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Relaxation Response FAQ

  1. Can the relaxation response "prevent" stress?
    We can't really avoid or prevent stress in our daily lives. Regular elicitation of the relaxation response can help us build greater resiliency when facing stress-related ups and downs.
  2. Do you recommend listening to CDs or just repeating a word or phrase to elicit the RR (relaxation response)?
    Every patient receives a relaxation CD at the beginning of their program and most initially use the CD to relax. Over time, they may become more comfortable with a self-directed technique. We teach a number of ways to elicit the RR so that you may find one that works best for you.
  3. Suppose I fall asleep during the RR?
    If you fall asleep while eliciting the relaxation response, it is not harmful, but you should continue your practice for 5-10 minutes after you wake to receive its benefits. If you fall asleep after, be sure to choose a sitting posture so you do not sleep for an extended period. (The RR is quite effective in helping people with sleep difficulties unwind so you may also plan to practice it right before bedtime.)
  4. What if I do not have 20 minutes a day to spare for the RR?
    Although we recommend eliciting the RR twice a day for 15-20 minutes, any time that you can devote to this practice will beneficial to you. If you can, finding some time before breakfast is optimal, as you can set a positive tone and a foundation of awareness for the rest of the day.

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