Research: GHONCHEH and SMITH,

Listed in Issue 108


GHONCHEH and SMITH, Roosevelt University Stress Institute, Chicago, IL 60605, USA, have studied progressive muscle relaxation, yoga stretching, and ABC relaxation theory.


The aim of this study was to compare the psychological effects of progressive muscle relaxation and Hatha yoga exercises.


40 participants were randomly divided into two groups and taught progressive muscle relaxation or yoga stretching exercises. Both groups practised once a week for five weeks and were given the Smith Relaxation States Inventory before and after each session.


Practitioners of muscle relaxation or yoga displayed higher levels of relaxation states (R-States), physical relaxation and disengagement at Week 4, and higher levels of mental quiet and joy at Week 5. No differences were found between th e groups in levels of R-States. Clinical and research implications are discussed.


These results suggest the value of supplementing traditional somatic conceptualizations of relaxation with the psychological approach embodied in ABC relaxation theory.


Ghoncheh S, Smith JC. Progressive muscle relaxation, yoga stretching, and ABC relaxation theory. Journal of Clinical Psychology 60(1): 131-136, Jan 2004

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