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Relaxation Strategies

Description of the Strategy

The root word, lax, from the Latin, simply means “loose.” Thus, relaxation means “loosening,” “release,” or “abatement.” It implies a prior condition of tension, restraint, or rigidity, which then is diminished. In physiology, relaxation refers to inactivity in muscle fibers, resulting in reduced tonus and movement. All of these considerations are relevant for the technical use of the term within the behavioral therapies.

Clinically, relaxation refers to a condition of calmness, repose, or tranquility, both physical and psychological, which contrasts with states of tension, stress, or emotional upset, which are detrimental to an individual's functioning. Relaxation also refers to steps a person takes to achieve such equanimity.

A variety of relaxation-training methods have been developed, but there are some ...

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