Exercises- Arm Squeezes

  1. To start, fold your arms in front of you and pull them in towards your chest.
  2. Keeping your arms folded, hold your left bicep with your right hand and hold your right bicep with your left hand.
  3. Squeeze gently and pull your arms in towards your chest. Don’t squeeze your arms so tightly that you feel pain.
  4. You might deepen the squeeze as you inhale…and hold the squeeze for one or two breaths.
  5. Exhale and release your breath, and loosen the squeeze with it. Be sure not to hold your breath for an extended period of time.

Deep touch pressure like this is a tool for improving sensory modulation. Slow deep tissue exercises like this help us boost parasympathetic nervous system function and regulate our reactions to stressful surroundings. 

  1. Now try shifting each hand slightly down your arms and squeezing.  Explore taking a full breath in as you squeeze and a full breath out as you release.
  2. Continue to shift your hands down opposite arms, squeezing and releasing your arms until you squeeze either hand.

Practicing arm squeezes can decrease anxiety levels, leading to improved sensory regulation, and more focused responses.

  1. You can move through this exercise slowly, taking multiple breaths in and out during each squeeze or you can quickly squeeze down your arms, paying little attention to your breath. 
  2. If you are feeling very disconnected from your body, you might say outloud or in your mind “These are my arms.  These are my arms.” This is a way to further reconnect with your body and ground yourself.
  3. This exercise can also be done by squeezing and releasing one arm at a time.
  4. Repeat this exercise whenever you feel anxious or disconnected from your body and do it as often as necessary. 



All done. This exercise can be done as needed throughout the day or used as a part of a daily routine, when you’re feeling overwhelmed or out of sync with your body’s responses.