Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 375–387 | Cite as

The Impact of Abbreviated Progressive Muscle Relaxation on Salivary Cortisol and Salivary Immunoglobulin A (sIgA)

  • Laura A. PawlowEmail author
  • Gary E. Jones


This study examined the acute effects of relaxation training on salivary cortisol and salivary immunoglobulin A (sIgA). Members of age- and gender-matched undergraduate student pairs were randomly assigned to an experimental or control group. Forty-one experimental subjects were led through Abbreviated Progressive Relaxation Training (APRT) during a 1-h laboratory session; 14 control subjects merely sat quietly in the laboratory for an equal amount of time. All subjects provided pre- and post-intervention saliva samples and self-report data on state anxiety, perceived stress, and relaxation levels. Heart rate was also monitored immediately before and after APRT or quiet sitting. Results indicated that a brief relaxation exercise led to experimental subjects having significantly lower levels of post-intervention salivary cortisol (p = .036) and significantly higher levels of post-intervention sIgA concentration (p < .001) and secretion rate (p < .001) than control subjects. The data suggest that relaxation training may play a role in immunoenhancement.


relaxation training salivary cortisol salivary immunoglobulin A heart rate state anxiety 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Southern Illinois University EdwardsvilleEdwardsville
  2. 2.Louisiana State UniversityShreveport
  3. 3.Department of PsychologySouthern Illinois University EdwardsvilleEdwardsville

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