A comparison of two relaxation procedures for reducing cognitive and somatic anxiety

J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 1983 Sep;14(3):209-14. doi: 10.1016/0005-7916(83)90050-2.


The effectiveness of two different relaxation procedures was compared in treating snake anxious people who expressed anxiety primarily in a somatic or a cognitive manner. Forty moderately snake phobic subjects were categorized as either "somatically-anxious" or "cognitively-anxious" on the basis of a questionnaire. Half of the subjects in each group were given modified progressive relaxation training, and the other half received training in Agni-Yoga for four sessions. After completion of training, approach distance, subjective fear and pulse rates were measured during a snake approach test. In addition, a snake fear scale was given to each subject prior to and after approaching the snake. The results provided tentative evidence that the two relaxation procedures produced differential effects according to whether subjects expressed anxiety somatically or cognitively.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Cognition
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Relaxation Therapy*
  • Snakes
  • Yoga*