  • Forehead – raise your eyebrows, relax your face
  • Eyes & cheeks – squeeze the eyes, relax
  • Mouth & jaw – clench your teeth, and pull the corners of the mouth back,
  • Shoulder & neck – lock your hands behind the neck and push the head back against this resistance (the head does not alter its position), feel the resistance between the head and the hands, then lift your shoulders and press your head back against the resistance of the shoulders, keep your eyes horizontal and do not look up, follow by letting your shoulders hang and relax
  • Chest & back – breathe in deeply and hold your breath squeezing the  shoulder blades together, at the same time let your shoulders hang, then breathe normally
  • Belly – tighten the abdominal muscles (or draw in the belly), release
  • Right hand & thigh – shovel the right foot forward against resistance (while it keeps its position), release
  • Right hand & calf – lift the right heel (be careful not to cramp), release
  • Right foot – tighten and curl the toes, release
  • Left hand & thigh – shovel your left foot forward, relax
  • Left hand & calf – lift up the left heel, release
  • Left foot – tighten and curl the toes

Repeat these exercises once as a quick sequential routine so maybe you can do them by heart next time.

Relaxation Programme: The Ist Session
Preferably you should do the exercises with your eyes closed. Tighten each group of muscles and hold the tension for about 5 seconds, then relax for about 30 seconds. Focus your inner perception on the muscles just exercised, you will sense that the process of relaxation progresses a little after releasing the muscles.  Repeat each exercise once.

After the exercises keep the eyes closed for a short while and rest a little longer. Breathe in deeply and move your fingers and toes playfully. Breathe in deeply again and stretch. Breathe in deeply and open your eyes. Do this at the end of each session. Breathing and stretching will make sure the your circulation is reactivated. You will usually feel quite refreshed afterwards.

Before you begin, close your eyes and enjoy the rest for a minute or so. Accept any perceptions or emerging thoughts but let them pass by like leaves floating on a creek. Do not ponder or  start daydreaming. If some important idea comes up you can go back to it later when your exercise is finished.

Relaxation Programme:  Weekly Practice. Within the next few weeks repeat this training at least three times.

In the next section you will learn how a Rheumatologist can assist you in diagnosing your Fibromyalgia condition.

Here is a great way to find your relaxation space: MindPlace