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October 1984

Treatment of Mild Hypertension With Progressive Muscle Relaxation: Predictive Value of Indexes of Sympathetic Tone

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Hypertension, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor. Dr Cottier is now with University Hospital, Medical School, Kanton Hospital, Basel, Switzerland.

Arch Intern Med. 1984;144(10):1954-1958. doi:10.1001/archinte.1984.04400010062011

• Effects of progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) and of attention control were Investigated In a prospective randomized trial of borderline or mild hypertensive patients. Both groups received placebo and had the same number of clinic return visits. After 22 weeks the average mean home BP In PMR decreased 3 mm Hg, whereas in controls BP increased 2 mm Hg. Progressive muscle relaxation had no significant effect on the clinic BP. The response to PMR was not uniform. Responders were characterized by faster heart rates and higher plasma norepinephrine levels. The responders also showed a decrease of anxiety scores during the trial. Progressive muscle relaxation Is a time-consuming procedure. Blood pressure responses do not substantially exceed the placebo effects in unselected patients. However, relaxation may be suitable for young, anxious patients with mild hypertension who have a high resting sympathetic tone.

(Arch Intern Med 1984;144:1954-1958)

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