In the Western world today, there is a growing interest in nonpharmacological, self-induced, altered states of consciousness because of their alleged benefits of better mental and physical health and improved ability to deal with tension and stress. During the experience of one of these states, individuals claim to have feelings of increased creativity, of infinity, and of immortality; they have an evangelistic sense of mission, and report that mental physical suffering vanish (Dean). Subjective and objective data exist which support the hypothesis that an integrated central nervous system reaction, the “relaxation response”, underlies this altered state of consciousness. Physicians should be knowledgeable of the physiologic changes and possible health benefits of the relaxation response.
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About This Workshop 70-90% of all primary care visits in America are related to chronic stress and stress-related illnesses such as anxiety, depression, PTS, heart disease, headaches, GI disruptions, and more. In the next workshop of the Scientific Research series, Yoga Alliance Director of Research, Dr. Sat Bir Singh Khalsa is joined by Dr. John Denninger, Director of Research at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Universit […]
Journal of Human Stress
Human pupillary dilatation after topical instillation of phenylephrine was assessed in a prospective, randomized, controlled experiment to measure alterations in α-end-organ responsivity after regular elicitation of the relaxation response. Baseline pupillometric measurements were taken in both experimental and control subjects. The experimental subjects then practiced daily a technique that elicited the relaxation response while the control subjects sat quietly for comparable periods […]
Sleep latency changes following behavioral interventions for sleep-onset insomnia are only moderate because the majority of insomniacs do not achieve good sleeper status at posttreatment. This study evaluated the efficacy of a multifactor behavioral intervention consisting of stimulus control and relaxation-response training (n = 10) compared to stimulus control alone (n = 10) for sleep-onset insomnia. Only the multifactor subjects' mean posttest sleep latency fell within the good sle […]