An estimated 5% of the United States population a is afflicted by chronic anxiety–a persistent or recurrent state of dread or apprehension accompanied by signs of physiological arousal such as palpitations, tremulousness, tachycardia, and dizziness. This painful and disabling state commonly persists for decades.1 Insight-oriented psychotherapy2.3 and behavioral therapy4.5 fail to give satisfactory symptomatic relief in approximately one half the cases. The minor tranquilizers constitute the most popular treatment of chronic anxiety. The results of studies of the effectiveness of these agents are contradictory and inconclusive.6-8 Moreover, even our safest and most effective antianxiety agents expose the patient to some risk from unwanted side effects, such as impaired driving proficiency9,10 and long-term use of these agents for decades may lead to unexpected complications.
Raskin M, Johnson G, Rondestvedt JW. Chronic Anxiety Treated by Feedback-Induced Muscle Relaxation: A Pilot Study. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1973;28(2):263–267. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1973.01750320091014
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