Research: JACOBS, Harvard Medica

Listed in Issue 82


JACOBS, Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA,, reviewed (30 references) evidence for the benefits and cost-effectiveness of mind-body therapies (incorporating the ‘relaxation response’ and/or cognitive therapy), particularly in relation to stress-related conditions.


Over the last 20 years, several valid scientific studies have been conducted demonstrating that the relaxation response and mind-body therapies are beneficial in alleviating many stress-related conditions and conditions that are exacerbated by stress. Furthermore, in recent years it has emerged that mind-body therapies can improve the outlook for patients with coronary heart disease and can bolster the immune system. The mechanism of action is thought to include reduction of sympathetic nervous system activity and enhancement of the parasympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system. The overall effect of this is to restore the natural homeostatic balance of the body. Studies have also shown that cognitive therapy may be as effective if not more so than pharmacological interventions for treating clinical depression.





Jacobs GD. Clinical applications of the relaxation response and mind-body interventions. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 7 (Suppl 1): S93-S101. 2001.

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