Looking for a way to relax? Find out what Jacobson training is all about

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Jacobson training is a simple relaxation technique that you can do yourself at home. Just a few minutes a day can reduce stress and improve your mood.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation, or Jacobson Training, is a relaxation technique that everyone should know. To perform the workout, all we need is a few minutes of quiet and space to lie down comfortably. The benefits of regular use of Jacobson training are spectacular.

Edmund Jacobson – creator of the method

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, American physician, physiologist and psychiatrist Edmund Jacobson developed a relaxation training known as progressive muscle relaxation or simply Jacobson training

Jacobson dealt with patients diagnosed with neuroses. During many years of research, the doctor observed that reducing muscle tension has a very positive effect on the central nervous system. It soothes, calms and relaxes, counteracting psychosomatic ailments. Jacobson taught his patients how to effectively relax individual muscle parts. As a result, the doctor saw improvement in patients suffering from stomach ulcers, insomnia or hypertension.

A panacea for today’s problems

Jacobson training brings relief to people overworked, stressed, chronically tired, living in a hurry. Just from this brief description, we can draw the general conclusion: almost everyone needs it these days. Jacobson training has a beneficial effect on both mind and body. By calming and controlling the breath, it allows you to achieve inner peace and relaxation. By tensing and relaxing your muscles, you can soothe a sore and tense body.

“A troubled mind cannot exist in a relaxed body” – this was Edmund Jacobson’s thesis nearly a century ago. Today, when we live in permanent stress and the rush of everyday duties, these words seem to be even more relevant.

Relax your muscles and clear your mind

Jacobson training is very simple and we can successfully perform it at home. The most important thing is regularity, concentration on training, and creating a place where you can comfortably lie down. Training does not have to be long – even 10 minutes a day, during which no one will disturb us, is enough. Put down the phone, turn off the TV, and focus on your breath and your body.

Practice consciously tensing and relaxing your muscles. Lie down in a comfortable position and begin the exercises. When inhaling, tense the chosen muscle, hold the tension for about 5 seconds, and then relax when exhaling. Take a break for a few seconds and repeat the exercise on the same muscle. Tense and relax each muscle 2-3 times.

It is not important in what order we will exercise the muscles. You can start from the middle of the body, upper or lower limbs. It is important to relax the whole body. On the Internet we can find many videos, with or without music, during which a lector will lead us through the entire process of muscle relaxation.

Photo: Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

Noticeable changes in a short time

The advantage of Jacobson training is a quickly noticeable change in mood. You should feel the difference after the first training, and beneficial changes in the whole body will be observed after two weeks of regular exercises. Training will help us to:

  • reduce muscle pain and tension,
  • reduce stress and emotional tension,
  • improve the quality of your sleep and how quickly you fall asleep,
  • reduce nervousness,
  • lower blood pressure,
  • improve circulation,
  • improve the functioning of internal organs,
  • counteract anxiety.

After mastering the exercises in the lying position, we can implement the next stages. You can start by extending the duration of individual stages, extend the muscle relaxation to internal parts such as the tongue. A higher level of initiation is the differentiated relaxation, during which by tensing one muscle, all other muscles are relaxed.

Photo: Andriyko Podilnyk/Unsplash

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