The relaxation response as health benefit

Written by: Dra. Carolina Franceschi Emperador
Published: | Updated: 14/11/2018
Edited by: Noelia Pino García

Around the holidays is a very good to assess the usefulness of relaxation time; this is something that is not only important for people who suffer pain, but it is very necessary for everyone in our generally stressful, everyday life.


The relaxation response is a concept described in the 70s as an intervention body - mind that compensates the physiological effects caused by stress. It can be understood as a physical state of deep calm, completely opposite of the stress response. Their studies indicate that we have instructions to cause the reflection of tranquility and also have the ability to train ourselves to achieve it, being a natural response of the body.

Rest after a tiring day on the couch, reading a book, listening to music or sleeping, does not imply that start the relaxation response; This activity can help but not eliminate completely the activation produced by stress. Not the same make relaxing activities that trigger the relaxation response. training and practice to enable is required because it is not automatic.

Practice this exercise is very beneficial for people who have chronic pain, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, fatigue, autoimmune diseases, diseases headache or stress, among others.

Regular practice of techniques that trigger the relaxation response hinders the sympathetic nervous system is altered when we interpret a situation that puts us on alert or by external factors. As a result, a decrease in blood pressure, heart rate and breathing and by keeping our body with less activation occurs, the risk of contracting diseases psychophysiological and psychological type is decreased. In addition, you can increase the capacity to cope difficult situations of daily life.

A variety of approaches cause the relaxation response, among which can be highlighted: various forms of meditation (such as mindfulness or mindfulness), progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback , breathing exercises, guided imagery, hypnosis, visualization .


How the relaxation response is activated?

Specialists in psychology propose a simple technique to activate the relaxation response:

  • Adopt a comfortable position in a quiet place and close your eyes or your eyes on a fixed point.
  • Concentrate on your breathing (making sure to inspire abultas your abdomen). You imagine you have a balloon in the abdomen, when breathing is filled with air and exhale deflating. Breathe quiet, gentle way.
  • gradually decreases the tension of your body, from head to toe.
  • Focus your mind in repeating a short phrase or word every time you breathe out (you can count "one" to inspire and "two" to exhale, or if you prefer, a word to comfort you as "relax" or "peace"). Keep that word, do not change.
  • When your thoughts or distract you pain, gradually redirects your mind to the phrase or word to focus.
  • When finished, open your eyes and change position to get up slowly.
  • Practice daily between 5 and 20 minutes. Becomes conscious breathing exercises a part of your daily routine. And in difficult or unpleasant moments, to concentrate on breathing, the challenges may be further relaxed.

There are routine life situations constantly activated and if we do not have means to address them adequately, the tension will remain and may cause injury to our body.

Start your training and perseverance can achieve the benefits progressively representing the activation of the relaxation response.


Edited by Noelia García Pino

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dra. Carolina Franceschi Emperador

. Dr. Franceschi Emperor is part of the prestigious Institute Aliaga. - Pain Clinic Teknon With over 30 years of experience is a reference in psychological therapy focused on pain and Biofeedback techniques, which have specific training.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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