Feel Peace and Balance with PMR

Progressive muscle relaxation, or “PMR” is a fun and simple practice of opposites:  tensing and then relaxing the muscles, helping achieve a state of harmony and balance.  Muscles can be tensed individually, in groups, or even in succession to achieve full-body tension followed by full-body relaxation. Try a mini version now: tense your biceps while taking three full, slow, deep breaths.  Then, relax the biceps. Notice how you feel physically, emotionally, and mentally.


Try a full PMR practice below


Review level research, noted in the references below, has found PMR improves anxiety, depression, stress management, and insomnia.  And, PMR done with other practices such as guided imagery and yoga nidra can make those practices even more effective than they are alone.

The mechanism that allows PMR to be effective in altering physiology and consciousness is the relaxation response. The relaxation response is your ability to encourage your body to release chemicals and brain signals that make your muscles and organs slow down and increase blood flow to the brain.


Regular PMR practice can be an effective way to manage a wide range of stress-related disorders, such as anxiety, stress and sleep quality. If added to other mind-body practices such as guided imagery and yoga nidra, PMR can exponentially increase those benefits. Practiced regularly, PMR increases body awareness, muscle tone, and flexibility, which support bone and joint health.  Because PMR is a practice of opposites, it promotes balance and harmony.


The Self-Care Solutions newsletter allows you to personalize your approach to health and well-being.  It offers you choices.  Safe choices.  Evidence-based choices. The articles allow you to try on different options and see what works for you. Think of each as an invitation.

While not a substitute for care by your medical team, we’re here to support you in your quest for well-being!

Interested in Hero’s Journey Coaching?  Contact me at ruthannrusso@gmail.com or visit https://ruthannrusso.com/be-coached/

Reference links:

Effects of PMR on depression, anxiety and quality of life in breast cancer patients.

PMR for stress, anxiety, and depression in adults

Effect s of PMR on sleep quality

Effects of PMR on healthcare worker stress





Dr. Ruthann Russo

I love assisting people on their hero’s journey towards self-transformation. A passion which is born comes partly from personal experience – I view my own life as a series of self-transformations. I have 20+ years of education, training and experience, including being the CEO and founder of two health technology start-ups and global wellness consultant to Fortune 100 corporations.

Explore More Posts

Forgiveness Is Good For Your Health

By Dr. Ruthann Russo | June 12, 2024

I recently suggested a prescription for forgiveness to address a patient’s recurring insomnia. Why? Because holding a grudge causes stress and chronic stress is the foundation for many chronic disorders, including insomnia. Conversely, forgiveness is “the feeling of peace that emerges as you take your hurt less personally and become a hero instead of a…

Read More

Move Negative Emotions Out of Your Mind and Body with EFT

By Dr. Ruthann Russo | May 29, 2024

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) – more commonly known as “Tapping” –  is a simple and quick practice that improves anxiety, stress, depression, PTSD, and burnout.  By allowing you to release negative emotions, EFT helps you move forward.  In EFT, you tap your fingers on 9 acupuncture points in succession while you repeat an affirmation and…

Read More

Move Your Spine to Increase Mental and Physical Flexibility

By Dr. Ruthann Russo | May 22, 2024

Your spine carries the weight of your head, torso, and arms. It also allows your body to move in any direction. I move my spine in 7 directions as part of my daily morning ritual. It takes less than a minute and you can do it anywhere, in a standing or seated position. The spine…

Read More


Schedule your 25-Minute Exploratory Coaching Session for only $50

Click below to schedule your 25-minute exploratory session with Dr. Ruthann Russo