This exercise for relaxation comes from the book Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LaBerge and Howard Rheingold. They adapted this technique from Swami Rama’s Exercise Without Movement.
It is a very simple and easy relaxation technique, and it is something you can do anywhere. Whether you’re lying in bed, sitting at your desk at work or waiting in line at the store, you can use this technique to help you relax and meditate.
The 61 point relaxation method step by step
Step 1: Memorize the 61 points!
This relaxation technique says that the human body has 61 points. In order for you to be able to do this technique, you need to memorize all the points of the body and their sequence, which are all listed at the end. This is not a difficult thing to do, mainly because all of the points on the body are arranged in a very simple pattern.
It all begins with the forehead, then, they travel down and up the right arm, moving across the left arm, following the length of the torso, along both legs, back up through the torso up to the forehead.
You can use the picture below as a reference for all the points. Pay attention and memorize each and every point in the body, because this is the first step to mastering this relaxation technique.
How do I practice this relaxation technique?
You need to pay attention to one point at a time, beginning at the forehead. Start by focusing solely on the point between your eyebrows and think of the number one. Once you feel that you are aware of this point, its location is a distinct spot in your mind, you need to think of your self being located in that exact point. And before you move on to the next one, you need to start feeling warm and heavy at this spot.
Step 2: Slowly feel each part mentally
Start out slow, and try imagining your self as being placed at each of the points as you are reaching them. Make sure that you feel a sense of warmth and heaviness before you move to the next one. Please note that you shouldn’t allow your mind to wander away and be completely focused.
This may be difficult at the beginning and you might find yourself forgetting what you had been doing at times or daydreaming away or even thinking about something completely different. But be patient. If you happen to lose your place, simply return to the beginning, or, if you remember, return to the last point that you focused on, and then continue from there.
Step 3: Repeat and practice doing it without losing your place
In the same way that you did the first step, you need to do it with each point on your body in succession. You need to practice doing this with the first thirty-one points until you can focus on all of them in a sequence without losing your spot or having your mind wander away.
Finally, once you’re able to attend to each of the thirty-one points in a sequence without getting distracted in any way, you can now repeat the steps with all of the sixty-one points. This is when you need to start practicing going through each of the sixty-one points without letting your mind drift away.
How does this technique help with lucid dreaming?
It’s very simple. The intense internal focus that you are going to practice is going to induce hypnagogia, where you’ll find that you’ll start seeing some dream scenes. This is especially true if you try practicing when you wake up in the middle of the night or early in the morning.
The same technique is used as a launch pad into wake induced lucid dreaming (WILD) where you surrender your awareness of your physically waking state straight into a sleeping lucid dream state.
The 61 Points
- 1— Point between the eyebrows
- 2—Hollow of the throat
- 3—Right shoulder joint
- 4—Right elbow joint
- 5—Middle of the right wrist
- 6—Tip of the right thumb
- 7—Tip of the index finger
- 8—Tip of the middle finger
9—Tip of the fourth finger (ring finger)
- 10—Tip of the small finger
- 11—Right wrist joint
- 12—Right elbow joint
- 13—Right shoulder joint
- 14—Hollow of the throat
- 15-26—Repeat points 3-14 on the left
- 27—Heart center
- 28—Right nipple
- 29—Heart center
- 30—Left nipple
- 31—Heart center
- 32—Solar plexus (just below the bottom of the breast bone)
- 33—Navel center (2 inches below the physical navel)
- 34—Right hip joint
- 35—Right knee joint
- 36—Right ankle joint
- 37—Right big toe
- 38—Tip of the second toe
- 39—Tip of the third toe
- 40—Tip of the fourth toe
- 41—Tip of the small toe
- 42—Right ankle joint
- 43—Right knee joint
- 44—Right hip joint
- 45—Navel center (2 inches below physical navel)
- 46-56—Repeat points 34-45 on the left side
- 57—Navel center (2 inches below the physical navel)
- 58—Solar plexus
- 59—Heart center
- 60—Hollow of the throat
- 61—Center between the eyebrows