Progressive muscle relaxation is useful for conditions which cannot be completely treated through pharmacological means, such as dementia (Ikemata & Momose, 2017). Even for conditions which respond well to pharmacological treatment, “[a] non-drug method of inducing relaxation has little if any risk and therefore may be preferred over drug methods” (Canter et al., 1975). PMR can also be useful as a supplement in cases where someone is undergoing pharmacological treatment, as it is not a pharmacological intervention and does not pose any interaction risks.
While PMR is an effective intervention for a number of conditions (and is even effective for mentally- and physically-healthy people), it can take a lot of therapy sessions to complete. For this reason, researchers have developed abbreviated progressive muscle relaxation (APMR), which can successfully promote relaxation in a single, 20-minute session (Dolbier & Rush, 2012).