Research: PAWLOW and JONES,

Listed in Issue 83


PAWLOW and JONES, Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Southern Mississippi, Southern Station Box 5309, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-5309, USA, E:, measured the impact of progressive muscle relaxation on salivary cortisol.


The purpose of the study was to examine whether acute relaxation training, conducted on two separate occasions, would be associated with reliable reductions in subjective and physiological indices of stress.


46 subjects were led through an abbreviated progressive relaxation training (APRT) during two sessions spaced one week apart. 15 control subjects were asked to sit quietly in the laboratory for an equal length of time. Heart rate, state anxiety, perceived stress, and salivary cortisol were measured pre and post treatment.


Subjects in the experimental group had significantly lower heart rate, state anxiety, perceived stress and salivary cortisol than control subjects. They reported higher levels of relaxation.


The results of this study may have implications for the use of relaxation training in enhancing immune function.


Pawlow LA, Jones GE. The impact of abbreviated progressive muscle relaxation on salivary cortisol. Biological Psychology 60 (1): 1-16, 2002.

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