Relaxing does not always come easy to everyone. Dr. Kim DiRé shares a technique called progressive relaxation that she uses to help create a state of relaxation and equilibrium for your nervous system.
This technique is excellent right before you go to bed, but can be used at any time you need a break.
Find a nice comfortable place where you can relax, replenish and restore your mind and body.
If you are feeling like you need to speak to someone, Healthy Futures has a full team of professional, experienced and qualified counselors, ready to help you at any time. Reach out to us at (480) 451-8500.
Dr. Kim DiRé: Hi, my name is Dr. Kim DiRé, and I’m going to teach you a technique today to relax. It’s called progressive relaxation. Maybe, some of you have done it before, and everyone has a couple of different techniques to do it with, but I’m going to give you mine.
We’re going to use our imagination to do it. And it might be right before you’re going to bed, but it’s to create a state of relaxation, a state of equilibrium for your nervous system to calm.
Some people like to do this technique right before they go to bed, but any time will work. If you can get yourself into a nice, comfortable, relaxed position, that would be great, and uncross everything.
And some people like to self‑focus their eyes or close them as you’re listening to this, so go ahead and do that.
If you could just imagine that a beam of light is shining down, if you need to have an imagination that opens the ceiling, and that beam of light comes down from the moon or the sun, that’s fine, but just like a flash light.
It shines on your toes, warming them, really getting them comfortable, shining down, illuminating through them, around them. And as they warm, you can wiggle them if you want, they become more and more relaxed. In fact, with each warm state that your body has, you become more and more relaxed.
Now, the beam of light moves up through the balls of your feet and illuminates the balls of your feet, warming them, relaxing them, in, through, and around, creating restoration. Now, up through the tops of your feet, the arches, and the heels. So all of your foot, and your feet, are illuminated, warm, and relaxed.
The beam then moves up through your ankles. Any type of moving part in your body gets lots of wear and tear during the day. This is the place for them to relax and let down, let go, so as that beam of light shines on your ankles, they relax, the muscles, the bones, the tendons.
Every cell does, and then moving up, to your lower limbs, your legs, the calves, all the way up to below the knee, so everything from below the knee is warm and restoring, relaxed, in a state of calm.
Now, up through your knees, the beam of light warms those knees, and for maybe the first time during the day, they don’t have to bend, and move, or do anything. They can just be illuminating in this nice beam of light.
Using imagination, that the beam moves up through your thighs, warming them, relaxing all the ligaments, the muscles, just allowing those legs, all the way from the hips down, to be relaxed, not have to do anything, restoring, allowing calm to happen for them. Moving up into the hips, the beam of light then illuminates the hips.
The pelvis just completely lets down, lets go, and you can feel that deep sense of warmth and relaxation as you allow the body, from the hips down, to just let go into the bedding, or the recliner beneath you, or sofa, wherever you are, and then through the mid torso, letting that vertebrae let go.
It manages so much for you, and now it doesn’t have to do anything except accept the beam of light that is warming it, in, around, and through.
Every muscle, every cell, pore, and ligament is warmed by this nice illuminating beam, and then up through the ribcage, lightening and illuminating all those organs.
They’re still going to work for you. It’s just that they get a chance now to do it at a slower pace, to allow them to work and rest at the same time. You can feel that, as the cavity of your chest is now illuminated by that warm light.
Just imagine then that that beam splits in two and illuminates on each shoulder, allowing them to let down and let go so you don’t have to manage so much anymore.
The beam moves down the upper arm, down into the elbow, which gets lots of work during the day, but now it doesn’t have to. It’s a chance to restore and come back into equilibrium.
Along now, the beam moves to the lower arms, into the wrists, down each finger and thumb as it lights, relaxes, restores, regenerates. With each body part, it becomes more and more relaxed.
The beam moves back up into the shoulders, comes back down to the neck, and raises up and illuminates the area around your throat, warms it and relaxes it, expanding it, allowing it to become open, more fluid.
Then, to the lower jaw, the upper jaw, and up through the sinus cavities, the middle ear, and up through the eye orbits.
Up through the brain, to the top of the head, there’s a beam of light shining down all around you. If you can just bask in that beam of light, more and more relaxed, allowing the body to create an equal state of equilibrium that becomes calm, enjoyable, restorative, and you can replenish your energy by doing this relaxed state.
If you’re going to sleep, you can do that now, but just settle in this place for a while, of basking in this beam of nice white light, as your body regenerates and restores.