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Merck Manual

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Relaxation Techniques


Denise Millstine

, MD, Mayo Clinic

Last full review/revision Feb 2019| Content last modified Feb 2019
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Relaxation, a type of mind-body medicine, includes practices specifically designed to relieve tension and stress. The specific technique may be aimed at the following:

  • Controlling the stress response (via the sympathetic nervous system)

  • Lowering blood pressure and heart rate

  • Easing muscle tension

  • Altering brain wave activity

Relaxation techniques may include or be combined with meditation, guided imagery, or hypnotherapy.

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