The Benefits of Relaxation Techniques

The Benefits of Relaxation Techniques

The Benefits of Relaxation Techniques


Relaxation techniques are plentiful.  There are so many to choose from. I suggest reading your body to find out what is it telling you. There may be some relaxation techniques that are better suited to you than others.  Here are some to think about:


The University of Minnesota conducted a study over 6 months to examine the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effects of Hatha yoga on oxidative stress, motor function, and non-motor symptoms among individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Two randomised controlled groups participated. One group undertook a twice weekly 60-min group based class for 12 weeks and were assessed at baseline, 12-weeks and 6 months post-intervention. Measures included oxidative stress, motor function, physical activity, cognitive function, sleep quality, and quality of life. Data on program acceptability and yoga adherence were collected during the intervention and at 6 months post-intervention. The conclusion was that “yoga is feasible and acceptable and may serve as a complementary method for improving motor function in PD [Parkinsons Disease].”

Mindfulness Meditation

A study conducted by the Emory University investigated if mindfulness meditation lowers muscle sympathetic nerve activity and blood pressure in African-American males with chronic kidney disease.  These data suggest that there was a significantly greater reduction in blood pressure, and HR, during the 14 min of mindfulness meditation compared with the control intervention. Similarly, there was a significantly greater reduction in muscle sympathetic nerve activity during mindfulness meditation compared with the control intervention.

A subset had a third study visit to undergo controlled breathing to determine whether a reduction in respiratory rate alone was sufficient in exacting hemodynamic changes observed above. However, in contrast to mindfulness meditation, controlled breathing alone did not reduce blood pressure, heart rate, or muscle sympathetic nerve activity. Respiratory rate is significantly lower during mindfulness meditation, but controlled breathing alone without meditation does not acutely alter hemodynamics or sympathetic activity in chronic kidney disease.

A study to determine the usefulness of mindfulness in patients with stress and chronic illness. 144 patients (88% women), troubled by stress and chronic illness, used the method (8-week course) in a randomised controlled study. 92% of the patients completed all 8 weeks of the course. The participants rated its importance to 8.5 on a scale from 1 to 10. An increase in quality of life and subjective health from start to finish of the course, while the control group remained unchanged. The changes in quality of life were maintained at 3 and 6 months follow-up, while subjective health continued to improve during that period


A randomized controlled trial conducted by the Center for Functional Diseases, Mental Health Center, Copenhagen studied 109 patients of chronic pain. Two groups were formed. Those that participated in the mindfulness program and those that didn’t.  The study concluded: “a mindfulness program contributes positively to pain management and can exert clinically relevant effects on several important dimensions in patients with long-lasting chronic pain”

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