Mind-body medicine: a model of the comparative clinical impact of the acute stress and relaxation responses

Minn Med. 2009 May;92(5):47-50.


Although the physiological and biochemical changes that occur during the acute stress response have been well-characterized, the contrasting changes that underlie the relaxation response evoked by various mind-body techniques are less understood. To help guide future mind-body research, we present a conceptual model that integrates patterns of change at the physiological and molecular levels. In addition, we point to future research opportunities and discuss how repeated elicitation of these responses could influence the health of patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arousal / physiology*
  • Complementary Therapies*
  • Humans
  • Integrative Medicine*
  • Mind-Body Relations, Metaphysical*
  • Nitric Oxide / physiology
  • Psychophysiology
  • Relaxation Therapy*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology*


  • Nitric Oxide