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Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation Procedure
Relaxation training is a major
component in most behaviorallybased interventions for
* Anxiety Disorders
* Stress-related Disorders
* Pain Syndrome
Several Method Exists
1. Unitary Theories:
A) Muscular Theory –
*Proposed by Edmund Jacobson
*He developed PMR and EMG method of
Relaxation is Decreased Skeletal Muscle
Activity as measured by EMG
Relaxation diminishes motoneuron output
and reduces proprioceptive input
This is evidenced as reduced magnitude &
increased latency of spinal motor
reflexes when person is relaxed
Reduced afferent and efferent activity
leads to decreased cortical arousal
Hence, it is effective in ‘Neurotic’ and
‘Emotional’ disorders
B) Autonomic Theory –
Proposed by Joseph Wolpe
Developed SD that opened the door for BT
in Anxiety-based Disorders
Emphasized autonomic rather than
muscular aspect of Relaxation
Involvement of autonomically innervated
visceral structures in emotional and
stress disorders provided the
evidence for this mechanism
Wolpe - the parasympathetic state of
Relaxation “reciprocally inhibits” the
sympathetic / anxiety responses
Benson who employed meditation also
came to similar conclusion
The denominator of all Relaxation
technique is RR of parasympathetic
Benson – Relaxation represents a shift in
autonomic activity away from
sympathetic arousal toward parasympathetic control
For example, a number of
parasympathetic mediated visceral
activities such as decreased HR,
respiratory rate, BP and oxygen
consumption is seen following