Stress and Relaxation Techniques: What the Science Says

Anxiety

Studies have shown relaxation techniques may produce modest, short-term reduction of anxiety in people with ongoing health problems such as heart disease or inflammatory bowel disease, and in those who are having medical procedures such as breast biopsies or dental treatment. Relaxation techniques have also been shown to be useful for older adults with anxiety. In people with generalized anxiety disorder, studies indicate that cognitive-behavioral therapy is more effective over the long term than relaxation techniques.

The Evidence Base

Efficacy

Depression

Studies suggest that relaxation techniques may have modest benefit on symptoms of depression but are not as effective as psychological treatment, such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

The Evidence Base

Efficacy

Fibromyalgia

In general, research on complementary health approaches for fibromyalgia must be regarded as preliminary. Studies of guided imagery for fibromyalgia have had inconsistent results, while studies of other relaxation techniques have shown modest improvements in pain, but only in the short term.

The Evidence Base

Efficacy

Headache

Results of research on relaxation training and biofeedback for headaches suggest that these approaches may help relieve headaches and may be helpful for migraines.

The Evidence Base

Efficacy

High Blood Pressure

Relaxation techniques have shown modest, short-term reductions in blood pressure; however, many of these studies were of poor quality.

The Evidence Base

Efficacy

Insomnia

Evidence suggests that using relaxation techniques before bedtime can be helpful components of a successful strategy to improve sleep habits. Other components include maintaining a consistent sleep schedule; avoiding caffeine, alcohol, heavy meals, and strenuous exercise too close to bedtime; and sleeping in a quiet, cool, dark room.

The Evidence Base

Efficacy

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Although no complementary health approach has definitively been shown to be helpful for irritable bowel syndrome, some studies on hypnotherapy have been promising.

The Evidence Base

Efficacy

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Relaxation techniques may provide some benefit on symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, including sleep disturbance, anger, pain, and hyper-arousal.

The Evidence Base

Efficacy

Safety and Side Effects

refrence.https://nccih.nih.gov/health/providers/digest/relaxation-science

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close