Neuromuscular Relaxation

  • George S. EverlyJr.
  • Jeffrey M. Lating


Chapter 9 presented a neurophysiological rationale for the use of relaxation response in the treatment of stress-related disorders. In developing that rationale, we reviewed the research efforts of Gellhorn (1958a, b, 1964b, 1967), Weil (1974), and Malmo (1975). A reader of these respective literatures is likely to be impressed by the convergence these independent authors reached regarding the critically central role that the neuromuscular system plays in the determination of emotional and stress-related manifestations. Yet it was Gellhorn (1958a, b, 1964b) who, through a series of well-designed experiments, demonstrated that the nuclear origin of the SNS, the posterior hypothalamus, is dramatically affected by neuromuscular proprioceptive feedback from the skeletal musculature. Such findings led him (1964b) to conclude “that states of abnormal emotional tension are alleviated in various “relaxation” therapies which impinge on the posterior hypothalamus” (p. 457). This chapter explores the clinical corollary of this notion.


Muscle Group Muscle Tension Relaxation Response Posterior Hypothalamus Muscular Tension 
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We would like to thank David Essien and Andrea N. Everly for their artistic contributions to this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • George S. EverlyJr.
    • 1
  • Jeffrey M. Lating
    • 2
  1. 1.School of MedicineThe Johns Hopkins UniversitySeverna ParkUSA
  2. 2.Loyola University MaylandBaltimoreUSA

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