progressive relaxation

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A form of psychotherapy used for treating anxiety disorders, in which skeletal muscles throughout the body, often beginning with the feet and legs and working upwards, are first tensed and then deeply relaxed. It is also used as an adjunct to other forms of psychotherapy, especially systematic desensitization. It was introduced by the US physician Edmund Jacobson (1888–1983) and was described in his book Progressive Relaxation (1938). Also called Jacobson's progressive relaxation or relaxation therapy.

Subjects: Psychology.

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