An occasional blog
6th October 2020
Tension can cause physical illnesses and emotional problems:
Relax your way to a better life!
By Renata Taylor-Byrne, Health and Lifestyle Coach-Counsellor
I have been interested in relaxation systems since 1986, when I used Ainsley Mears’ Passive Progressive Relaxation system to cope of with the stress of preparing for a surgical operation for which I had been scheduled – (a hysterectomy). I found his system helped enormously to calm me down, and also to cope with the post-surgical pain.
I subsequently used various systems of audio-based relaxation, by various hypnotherapists, some from the US, and some (like Dr Robert Sharp, Paul McKenna and Glenn Harrold) from the UK. I have found these systems to be very good ways to reduce my stress level (when combined with Chinese exercises, stress reducing diet, and adequate sleep) in my role as a college lecturer for over thirty years.
Then, about a year ago, I rediscovered Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR), which I had encountered many years ago; and I began to experiment with this system. The results were so helpful that I began to do a lot of research on the subject, reading a dozen books directly on the subject, and seventy sources of related information in total.
I then felt obliged to write a book about the amazing range of benefits of this system of de-tensing the body: based on my reading and my personal, daily experimentation. I wanted other people to benefit from using this easy to learn, re-energizing technique.
For example, PMR brings relief to insomniacs. It helps them sleep better, when the insomnia is caused by muscular tension and intrusive thoughts.
It also takes pressure off our internal organs; reduces anxiety, stress, and fatigue; and provides relief from pain and illness for those who haven’t been, and can’t be, helped by conventional medicine (for example tension headaches which have not responded to prescribed medication: (Bernstein, Borkovec and Hazlett-Stevens, 2000).
It helps with stomach and digestive problems, test and exam anxiety, and handling the pressures of public performance, including sports performance, and musical performance anxiety, and all forms of public speaking.
This book is brief, easy to read and concisely summarises the priceless insights of Dr Edmund Jacobson, who researched the amazing health benefits of relaxation for over seventy years, at the Universities of Harvard and Chicago, in the US, in the early part of the last century. In 1936 he set up his own institute to research scientific relaxation.
And in my researches I found several more recent books on this subject, by authors who want to keep this system alive; and lots of research articles, from the past few years, which verified the amazing benefits of this system.
My book is written in an easy to understand language. It summarizes the scientific research (with case studies and research experiments) which provide lots of evidence of the effectiveness of this system.
It teaches you how to develop this easily-acquired skill of relaxation which rids your body and mind of toxic tension.
The numerous benefits include the following:
– Lowered stress levels;
– Lowered blood pressure and heart rate;
– Decreased muscle tension;
– Reduced fatigue and anxiety;
– Improved quality of life and reduced blood pressure among people with heart disease;
– Reduced migraine headaches;
– Reduces some forms of chronic pain;
– Improved sleep, and insomnia relief;
– Help with smoking cessation;
– Improvement in cognitive (thinking) performance for people with dementia;
– Increasing or activating the production of opiates (or our innate pain killers);
– Promoting optimal immune function.
– Improving public performance skills for athletes, sportspeople, actors, teachers, students and media presenters;
– And increased mental and physical energy and the development of a feeling of well-being and autonomy.
I am sure that if you experiment with this system, you will make enormous gains for a few minutes of practice each day. And to learn it is very, very cheap. Once learned, it will strengthen you for the rest of your life with a few minutes of daily practice.
It sounds invaluable, doesn’t it? I have written a page of information about this book. Please take a look at how to Relax Your Way to a Better Life!
That’s all for now.
Lifestyle & Health Coach-Counsellor
 Bernstein, D.A., Borkovec, T.D., and Hazlett-Stevens, H. (2000) New Directions in Progressive Relaxation Training. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Publishers.