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Relaxation Techniques

By Steven Novella, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Yale University School of Medicine

Relaxation techniques are practices specifically designed to relieve tension and stress. The specific technique may be aimed at

  • Reducing activity of the nerves that control the stress response (sympathetic nervous system)

  • Lowering blood pressure

  • Easing muscle tension

  • Slowing metabolic processes

  • Altering brain wave activity

Relaxation techniques may be used with other techniques, such as meditation, guided imagery, or hypnotherapy.