Systematic methodologies for eliciting a relaxed state date back to ancient times, and relaxation techniques have been incorporated into treatments for communication disorders since at least the 19th century. Relaxation therapies, which fall under the broad rubric of complementary and alternative medicine, may reduce physical tension, calm the mind to reduce mental stress, and enhance the quality of life for individuals with communication disorders and their caregivers. This entry discusses somatic and cognitive approaches in relaxation therapy, applications for cognitive and communicative disorders, efficacy, and future directions for research.


Relaxation therapies may be subdivided into somatic (or physiological) and cognitive (or psychological) approaches. There is, however, considerable overlap among techniques. Some practitioners adopt a more holistic approach whereby relaxation therapies are viewed along a continuum from ...

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