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Relaxation therapy

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Relaxation therapy is a form of treatment intended to improve one's health condition by using techniques that can reduce physiological or psychological stress.[1]

Some relaxation techniques focus on specific muscles or muscle groups. By relaxing a muscle, one may be able to reduce a painful spasm, or minimize the discomfort of mild trauma to the muscle, as caused by an injection or a form of manipulation therapy.


As part of a multimodal intervention, relaxation therapy can help treat generalized anxiety among older adults.[2]

Progressive muscle relaxation can reduce anxiety and distress among patients with schizophrenia.[3]

Progressive muscle relaxation is not as effective as cognitive-behavioral therapy for chronic insomnia.[4]


  1. National Library of Medicine, Medical Subject Headings
  2. Stanley MA, Wilson NL, Novy DM, et al. (April 2009). "Cognitive behavior therapy for generalized anxiety disorder among older adults in primary care: a randomized clinical trial". JAMA 301 (14): 1460–7. DOI:10.1001/jama.2009.458. PMID 19351943. Research Blogging.
  3. Vancampfort D, Correll CU, Scheewe TW, Probst M, De Herdt A, Knapen J et al. (2012). "Progressive muscle relaxation in persons with schizophrenia: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.". Clin Rehabil. DOI:10.1177/0269215512455531. PMID 22843353. Research Blogging.
  4. Edinger JD, Wohlgemuth WK, Radtke RA, Marsh GR, Quillian RE (2001). "Cognitive behavioral therapy for treatment of chronic primary insomnia: a randomized controlled trial.". JAMA 285 (14): 1856-64. PMID 11308399[e]