SOME 90 per cent of patients who have experienced the Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) program at Torrevieja Hospital said they were ‘comforted’ and would be happy to repeat it, a survey by the Ambulatory Surgery Unit found. PMR is used before patients go into surgery to calm their anxiety levels, which has been found to improve postoperative recovery.
This program was developed more than 50 years ago by American physician Dr Edmund Jacobson, who used this systematic technique to achieve a deep state of relaxation.
He argued that since muscle tension accompanies anxiety, one can reduce anxiety by learning how to relax the muscular tension.
“An anxious mind cannot exist in a relaxed body,” said Jacobson himself once.
PMR involves a physical and mental component while the eyes are closed, for better focus. The various muscle groups throughout the body are tensed and then released.
Nurses in the Psychiatry Department manage the program which uses a 30-minute guided tape on when to tense and relax which muscle groups while performing simple breathing techniques.
Patients who feel that the 30-minutes were not enough can listen to the tape as many times as necessary, as each time a deeper level of relaxation will be achieved.
The environment in which patients listen to the tape is quite, dimly lit and at a comfortable temperature.
By Nicole Hallett