Relaxation International
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The Relaxation Response at the Bedisde of the Dying Person


Relaxation techniques help the mind and body relax. A slow, deep relaxing breath, inhaling and slowly exhaling, reduces stress. Dr. Herbert Benson called this physiological response the Relaxation Response. 


Conscious breaths elicit the Relaxation



Slowly, take a breath in, and exhale twice as long. Relax and repeat. Relaxing breaths calms strong emotions and balances scattered thoughts. At the bedside of the dying person, relaxing breaths control mental distractions and communicates a compassionate heart-centered, calming presence.



Relaxing Breaths


-Inhale and exhale slowly.

-Give yourself permission to relax.

-Passively observe distracting thoughts and strong emotions.

-Continue with relaxing breaths inhaling and slowly exhaling.

-Observe mind/body relaxation.


Calming communication


The majority of communication is expressed through body language; facial expression, movement and tone of voice. Sitting at the bedside, taking relaxing breaths, listening with interest empathy and compassion elicits the Relaxation Response. This calming process creates a  tranquil environment supporting the ending process for the patient, family members, and hospice healthcare workers.