The Relaxation Response

The relaxation response was defined by Herbert Benson, MD, in 1974 when he realized that there was an opposite state to the stress response: the “fight-or-flight” response that stems from our sympathetic nervous system (the accelerator). The relaxation response is a state of deep relaxation: the “rest and digest” of the parasympathetic nervous system (the brake) that alters the short and long term physical and emotional responses to stress (e.g., decreases in heart rate, blood pressure, rate and quality of breathing, and muscle tension). Methods to promote the relaxation response include meditation, mindfulness, breathing practices and yoga. Start your journey to relaxation and wellness today!

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