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Simple steps to elicit the relaxation response.

1 Sit quietly in a comfortable position, eyes closed.

2 Deeply relax all your muscles, beginning at your feet and progressing up to your face. Keep them relaxed.

3 Breathe through your nose. Become aware of your breathing. As you breathe out, say the word "one" silently to yourself. For example, breathe in ... out, "one," in ... out, "one," etc. Breathe easily and naturally.

4 Continue for 10 to 20 minutes. You may open your eyes to check the time, but do not use an alarm. When you finish, sit quietly for several minutes, with your eyes closed. Do not stand up for a few minutes.

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Practice the technique once or twice daily, but not within two hours after meals, since the digestive processes seem to interfere with the elicitation of the Relaxation Response. If distracting thoughts occur, avoid dwelling on them, and return to repeating "one."

* Reprinted from The Relaxation Response, by Herbert Benson, MD (available via www.amazon.com).

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Title Annotation:MENTAL WELL BEING
Publication:Focus on Healthy Aging
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Jul 1, 2012
Words:162
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