A muscle relaxation technique reduces salivary levels of cortisol. - GreenMedInfo Summary
The impact of abbreviated progressive muscle relaxation on salivary cortisol and salivary immunoglobulin A (sIgA).
Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2005 Dec;30(4):375-87. PMID: 16385425
This study examined the acute effects of relaxation training on salivary cortisol and salivary immunoglobulin A (sIgA). Members of age- and gender-matched undergraduate student pairs were randomly assigned to an experimental or control group. Forty-one experimental subjects were led through Abbreviated Progressive Relaxation Training (APRT) during a 1-h laboratory session; 14 control subjects merely sat quietly in the laboratory for an equal amount of time. All subjects provided pre- and post-intervention saliva samples and self-report data on state anxiety, perceived stress, and relaxation levels. Heart rate was also monitored immediately before and after APRT or quiet sitting. Results indicated that a brief relaxation exercise led to experimental subjects having significantly lower levels of post-intervention salivary cortisol (p = .036) and significantly higher levels of post-intervention sIgA concentration (p<.001) and secretion rate (p<.001) than control subjects. The data suggest that relaxation training may play a role in immunoenhancement.