The Relaxation Response
It's a quite simple technique and doesn't involve all the religious mumbo jumbo.
The following is an extract from 'Ways of Health - Edited by David Sobel - Holistic Approaches to Ancient and Contemporary Medicine.'
Eliciting The Relaxation Response.
Using these four basic elements, one can evoke the response by following the simple, mental, noncultic procedure that subjects have used in my laboratory:
_ In a quiet environment, sit in a comfortable position.
_ Close your eyes.
_Deeply relax all your muscles, beginning at your feet and progressing up to your face-feet, calves, thighs, lower torso, chest, shoulders, neck, head. Allow them to remain deeply relaxed.
_Breathe through your nose. Become aware of your breathing. As you breathe out, say the word "one" silently to yourself. Thus: breathe in . . . breathe out, with 2one2. In . . . out, with "one" . . .
Continue this practice for 20 minutes, you may open your eyes to check the time, but do not use an alarm. When you finish, sit quietly for several minutes, at first with your eyes closed and later with your eyes open.
Remember not to worry about whether you are successful in achieving a deep level of relaxation_maintain a passive attitude and permit relaxation to occur at it's own pace. When distracting thoughts occur, ignore them and continue to repeat "one" as you breathe. The technique should be practiced once or twice daily, and not within two hours after any meal, since the digestive processes seem to interfere with the elicitation of the expected response.
With practice, the response should come with little effort. Investigations have shown that only a small percentage of people do not experience the expected physiologic changes.