By Aaron Murakami / Author of A Course in Mind Power
Everybody knows it feels better to be relaxed than it does to feel tense. But how many of you know that there is a relationship between tension in the muscles and tension in the mind?
To better understand this, it is helpful to be familiar with the concept of Visual Motor Rehearsal. Visual Motor Rehearsal is a mental exercise method that takes advantage of the fact that simply thinking about doing a particular exercise produces measurable electrical activity in the muscles in the same locations as if one were actually doing the physical movement!
The brain and nervous system do not know the difference between doing the exercise mentally and doing the exercise physically. What’s amazing about this is that the reverse is also true. By manipulating the muscles, the mind is influenced; relax the muscles and the mind relaxes.
Throughout life, our experiences and our perception of our experiences build up a catalog of habitual responses. When something familiar happens, it’s easier to react to it the same way we did the last time rather than stay fully aware and respond to it as something new.
This process creates an unconscious autopilot mode of operating underneath our conscious, reasoning mind. Each thought, emotion, and perception has a corresponding physiological response that is registered in electrical activity in our muscles.
When we have experiences that we perceive as stressful, our muscles respond by contracting and creating tension. The body senses these efforts regardless of whether they are intentional and consciously created or totally unintentional and unconsciously produced from our autopilot mind.
These tensions, especially the ones produced by our autopilot mind, become a chronic condition or state of being, which usually lasts a lifetime. Every chronic tension in a muscle, no matter how subtle, has an equivalent intention associated with it; and every unconscious intention has a corresponding thought associated with it, as well.
If you have ever tried to “stop thinking” in a meditation exercise, you have probably noticed that thoughts in the back of your mind just keep coming up. Many of these thoughts are the ones that are associated with the chronic tensions in your muscles.
In order to become aware of the raw data in the collective consciousness we must be able to remove these pre-programmed intentions and unconscious thoughts from our minds. At the subtle level, these autopilot thoughts are distracting us from noticing information in the greater awareness field and are therefore acting as noise interference.
It requires special training to enable us to separate environmental information from our own mental chatter. One such skill is Technical Remote Viewing (TRV).
In order to develop a natural, effortless ability to get this noise out of the way without using scientifically developed protocols such as TRV, we must first release the physical tensions that preserve the interfering thoughts that form in the mind.
Relaxation, and more specifically muscular relaxation, is one of the most elementary keys to quieting this internal, mental noise. One important thing to recognize is that this noise is not entirely verbal since it is composed of many of our past reactions and forgotten intentions.
Since much of the chronic muscular tension is supported by an oxygen deficient condition in the cells, deep breathing exercises can be a suitable and complementary activity to relaxation techniques.
There is an interesting paper published by the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology titled Psi-Favorable Conditions. It is a lengthy paper, but it is highly informative concerning the subject at hand.
Here is a short quote from the section on Muscular Relaxation: “Relatively early investigations revealed that relaxation seemed to be a reliable characteristic of the percipient in a majority of cases of spontaneous psi (Stevenson, 1970). Reference to the importance of relaxation can be found in the writings of and about nearly all gifted sensitives or psychics (persons who can demonstrate psi repeated and with great accuracy).”
In this day and age, many people have taken credit for “developing” or “discovering” the idea of linking thoughts to muscular activity without physical movement, but the first person to measure electrical activity in the muscles when the test subject was simply thinking of moving the muscles was Edmund Jacobson, MD, PhD. These measurements were made with a device that showed the electrical activity from electrodes inserted into the muscles.
Later, Bell Labs built a more practical and simple device to Dr. Jacobson’s specifications and it detected activity in the microvolt range through electrodes attached to the body. This research was done in the early 1930′s. This is also why Dr. Jacobson is credited with being the Founder of Bio-feedback.
Dr. Jacobson’s work convinced him of the direct relationship between deep physical relaxation and psychological balance. He determined that Psychoanalysis was an ineffective therapy and set out to develop a method to produce deep physical relaxation in the body.
This work culminated in the development of his landmark relaxation method known as Progressive Relaxation. He wrote a book by the same name in 1938, which was written specifically to inform medical professionals of his discoveries. It included a complete expose of his methods, theory and other research material.
However, four years earlier, in 1934, Dr. Jacobson wrote his more famous volume titled You Must Relax. This book was written to teach the general public about the benefits of relaxation and includes instructions on the basic exercises he developed to produce muscular relaxation.
The exercises are a method of targeting specific muscles, tightening them into tension, holding and then releasing. When released, they are relaxed more than they were before tensing them. The idea is to focus on particular muscles for a certain amount of days, and then move on until eventually, anyone practicing them can easily go through the entire sequence.
I would highly recommend to anyone, even if there is no desire to develop psi abilities, to study Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR).
The purpose of doing these exercises is to unwind the in-tensions and thoughts that underlie the physical tension. Also, make sure it is okay with your medical doctor to do these muscle-tensing exercises.
In 1950 a profoundly forward-thinking individual named Harold S. Schroeppel began an in-depth and formal study of what was required to release human telepathic abilities. In 1953, he wrote a paper called The How of Telepathy in-which he laid out evidence of his discoveries, as well as a vision of the evolution of human awareness.
In 1960, Schroeppel founded a school to teach these methods called the Institute for Advanced Perception. Based on 10 years of work involving thousands of voluntary test subjects, Schroeppel was able to compile a very specific curriculum of lessons, which if practiced in the intended order, produced dramatic results.
The very first lesson in this training was called Effort, which was a powerful application of the tension and relaxation exercises first suggested by Dr. Jacobson. But here, the exercise is specifically designed to clear out muscle tensions and reactions in order to allow a person to start quieting the mind so they can perceive things more clearly. This appears to be the very first mind power-training course that actually made full use of Edmund Jacobson’s relaxation methods in order to develop and enhance psi abilities.
The following quote by Harold Schroeppel, taken from The How of Telepathy, clearly explains why the benefits of the relaxation exercises are so necessary for the development of advanced perception: “If you have no thought, emotion, effort, pain or confusion stored in your own body, then any thought, emotion, effort, pain, or confusion of which you are aware is someone else’s.”
The purpose of the relaxation exercises is to release the efforts, emotions, and pain that are stored in the muscles. When this is accomplished, a sense of expanded perception naturally opens up.
Harold Schroeppel taught this training at the Institute for Advanced Perception from 1960 until the late 1980′s. It was called the Lessons in Advanced Perception. There are very few instructors these days that even teach the science of relaxing for the purpose of increasing psychic awareness or consciousness.
Modern life seems to keep us busy and stressed all of the time. So much so, that we have little time to relax and enjoy life’s deeper meanings. But now, the latest discoveries show that chronic muscle tension actually clouds the mind with unnecessary thoughts and that this automatic mental activity blocks greater perceptual ability.
Many people have advocated that Peace will only come to the world when each individual becomes Peaceful within themselves. Unfortunately, becoming Peaceful ourselves has seemed an illusive goal. With this new information on the benefits of deep muscular relaxation, we may finally be starting to understand how to make this reality our own.
Aaron Murakami is an experienced author in the area of mind power. His ground-breaking mind techniques has helped hundreds of people to achieve their “impossible” dreams so far.To learn his mind power methods and how they deliver incredibly successful results you can visit his website at: http://tinyurl.com/mind-power-course