Effects of relaxation training on glucose tolerance and diabetic control in type II diabetes

Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 1997 Sep;22(3):155-69. doi: 10.1023/a:1026259725197.


The present study examined the effects of progressive relaxation training and EMG biofeedback on acute glucose disposal in diabetic subjects, as measured by glucose tolerance and three other measures of diabetic metabolic control. Twenty subjects with non-insulin-using Type II diabetes took part in progressive relaxation training and EMG biofeedback in a pre-post treatment versus wait-list experimental design. Treatment effects were assessed on glucose tolerance along with three measures of diabetic control: fasting blood glucose, two-hour postprandial blood glucose, and fructosamine. Stress reduction and relaxation was assessed with two physiological measures and two subjective questionnaires. The training program produced significant reductions in stress, as measured by State Anxiety, and significant changes in physiological measures of muscle activity and skin conductance compared to the control condition. However, no changes were found in glucose tolerance (while practicing relaxation) nor in any of the three measures of general diabetic metabolic control. The major implication of this study is that relaxation training does not appear to directly improve diabetic control in mildly stressed non-insulin-using Type II diabetic patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Relaxation Therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires