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February 12, 1973

Method of Relaxation

Author Affiliations

University of California Davis, Calif

JAMA. 1973;223(7):801-802. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220070055028

To the Editor.—  We have developed a simple, effective, meditation-like relaxation method that may be taught within a few minutes and is helpful in the management of insomnia, moderate anxiety states, and relief of moderate pain. In essence, the method utilizes self-directed awareness that facilitates development of a pleasantly relaxing and easily maintained state similar to meditation. The method consists of three steps: (1) muscular relaxation and passive breathing; (2) allowing the mind to drift in the direction of a very pleasant and restful memory; (3) presenting the memory to the mind in a manner that effortlessly focuses attention on the memory.The instructions for the three steps are approximately as follows: The patient sits in a comfortable position with both feet on the floor and with eyes closed. He is instructed to allow his breathing to become very relaxed and natural, and to simply allow the air to flow