Osteopathy and medical acupuncture in Northwood (covering Pinner, Ruislip, Rickmansworth, Eastcote, South Oxhey, Moor Park, Herts, Harefield, Middlesex), Braintree (covering Great Notley, Great Dunmow, Halstead, Stisted, Felstead, Stebbing) 

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Suzanne Cooper on 07985 066528 or Braintree 01376 295001

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Simple relaxation exercise

Begin by finding a quiet place where you will not be disturbed, which is a comfortable temperature. Lie down or, if you prefer, sit in a supportive high-backed chair.

If you are lying down, have your arms slightly by your side with your palms facing upwards, and your feet slightly apart. If you are sat in a chair, place your palm on your thighs and your feet flat on the ground.

The exercise: tightening and loosening your muscles:
Now close your eyes and begin to feel the rhythm of your breathing
Tighten the muscles in your right foot by scrunching up your toes, hold for 2-3 seconds, then completely relax them
Tighten the muscles in your right calf by pointing your foot downwards, hold, then relax
Tighten the muscles in your right thigh by squeezing them, hold, then relax
Tighten the muscles in your right buttock by squeezing them, hold, then relax
Tighten up the muscles at the back of your thigh by pushing your heel into the ground with your leg straight, hold, then relax
Repeat with the left side of your body

Now tighten your stomach muscles whilst breathing in, hold for a couple of seconds and release
Make a fist with your right hand, hold and relax
Bend your right elbow and squeeze , tightening the muscles at the front of your upper arm, hold and relax
Straighten your arm again and push gently into the floor or the back of the chair with your right elbow/forearm, hold and relax
Shrug your right shoulder, hold, and relax
Repeat with the left side if your body

Gently push your head back towards the floor (if you are lying down). If you are sat up, place the palm of one hand at the back of your head and gently push into it. Hold, and relax
Screw up your face, make a big frown, hold and relax
Now try to picture one single image of something which think is really beautiful, such as place you have visited on holiday or an animal you love. Lie still and try and hold that image in your mind.  Breath gently.  When you feel ready, you can unwind from the exercise

To unwind from the exercise, start to feel the rhythm of your breathing and come conscious of how relaxed your right foot is, feeling the pressure from the ground against it. Now work up both legs one at a time, then feel the floor against your buttocks and shoulders and then feel how relaxed your hands are, working up both arms until you reach your head and feeling it touching the floor. Be conscious of your face feeling relaxed. Now open your eyes and come back into the world.