Body scan is similar to progressive muscle relaxation, covered in our previous blog, but involves focusing on muscle groups rather than tensing and relaxing them.
Technique 3 - body scan
- Lie down on your back with your legs straight out and your arms by your sides. Focus on your breathing and breathe deeply for two minutes or until you feel ready to start.
- Focus on your toes on your right foot. Tune in to the sensations you feel there and imagine your breathe flowing from the sole of your foot.
- After a few minutes, move your focus to your right ankle and repeat process. Then move to your right calf, knee, thigh and hip and repeat for the left side of your body. From there, move up to your torso, through your lower back and abdomen, the upper back and chest, and your shoulders. Pay close attention to any parts that are uncomfortable.
- Move your focus to your fingers on your right hand and then move to your right wrist, forearm, elbow, upper arm and shoulder. Repeat for left arm, then move to your neck and throat and finally the parts of your face, the top of your head, tongue, nose, cheeks, eyes, forehead, temples and scalp. When you reach the top of your head, let you breath reach out beyond your body and imagine yourself hovering above yourself.
- After completing the body scan, lie for a few minutes relaxing in silence and stillness noting how your body feels. Then open your eyes slowly, take a moment to stretch and very slowly roll on to your side and get up.
Our next blog will look at mindfulness - an approach that can be extremely effective for combatting stress.