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Relaxation & Pain Management: The Relaxation Response Can Play a Role in Managing Chronic and Acute Pain

This article reviews the physiology, scientific evidence and appropriate use of nonpharmacologic methods of pain management, including relaxation. Relaxation techniques include a wide range of practices such as breathing exercises, yogic stretching, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, prayer, Tai Chi and more. The various approaches to relaxation are described, and sample techniques and case studies are given illustrating its usefulness in pain management: strengthening coping skills, giving patients a sense of control, decreasing fatigue, promoting sleep and reducing the emotional components of pain. Schaffer SD and Yucha CB. AJN, American Journal of Nursing. 104(8):75-6, 78-9, 81-2, 2004 Aug.



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