6. Relaxation Therapy
When the fight-or-flight response is evoked, it brings into play the sympathetic nervous system, which is part of the autonomic, or involuntary nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system acts by secreting specific hormones: adrenalin or epinephrine and noradrenalin or norepinephrine. These hormones, epinephrine and its related substances, bring about the physiologic changes of increased blood pressure, heart, rate, and body metabolism.
Dr. Herbert Benson (The Relaxation Response, New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1975) says:
“While the fight-or-flight response is associated with the overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system, there is another response that leads to a quieting of the same nervous system, indeed, there is evidence that hypertensive subjects can lower their blood pressure by regularly eliciting this other response. This is the Relaxation Response, an opposite, involuntary response that causes a reduction in the activity of the sympathetic nervous system. Since we cannot easily change the nature of modern life, perhaps better prevention and therapy for hyoerten:ior and other creases related to the fight-or-flight response might be achieved by actively bringing forth the Relaxation Response.”
It is true that stress does affect our health and we should learn to deal with this problem. It is also true that we need rest and relaxation on a daily basis. But this aspect alone will not produce health. All the other requirements for health must also be present in one package of totally healthful living. There are no “cures” in the Relaxation Response. If blood pressure is lowered, or metabolism is lowered through this method, this does not indicate that total health has been achieved. One or two symptoms of ill health may have temporarily disappeared, but that is all.
It has been claimed that people have been “cured” from such symptoms as facial pain after a single session of this therapy. Do not be fooled by this illusion. Ill health is developed after a period of time and the body needs time to heal. It cannot accomplish this task in a few minutes or a few days, it takes time. But when the proper conditions are provided (e.g., through a fast), the body will restore health.
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Herbal “Cures”
- 3. Acupuncture
- 4. Megavitamins
- 5. Reflexology (Zone Therapy)
- 6. Relaxation Therapy
- 7. Ultrasound Therapy
- 8. Radiation Therapy
- 9. Laetrile
- 10. Spurious Products Sold Through The Mail
- 11. High-Fiber Diets
- 12. Fructose Diet Cure
- 13. Bland Diet For Peptic Ulcer Patients
- 14. DMSO
- 15. Mineral Water Therapy
- 16. Bee Products
- 17. Macrobiotic Diet Cure
- 18. Questions & Answers