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Relaxation therapy is a behavioral therapy used to relieve psychological stress and fatigue. It can be guided by a therapist or trainer or practiced alone.

Stress might increase nervous system activity, which could have a negative effect on certain conditions. Relaxation therapy might decrease nervous system activity, slow heart rate, lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, and improve mood in people with certain conditions.

People use relaxation therapy for stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression, chest pain, headache, fibromyalgia, and many other purposes, but there is no good scientific evidence to support many of these uses.

Don't confuse relaxation therapy with guided imagery, mantra meditation, mindfulness, tai chi, or yoga. These are not the same.

NatMed Pro rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
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  • Angina.  Practicing relaxation therapy may modestly improve angina frequency and exercise tolerance in patients with angina.
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  • Anxiety.  Practicing relaxation therapy may modestly improve anxiety in patients with anxiety, although it might be less effective than cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or meditation.
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  • Depression.  Practicing relaxation therapy may modestly improve symptoms of depression in patients with depression, although it might be less effective than cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
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  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).  Practicing relaxation therapy may be as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for improving symptoms of anxiety in patients with GAD.
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  • Hypertension.  Practicing relaxation therapy may modestly reduce blood pressure in patients with hypertension.
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Relaxation therapy is likely safe. There are no known safety concerns.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy: Relaxation therapy is likely safe to use while pregnant. There are no known safety concerns.

Breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if relaxation therapy is safe to use when breast-feeding. But there's no reason to expect safety concerns.

It is not known if this treatment interacts with any medicines. Before using this treatment, talk with your health professional if you take any medications.

There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

There are no known interactions with foods.

Relaxation therapy uses a variety of methods to achieve relaxation, including imagery, breathing exercises, focused muscle tensing and relaxing, and others. It's often combined with other practices, including guided imagery and biofeedback. It can be practiced alone or with a therapist or trainer. Talk to your physician or other healthcare professional to learn more about how relaxation therapy is used for specific conditions.

Abbreviated Muscle Relaxation Therapy, Applied Relaxation, Relaxation Appliquée, Relaxation Training, Relaxation Treatment, RT, Terapia de Relajación, Therapeutic Relaxation, Thérapie de Relaxation, Traitement de Relaxation.

Information on this website is for informational use only and is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. While evidence-based, it is not guaranteed to be error-free and is not intended to meet any particular user’s needs or requirements or to cover all possible uses, safety concerns, interactions, outcomes, or adverse effects. Always check with your doctor or other medical professional before making healthcare decisions (including taking any medication) and do not delay or disregard seeking medical advice or treatment based on any information displayed on this website.

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