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Progressive Relaxation for Pain Management

  1. Assess for signs and symptoms of pain; determine pain characteristics and intensity.
  2. Assess patient’s willingness and ability to receive nonpharmacologic pain relief.
  3. Instruct patient to take several slow, deep breaths and close eyes.
  4. Tell patient to tighten each muscle group while inhaling for 6 to 7 seconds, then relax while exhaling. Begin at feet, and work up to head.
  5. For each muscle group, ask patient to enjoy relaxed feeling and breathe deeply.
  6. When exercise is complete, instruct patient to inhale deeply, exhale, and then initially move about slowly after resting a few minutes.
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