You have now reached the end of your instructional
3. Hip massage
4. Autogenic relaxation
Your Final Programme course, and you should use Day Ten to decide exactly which of all the different procedures you have experienced suited you best. I do not want to dictate at this stage or make up your mind for you as to how you can most effectively plan your individual 30-minute-a-day programme, but from what others have said, and from personal experience, I would suggest that the following could act as a template for you to work to. However, you are the only person who knows and feels instinctively which way you should go.
Having got your relaxation response well and truly tailor-made for you, do not be surprised to find it change gradually with practice. Suddenly you will be feeling, ‘that really works for me’ or ‘I don’t think this routine is helping much’. Expect this to happen. It is evidence of your inner self talking to you perhaps for the first time in years. Learn to trust your feelings and instincts in this way. All that I have been trying to do for you is to unlock the doors of your own private relaxation therapy centre. Then you can stroll through the treatment rooms and settle in the one or two that make you feel good – really good and relaxed and at one with yourself.
Material that will act as a backdrop to the whole process of the relaxation response is dealt with later in this book. Already you may have been tempted to look ahead. And before you pick your final routine it might be worthwhile to read the rest of this book now, but if you do not want to get into the subject any more deeply then that is up to you and what you know now is quite workable and acceptable. Many hundreds of people have found the relaxation response they need by using only the information imparted so far.
In this important group we have proceeded along a training programme that was dictated by the following premises. First of all, muscular exercise and muscular activity are not predominantly a part of everyday life. This being so, the manifestations of tension are less likely to be muscle-orientated. Therefore, we concentrated on communicating with the proprioceptive system that tells us about our internal self by means of sensations generated in the skin. These, in turn, are reflected in changes in muscles, and thus, in turn, in the various internal body systems that control such important functions as blood pressure and heart rate.
Many of those people who self-selected themselves into Group 3 have some degree of disability. Some will, indeed, lead restricted lives as a result of their disabilities, but this does not mean they cannot be helped. The Group 3 programme has been designed in such a way that most of the procedures described can be carried out by all members of the group. Naturally enough, this has dictated that you have to concentrate on areas of the body that are easily accessible to hands and fingers. For those of you who are fortunate enough to have helpful and caring partners or attendants, extensions of the programme are detailed in Chapter 9.
A good overall programme for Group 3 would include the following components.