ERIC Number: ED283095
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Sep
Reference Count: 0
A Comparison of Relaxation Strategies.
Matthews, Doris B.
Some researchers argue that all relaxation techniques produce a single relaxation response while others support a specific-effects hypothesis which suggests that progressive relaxation affects the musculoskeletal system and that guided imagery affects cognitive changes. Autogenics is considered a technique which is both somatic and cognitive. This study was conducted to measure physiological and cognitive attributes of four techniques: progressive relaxation, autogenics, guided imagery, and a neutral stimulus. Physiological measures examined were frequency of brain waves, muscle tension, and peripheral temperature which were measured during, and at the conclusion of, each relaxation exercise or neutral stimulus. Immediately following each technique, subjects answered questions measuring short-term memory. Four tests of recall used were auditory forward and auditory backward digit span, and recollection of lists of nonsense syllables and familiar nouns. Subjects were 40 students in grades six, seven, and eight. Even though subjects came to the observation session in a surprisingly relaxed state, relaxation exercises increased peripheral temperature; however, the other physiological measures and the four tests of recall did not respond to the relaxation exercises. The three types of treatment failed to produce difference levels of either physiological measures or test performance. Practice had some effects on subjects. Muscle tension and both auditory forward and backward digit span revealed an association with the order of observations. A 44-item reference list, two appendices and 29 tables are included. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Cooperative State Research Service (USDA), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: South Carolina State Coll., Orangeburg.