Decreased [Vdot]O2 Consumption during Exercise with Elicitation of the Relaxation Response

Authors
Herbert Benson, M.D., Thomas Dryer, B.A., L. Howard Hartley, M.D.
Publication
Journal of Human Stress
Vol 4, Issue 2
Abstract

Oxygen consumption is usually considered to be predictable and unalterable at a fixed work intensity. The relaxation response is hypothesized to be an integrated hypothalamic response which results in generalized decreased sympathetic nervous system activity. One physiologic manifestation of the relaxation response is decreased oxygen consumption. The possibility that the elicitation of the relaxation response could decrease oxygen consumption at a fixed work intensity was investigated. Oxygen consumption was decreased 4 percent (p < 0.05) in eight subjects working at a fixed intensity when the relaxation response was simultaneously elicited.

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