Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Relaxation Training

  • Daniel L. SegalEmail author
  • Leilani Feliciano
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_425


Relaxation training refers to a diverse group of strategies designed to help people voluntarily release tension and relax the mind and body. Through such techniques as deep breathing, biofeedback, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization, people learn to control fear and anxiety and to improve stress and pain management.

Current Knowledge

Relaxation training was originally created in the early 1930s by Edmund Jacobson as a means to decrease nervous system arousal and promote well-being. Deep breathing is the foundation for all relaxation techniques and involves the act of breathing deeply into the lungs by flexing the diaphragm rather than breathing shallowly by flexing the rib cage. Deep breathing is crucial to these skills because controlling breath intake can prevent a person from breathing too rapidly and shallowly, thus avoiding hyperventilation. Biofeedback is a technique that uses electrodes and other monitoring instruments to measure and relay information...

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References and Readings

  1. Chung, W., Poppen, R., & Lundervold, D. A. (1995). Behavioural relaxation training for tremor disorders in older adults. Biofeedback and Self-Regulation, 20, 123–135.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
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  3. Luebbert, A., Dahme, B., & Hasenbring, M. (2001). The effectiveness of relaxation training in reducing treatment-related symptoms and improving emotional adjustment in acute non-surgical cancer treatment: A meta-analytical review. Psycho-Oncology, 10, 490–502.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
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  6. Suhr, J., Anderson, S., & Tranel, D. (1999). Progressive muscle relaxation in the management of behavioural disturbance in Alzheimer’s disease. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 3, 31–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Colorado at Colorado SpringsColorado SpringsUSA