Progressive Muscle Relaxation According To Jacobson

Table of contents:

Progressive Muscle Relaxation According To Jacobson
Progressive Muscle Relaxation According To Jacobson

Video: Progressive Muscle Relaxation According To Jacobson

Video: Progressive Muscle Relaxation According To Jacobson
Video: Exercise for Stress Management | Jacobson's method of relaxation-Dr.Anup Brahmbhatt| Doctors' Circle 2023, September

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

The progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobson (Progressive Muscle Relaxation / PMR) is a scientifically based and easy to learn relaxation technique. It was developed in the 1920s by the doctor Edmund Jacobson. He determined that there are interactions between muscle tension and mental well-being. This relaxation method is also particularly suitable for people who do not want to lie very quietly to relax.

"Progressive" means "progressive". Individual muscle groups are tensed from head to toe and then relaxed again. Little by little, you will find inner peace. Here you can learn more about this relaxation method and try an exercise to get to know!


  • Continue reading
  • more on the subject
  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • Alternation between tension and relaxation
  • ">Example of a short exercise sequence


  • Perform exercises regularly


Alternation between tension and relaxation

By activating the sympathetic nervous system (“gas pedal” of our autonomic nervous system), stress and strain lead to muscle tension. The conscious tension and relaxation activates the "resting nerve" parasympathetic nervous system ("brake" of our autonomic nervous system). The change between tension and relaxation is usually found pleasant after a short time of use. Heartbeat and breathing become calmer, some people fall asleep at the same time, and inner balance increases.

The process is not time-consuming and can be used well in everyday life. It can preferably be learned as part of a course. A book, CD or DVD can be used to refresh / deepen. Check the quality of the provider or the literature. Providers and (co-) authors should be able to show proof of qualification for this relaxation method as well as training or further education in the health sector.

To start with, it's important to hear the instructions as you follow them. PMR is also used under professional guidance (e.g. by a health psychologist, a clinical psychologist, a psychotherapist) for psychosomatic illnesses or anxiety disorders and sleep disorders. In the event of discomfort or pain, a doctor should always be consulted.

Example of a short exercise sequence

So that you can better imagine the relaxation method, here is an example of a sequence of exercises. Possibly. also just want to brush up on your knowledge. The best way to learn PMR for the first time is to take a quality course.


If you would like to “get a taste” of the exercise, have someone you feel comfortable with read the text to you (possibly also in the “you form”). The reader should take short breaks during the exercises. These are marked with (pause). For some parts of the tension it is stated how long it should be (five seconds), otherwise the practitioner determines the time for it himself.

Sit down and relax. Take up a position that is comfortable for you. Put your hands on your thighs and feel the soles of your feet touch the floor (pause). Breathe in during the tension phase and exhale during the relaxation phase.

  • The exercise starts with the arms. Form a fist and bend your arms. Meanwhile, tense both arms - from the upper arms to the hands. Hold the tension for five to seven seconds. Now let go, pause for a while and try to relax your muscles even more - 20 to 30 seconds (pause).
  • Next up is the face. Tense your whole face. Then tense part of the face one after the other for a few seconds and pause briefly in between:

    • Forehead (pause),
    • Eyebrows (pause),
    • Lips (pause),
    • Lower jaw (pause).
  • Then enjoy the relaxation of the whole face (break).
  • If you have neck problems, skip the next exercise and clarify these problems first. To tense or relax your neck, hold your head forward over your chest. Hold the tension for five seconds and then relax (pause).
  • Now focus on your stomach. Tighten your abs and focus on the tension (pause). After a few seconds, let go again (pause). Now try to let go even more (pause).
  • Now pull your shoulders up and stay in this position for five seconds. Then let go again (pause). Enjoy the ensuing relaxation (break).
  • At the end of the exercise sequence, tense the buttocks and thigh muscles and pull the tips of your feet up. Remain in this position for five seconds, then relax again (pause). Remain in relaxation and try to "sink" even deeper (pause). Breathe in and out again consciously, calmly and deeply (pause). If thoughts or feelings arise, you can "observe" them from relaxation and let them come and go (pause).

Now be prepared to finish the exercise. First move your hands, straighten and straighten yourself, and feel both legs firmly on the floor again. Now open your eyes. Take your time to get back to the "here & now".

Perform exercises regularly

Practice makes perfect: the more regularly the method is practiced, the better it works. The exercises should therefore be carried out once or twice a day in order to achieve lasting success. The length of the exercise unit can be determined by yourself. However, it is important to keep the sequence of exercises and to consciously “return” to everyday life after practicing - especially if you have to concentrate afterwards, for example when driving a car.

Tip If this method suits you, stay tuned! Then you have a reliable "companion" in everyday life for your balance.