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:
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.
Home > Lesson 65 - There Are No Cures
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