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  • Wearing loose clothing, lie with arms and legs outstretched.
  • Clench one fist. Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Release the fist, relax for 10–20 seconds and then repeat exactly as before.
  • Do the same with the other hand (twice).
  • Draw the toes of one foot towards the knee.Hold for 10 seconds. Relax. Repeat and then do same with the other foot.
  • Perform the same sequence in five other sites (one side of the body and then the other, involving 10 more muscles/muscle groups)such as:
    • back of the lower legs: point and tense the toes downwards and then relax
    • upper leg: pull the kneecap towards the hipand then relax
    • buttocks: squeeze together and then relax
    • back of shoulders: draw the shoulder blades together and then relax
    • abdominal area: pull in or push out the abdomen strongly and then relax
    • arms and shoulders: draw the upper arm into the shoulder and then relax
    • neck area: push neck down towards the floor and then relax
    • face: tighten and contract muscles around eyes and mouth or frown strongly and then relax.
  • After 1 week combine muscle groups:
    • hand/arm on both sides: tense and then relaxed together
    • face and neck: tense and relax all the muscles at the same time
    • chest, shoulders and back: tense and relax all the muscles at the same time
    • pelvic area: tense and relax all the muscles at the same time
    • legs and feet: tense and relax all the muscles at the same time.
  • After another week abandon the ‘tightening up’ part of the exercise – simply lie and focus on different regions, noting whether they are tense. Instruct them to relax if they are.

Do the exercise daily. There are no contraindications to these relaxation exercises.