relaxation response


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re·lax·a·tion re·sponse

an integrated hypothalamic reaction in which a human being or animal experiences safety and a sense of nurturing; resulting in decreased sympathetic nervous system activity that, physiologically and psychologically, is almost a mirror image of fight or flight response; it can be self-induced through the use of techniques associated with transcendental meditation, yoga, and biofeedback.
See also: fight or flight response.

relaxation response

a protective mechanism against stress that brings about decreased heart rate, lower metabolism, and decreased respiratory rate. It is the physiological opposite of the "fight or flight," or stress, response.

relaxation response

A term coined in 1975 by Dr Herbert Benson of Harvard Medical School for the use of “good breathing techniques”, active muscle relaxation and meditation as a means of lowering blood pressure and reducing internal and external stress.

relaxation response,

n the physiologic counterbalance to the fight-or-flight response, in which a deep state of mental and physiological rest may be elicited.
References in periodicals archive ?
SFTE added to an atherogenic diet of guinea pigs improved the relaxation response and prevented the development of atherosclerotic plaques in aortas.
When a cardiac rehabilitation programme was combined with relaxation response training, participants experienced significant reductions in blood pressure, decreases in lipid levels, and increases in psychological functioning when compared to participants' status before the programme.
A simple psychophysiologic technique which elicits the hypometabolic changes of the relaxation response.
Reprinted from The Relaxation Response, by Herbert Benson, MD (available via www.
The order of the specific stress management treatment content introduced throughout the 14-week class included the following: stress theory and response, nutrition and exercise, breathing and body awareness, relaxation response and progressive muscle relaxation, autogenics, visualization/imagery, meditation, worry control, thought stopping, refuting irrational thoughts, goal setting and time management, and assertiveness training.
A relaxation response may allow an individual to attempt to return to a state of balance and thereby facilitate healing.
The use of the relaxation response, combined with suggestions designed to modify gut motility, as well as the use of an abdominal pain reduction technique, enabled this young woman to modify stress, restore sleep to normal, reduce abdominal pain, and develop a sense of self-efficacy in managing this functional disorder of the gut.
The relaxation response has many proven beneficial effects.
Scientists aren't exactly sure why yoga has physiological benefits, but at least some of its success can be attributed to stress reduction, the relaxation response and the "exercise" element with benefits that parallel other forms of exercise.
A simple technique called the relaxation response can help manage hypertension and cardiac arrhythmia, according to Harvard University's Herbert Benson, MD.
Mindfulness is not synonymous with relaxation, although the relaxation response as described by Benson (2) is often elicited during formal practices such as meditation or body scanning.