Monday, 11 November 2013


When I got my latest blood pressure medication, I signed up to be part of a clinical trial.  Nothing major, they snipped some of hair at the start, I go back in 4 weeks to get more hair snipped, and then after 12 more weeks some more hair.  Answer some questionnaires and we're done.

Additionally, the drug company sends out a CD with relaxation techniques to half the study's participants.  The goal being to determine the difference in results in just taking the drug versus taking the drug and incorporating the relaxation techniques.

I got my CD in the mail a few weeks ago and patiently listened to the sections on breathing techniques and meditation.  Pretty straightforward stuff.  But I got distracted before I finished the section on muscle relaxation techniques.  Finally decided I'd catch up on it this morning by listening to it on the way in to work.

The soothing voice explained the goals of the technique and gently instructed me on how to begin with some deep breathing.  Then I was instructed to make a fist with my left hand and raise it to my shoulder while breathing in.  Then relax the fist and lower the hand while exhaling.  What the hell, I thought, I'll play along.  So I followed the instructions while driving with the other hand.

The calming voice proceeded to tell me to continue on with my right hand.  Switched hands on the steering wheel and did as I was told.  The process of tensing and relaxing was repeated with my shoulders, then neck, then jaw, then forehead.  And then the soothing voice told me to squeeze my eyes shut for 5 seconds.  And I did this.  While driving.  Until a voice in my head politely asked, "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?!?".

At which point I opened my eyes and turned off the CD.  That was enough relaxation for today.

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