Relaxation — the Other Side of Tension
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The concept of tension, and the manner of its development, has been dealt with in some detail, and the view put forward is that tension can be experienced at distinctly different levels. It is further suggested that it is useful to consider the possibility of tension being reduced to a level where it is not experienced at all and where a different kind of experience, that of relaxation, takes over. This process can be likened to the sensation produced by temperature. A common experience is to enter a warm building having become very cold from exposure to a cutting wind. The outcome of this is not to change immediately from feeling cold to becoming comfortably warm, but for the cold to gradually dissipate until it is replaced by a sensation of warmth. It is conceivable that it would be possible to be aware of a level of sensation where the body was felt to be neither warm nor cold but at a point between the two. It is not too difficult to think of the sensation of body temperature as a continuous range of experiences with being much too cold at one extreme and much too hot at the other. There would be a whole range of feeling between the two extremes which could be described subjectively in a variety of ways in terms of temperature, of comfort and discomfort, or perspiring and shivering. Such a continuous range of steps along a single scale, e.g. temperature, a range of steps which could be infinite in number, is often referred to as a 'continuum'.