What relaxation techniques can I use to help cope with my dystonia?

Regular relaxation can be extremely beneficial to general well-being, particularly for people coping with a chronic disorder such as dystonia. There are many different relaxation techniques. Here are some of the most common:
  • meditation and self-hypnosis
  • visualization
  • relaxation breathing
  • exercise and movement (for example, yoga, tai chi or qigong)
  • gentle massage
Mental health professionals with expertise in chronic illness, pain management, and stress reduction can help you identify the relaxation techniques that work best for you. You can find guided audio programs though the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation and at your local library or bookstore. There are programs available online. Health clubs and community recreation centers may have yoga or soft martial art courses geared toward stress reduction. Massage practitioners are becoming more and more common. However, be sure to thoroughly educate your relaxation practitioner on dystonia and how it affects you before your first massage.

Continue Learning about Dystonia


When your muscles contract involuntarily, the condition is called dystonia. Dystonia causes a twisting or clenching of whatever body part is affected. For example, when you have a stroke, the affected arm and hand may be clenched ...

and held in a strange position. Dystonia can be very mild or very severe. It can make your life very difficult and this can lead to frustration, depression or anxiety. See your doctor to treat your symptoms and talk over your frustrations.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.