Relaxation

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Relaxation techniques are helpful in their own right as anxiety alleviators, however they can also play a significant role in different visualisation methods. Hewitt (1982) describes an array of relaxation methods, though the particular script described below is adapted from Schone (1984).

It may be more beneficial for you to dictate the script described below onto a cassette since it is difficult to relax whilst reading the instructions, many similar relaxation tapes are available commercially.

You should find a place where you feel secure and comfortable, preferably lying down, close your eyes, begin breathing leisurely and then repeat the following recommended script to yourself (the detailed wording is not critical – it is fine to do it roughly from memory). As you do so, focus your attention on the part of the body being referred to. For instance, when you say ‘relax the left foot’, focus your attention on your left foot and so on up the body.

With practice you can learn to accomplish a relaxed state very quickly and so can dispense with the script, however, it is therapeutic in its own right.

Script

My feet are very relaxed; my left foot is very relaxed, my left ankle is relaxed and as my left foot relaxes, so I am becoming more and more relaxed. Now my left calf muscle is becoming very relaxed, very relaxed indeed, the relaxation is spreading up my left leg and into my left thigh, now the whole of my left leg is extremely relaxed.

My feet are very relaxed; my right foot is relaxed, my right ankle is relaxed and my right foot is relaxing, I am becoming more and more calm. Now my right calf muscle is becoming very relaxed, deeply relaxed and the whole of my right leg is extremely relaxed.

The relaxed feeling is spreading throughout my body, my pelvis is very relaxed and all the muscles of my stomach are very relaxed, so relaxed, I feel warm and comfortable. It is as though there is something radiant and warm inside me radiating warm glows that are spreading throughout my body, and now my chest muscles are relaxing, I feel my whole body is deeply relaxed.

My shoulder muscles are now relaxing, they are very, very comfortable, just as all the other muscles have relaxed and are going to carry on feeling soft. Now the muscles of my left arm are relaxing, they are becoming very limp and less tense, all the muscles in my left arm are feeling very limp and soft, now my left hand is also starting to relax, just like the remainder of my body.

The muscles in my right arm feel soft, they feel floppy and relaxed, all the muscles in my right arm are very limp and relaxed, and now my right hand is also starting to relax, just like the remainder of my body.

The muscles of my neck are loose, yes they are becoming very relaxed, all the tension is disappearing from my neck and muscles are start to feel limp and floppy. Yes all the muscles in the back of the neck are becoming totally relaxed and now the muscles of my face, ears and around my eyes are relaxing. The muscles of my brow and relaxing, all the muscles of my face and head are so soft just like the rest of my body.