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Relaxation Response

Abstract: The Relaxation Response was founded by Dr. Herbert Benson, a Harvard Medical School trained cardiologist. Dr. Benson’s research found that by changing thought patterns, subjects experienced decreases in their metabolism, rate of breathing and heart rate.


  1. Sit quietly in a comfortable position.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Deeply relax all your muscles, beginning at your feet and progressing up to your face. Keep them relaxed.
  4. Breathe through your nose. 
  5. Become aware of your breathing. 
  6. As you breathe out, say the word, "one"* silently to yourself. For example, breathe in ... out, "one"; breath in .. out, "one", etc. 
  7. Breathe easily and naturally.
  8. Continue for 10 to 20 minutes. 

You may open your eyes to check the time, but do not use an alarm. 
When you finish, sit quietly for several minutes, at first with your eyes closed and later with your eyes opened. Do not stand up for a few minutes.

Do not worry about whether you successful achieve a deep level of relaxation. 

Maintain a passive attitude and permit relaxation to occur at its own pace. When distracting thoughts occur, try to ignore them by not dwelling upon them and return to repeating "one."

With practice, the response should come with little effort. Practice the technique once or twice daily,  but not within 2 hours after any meal since the digestive processes may interfere with the elicitation of the Relaxation Response.

*or any soothing, mellifluous sound, preferably with no meaning or association to avoid stimulation of unnecessary thoughts.

Tags: Health & Wellness

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Relaxation Response

Abstract: The Relaxation Response was founded by Dr. Herbert Benson, a Harvard Medical School trained cardiologist. Dr. Benson’s research found that by changing thought patterns, subjects experienced decreases in their metabolism, rate of breathing and heart rate.


  1. Sit quietly in a comfortable position.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Deeply relax all your muscles, beginning at your feet and progressing up to your face. Keep them relaxed.
  4. Breathe through your nose. 
  5. Become aware of your breathing. 
  6. As you breathe out, say the word, "one"* silently to yourself. For example, breathe in ... out, "one"; breath in .. out, "one", etc. 
  7. Breathe easily and naturally.
  8. Continue for 10 to 20 minutes. 

You may open your eyes to check the time, but do not use an alarm. 
When you finish, sit quietly for several minutes, at first with your eyes closed and later with your eyes opened. Do not stand up for a few minutes.

Do not worry about whether you successful achieve a deep level of relaxation. 

Maintain a passive attitude and permit relaxation to occur at its own pace. When distracting thoughts occur, try to ignore them by not dwelling upon them and return to repeating "one."

With practice, the response should come with little effort. Practice the technique once or twice daily,  but not within 2 hours after any meal since the digestive processes may interfere with the elicitation of the Relaxation Response.

*or any soothing, mellifluous sound, preferably with no meaning or association to avoid stimulation of unnecessary thoughts.

Tags: Health & Wellness

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