Relaxation Strategies

Relaxation Strategies

  • Relaxation response is a state of physiologic and psychologic rest
    • Opposite of the stress response
    • Characterized by decreased sympathetic nervous system activity

Relaxation Breathing

    • The way one breathes affects every aspect of life
    • Simplest and most effective way to stop the stress response is to breathe deeply and slowly
    • Relaxation (abdominal) breathing
      • Performed while sitting, standing, or lying down
      • Involves primary use of the diaphragm and less use of the upper chest and shoulders
      • Abdomen gently moves in and out


  • Concentrated focus on
      • A sound
      • Object
      • Visualization
      • The breath
      • Movement


    • Form of meditation
    • Spiritual communication with God or an object of worship


  • Imagery can also be used to specifically target a disease, problem, or stressor


  • Diversion from a stressful situationĀ 
  • Music decreases anxiety and pain while eliciting the relaxation response
  • About 60-80 beats/min is considered soothing


  • Range of techniques
    • Manipulate soft tissues and joints
  • Important form of touch