Relaxation, a type of mind-body medicine Mind-Body Medicine Complementary or alternative medicine can be classified into five major categories of practice: Whole medical systems Mind-body techniques Biologically based practices Manipulative and body-based... read more , 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 Autonomic nervous system The peripheral nervous system consists of more than 100 billion nerve cells (neurons) that run throughout the body like strings, making connections with the brain, other parts of the body, and... read more )
Lowering blood pressure and heart rate
Easing muscle tension
Altering brain wave activity
Relaxation techniques may include or be combined with meditation Meditation In meditation, a type of mind-body medicine, people regulate their attention or systematically focus on particular aspects of inner or outer experience. Meditation may involve sitting or resting... read more , guided imagery Guided Imagery Guided imagery is a type of mind-body medicine that involves the use of mental images to promote relaxation and wellness, reduce pain, or facilitate healing of a particular ailment, such as... read more , or hypnotherapy Hypnotherapy Hypnotherapy is a type of mind-body medicine. In hypnotherapy (hypnosis), people are guided into an advanced state of relaxation and heightened attention. Hypnotized people become absorbed in... read more . Relaxation therapy can help relieve depression and can be applied to help relieve anxiety and some types of pain.