Article

Relaxation: Molecular and physiological significance

Neuroscience Research Institute, State University of New York College at Old Westbury, Old Westbury, NY 11568, USA.
Medical science monitor: international medical journal of experimental and clinical research (Impact Factor: 1.43). 10/2006; 12(9):HY21-31.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

There appears to be a molecular process for relaxation. Given this, we attempt to demonstrate this phenomenon based on established molecular and physiological processes in light of our current understanding of central and peripheral nervous system mechanisms. Central to our hypothesis is the significance of norepinephrine, nitric oxide, dopamine and morphine signaling both in the central and peripheral nervous system. We find that nitric oxide and morphine control catecholamine processes on many levels, including synthesis, release and actions. We conclude that enough scientific information exists to support these phenotmena as actual physical processes that can be harnessed to provide better patient care.

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    • "of deactivation starting a wide variety of recovery processes by reduced cognitive, muscular, and cardiovascular activity [18] [19] [20] [21]. Specifically, within laboratory settings, there are many well-documented recovery effects of relaxation and PMR on the neurobiological, cardiovascular, neuromuscular, electrodermal, autonomous, and central nervous processes. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to elucidate the immediate, intermediate, and anticipatory sleepiness reducing effects of a salutogenic self-care procedure called progressive muscle relaxation (PMR), during lunch breaks. The second exploratory aim deals with determining the onset and long-term time course of sleepiness changes. In order to evaluate the intraday range and interday change of the proposed relaxation effects, 14 call center agents were assigned to either a daily 20-minute self-administered PMR or a small talk (ST) group during a period of seven months. Participants’ levels of sleepiness were analyzed in a controlled trial using anticipatory, postlunchtime, and afternoon changes of sleepiness as indicated by continuously determined objective reaction time measures (16,464 measurements) and self-reports administered five times per day, once per month (490 measurements). Results indicate that, in comparison to ST, the PMR break (a) induces immediate, intermediate, and anticipatory reductions in sleepiness; (b) these significant effects remarkably show up after one month, and sleepiness continues to decrease for at least another five months. Although further research is required referring to the specific responsible mediating variables, our results suggest that relaxation based lunch breaks are both accepted by employees and provide a sustainable impact on sleepiness.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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    • "of deactivation starting a wide variety of recovery processes by reduced cognitive, muscular, and cardiovascular activity [18] [19] [20] [21]. Specifically, within laboratory settings, there are many well-documented recovery effects of relaxation and PMR on the neurobiological, cardiovascular, neuromuscular, electrodermal, autonomous, and central nervous processes. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to elucidate the immediate, intermediate, and anticipatory sleepiness reducing effects of a salutogenic self-care procedure called progressive muscle relaxation (PMR), during lunch breaks. The second exploratory aim deals with determining the onset and long-term time course of sleepiness changes. In order to evaluate the intraday range and interday change of the proposed relaxation effects, 14 call center agents were assigned to either a daily 20-minute self-administered PMR or a small talk (ST) group during a period of seven months. Participants' levels of sleepiness were analyzed in a controlled trial using anticipatory, postlunchtime, and afternoon changes of sleepiness as indicated by continuously determined objective reaction time measures (16,464 measurements) and self-reports administered five times per day, once per month (490 measurements). Results indicate that, in comparison to ST, the PMR break (a) induces immediate, intermediate, and anticipatory reductions in sleepiness; (b) these significant effects remarkably show up after one month, and sleepiness continues to decrease for at least another five months. Although further research is required referring to the specific responsible mediating variables, our results suggest that relaxation based lunch breaks are both accepted by employees and provide a sustainable impact on sleepiness.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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    • "Additionally, high levels of oxytocin receptor activity have been demonstrated in the nucleus accumbens of prairie voles [99], which is “equipped” with intense dopamine signaling (see above). Given the link between dopamine and endogenous morphine via common precursors, we surmise morphine’s involvement here as well [85–87,92,100,101]. Also, in the mammalian brainstem, e.g., raphe area, where we find serotoninergic target neurons, a substantial oxytocin and morphine signaling and their mutual influence is evident [14,82,100]. "
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