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How quickly does a relaxation technique work?

William B. Salt II., MD
Gastroenterology

Some people think that with a relaxation technique they will immediately feel relaxed. Many people who elicit the relaxation response do feel immediate relaxation, but for some it takes several months of practice before they actually feel relaxed.

Remember, whether you "feel" it or not, invoking the relaxation response predictably lowers your blood pressure, decreases your oxygen consumption, relaxes your brain waves, lowers your respiratory rate and counteracts the harmful effects of the fight-or-flight response. Eliciting the relaxation response should be like brushing your teeth; don't do it because it feels good, do it because you know it is good for you. Don't expect some mind-altering euphoria, just know that when you sit and practice the technique, the benefits to your body, mind and spirit predictably occur.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the Mind-Body Brain-Gut Connection: 8 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functiona (The Mind-Body Connection Series)

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the Mind-Body Brain-Gut Connection: 8 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functiona (The Mind-Body Connection Series)

One in five people suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, or other functional bowel disorders. As a result, irritable bowel syndrome is the second leading cause of worker absenteeism. This...

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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.