Publications and Scientific Research
on the Relaxation Response and Meditation

Herbert Benson, M.D.
Harvard Medical School

Dr. Benson has been a pioneer in studying the
physiological changes during meditation
techniques since 1968 as a professor at Harvard
helping them become acceptable topics of study.

Dr. Benson and Dr. Robert K. Wallace published first study,
"A wakeful hypometabolic physiologic state"
in the American Journal of Physiology, 1971

Dr. Benson's Published Scientific Research Articles
Over 200, according to Wikipedia
Example: 1974 Lancet  Decreased blood-pressure in pharmacologically treated hypertensive patients who regularly elicited the relaxation response. (PDF)

See complete list at

  1. Wallace RK, Benson H, Wilson AF. A wakeful hypometabolic physiologic state. Am J Physiol 1971;221:795-9.
  2. Benson H, Malvea BP, Graham JR. Physiologic correlates of meditation and their clinical effects in headache: An ongoing investigation. Headache 1973;13:23-24.
  3. Benson H, Beary JF, Carol MP. The relaxation response. Psychiatry 1974;37:37-46.
  4. Benson H. Decreased alcohol intake associated with the practice of meditation: A retrospective investigation. Ann N Y Acad Sci April 15, 1974;233:174-7.
  5. Benson H, Rosner BA, Marzetta BR, Klemchuk HM. Decreased blood pressure in pharmacologically treated hypertensive patients who regularly elicited the relaxation response. Lancet 1974;i:289-91.
  6. Beary JF, Benson H. A simple psychophysiologic technique which elicits the hypometabolic changes of the relaxation response. Psychosomatic Med 1974;36:115-20.
  7. Benson H, Klemchuk HP, Graham JR. The usefulness of the relaxation response in the therapy of headache. Headache 1974;14:49-52.
  8. Benson H, Rosner BA, Marzetta BR, Klemchuk H. Decreased blood pressure in borderline hypertensive subjects who practiced meditation. J Chronic Dis (now Journal of Clinical Epidemiology) 1974;27:163-9.
  9. Benson H, Steinert RF, Greenwood MM, Klemchuk HM, Peterson NH. Continuous measurement of O2 consumption and CO2 elimination during a wakeful hypometabolic state. J Human Stress 1975;1:37-44.
  10. Benson H, Alexander S, Feldman CL. Decreased premature ventricular contractions through the use of the relaxation response in patients with stable ischemic heart disease. Lancet 1975;ii:380-2.
  11. Benson H, Greenwood MM, Klemchuk H. The relaxation response: Psychophysiologic aspects and clinical applications. Psychiatry Med 1975;6:87-98.
  12. Greenwood MM, Benson H. The efficacy of progressive relaxation in systematic desensitization and a proposal for an alternative competitive response - the relaxation response. Behav Res Ther (Behaviour research and therapy) 1977;15:337-43.
  13. Peters RK, Benson H, Porter D. Daily relaxation response breaks in a working population: 1. Health, performance and well-being. Am J Public Health 1977;67:946-53.
  14. Peters RK, Benson H, Peters JM. Daily relaxation response breaks in a working population: 2. Blood pressure. Am J Public Health 1977;67:954-9.
  15. Benson H, Dryer T, Hartley LH. Decreased oxygen consumption during exercise with elicitation of the relaxation response. J Human Stress 1978;4:38-42.
  16. Benson H, Frankel FH, Apfel R, Daniels MD, Schniewind HE, Nemiah JC, Sifneos PE, Crassweller KD, Greenwood MM, Kotch JB, Arns PA, Rosner B. Treatment of anxiety: A comparison of the usefulness of self-hypnosis and a meditational relaxation technique. Psychother Psychosom 1978;30:229-42.
  17. Carrington P, Collings GH Jr, Benson H, Robinson H, Wood LW, Lehrer PM, Woolfolk RL, Cole JW. The use of meditation-relaxation techniques for the management of stress in a working population. J Occup Med 1980;22:22-31.
  18. Benson H, Arns PA, Hoffman JW. The relaxation response and hypnosis. Int J Clin Exp Hypn (Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis) 1981;29:259-70.
  19. Hoffman JW, Benson H, Arns PA, Stainbrook GL, Landsberg L, Young JB, Gill A. Reduced sympathetic nervous system responsivity associated with the relaxation response. Science 1982;215:190-2.
  20. Benson H, Lehmann JW, Malhotra MS, Goldman RF, Hopkins J, Epstein MD. Body temperature changes during the practice of g tum-mo (heat) yoga. Nature 1982;295:234-6.
  21. Benson H. Body temperature changes during the practice of g Tum-mo yoga. (Matters Arising) Nature 1982;298:402.
  22. Kutz I, Borysenko JZ, Benson H. Meditation and psychotherapy: A rationale for the integration of dynamic psychotherapy, the relaxation response and mindfulness meditation. Am J Psychiatry 1985;142:1-8.
  23. Kutz I, Lesermen, J, Dorrington C, Morrison CH, Borysenko J, Benson H. Meditation as an adjunct to psychotherapy: an outcome study. Psychother Psychosom 1985;43:209-18.
  24. Fentress DW, Masek BJ, Mehegan JE, Benson H. Biofeedback and relaxation-response training in the treatment of pediatric migraine. Dev Med Child Neurol 1986;28:139-46.
  25. Lehmann JW, Goodale IL, Benson H. Reduced pupillary sensitivity to topical phenylephrine associated with the relaxation response. J Human Stress 1986;12:101-4.
  26. Stuart EM, Caudill M, Leserman J, Dorrington C, Friedman R, Benson H. Non-pharmacologic treatment of hypertension: a multiple risk-factor approach. J Cardiovasc Nurs 1987;1:1-14.
  27. Domar AD, Noe JM, Ransil B, Benson H. The preoperative use of the relaxation response with ambulatory surgery patients. J Human Stress 1987;13:101-7.
  28. Leserman J, Stuart EM, Mamish ME, Benson. The efficacy of the relaxation response in preparing for cardiac surgery. Behav Med 1989;5:111-7.
  29. Leserman J, Stuart EM, Mamish ME, Deckro JP, Beckam RJ, Friedman R, Benson H. Nonpharmacologic intervention for hypertension: Long term follow-up. J Cardiopulmonary Rehabil. 1989; 9:316-24.
  30. Mandle CL, Domar AD, Harrington DP, Leserman J, Bozadjian EM, Friedman R, Benson H. The relaxation response in femoral arteriography. Radiology 1990;174:737-9.
  31. Goodale IL, Domar AD, Benson H. Alleviation of premenstrual syndrome symptoms with the relaxation response. Obstet Gynecol 1990;75:649-55.
  32. Domar AD, Seibel MS, Benson H. The mind/body program for infertility: A new behavioral treatment approach for women with infertility. Fertil Steril 1990;53:246-9.
  33. Benson H, Malhotra MS, Goldman RF, Jacobs GD, Hopkins PJ. Three case reports of the metabolic and electroencephalographic changes during advanced Buddhist meditative techniques. Behav Med 1990;16:90-5.
  34. Hellman CJC, Budd M, Borysenko J, McClelland DC, Benson H. A study of the effectiveness of two group behavioral medicine interventions for patients with psychosomatic complaints. Behav Med 1990;16:165-73.
  35. Kass JD, Friedman R, Leserman J, Zuttermeister PC, Benson H. Health outcome and a new index of spiritual experience. J Sci Stud Religion 1991;30:203-11.
  36. Kass JD, Friedman R, Leserman J, Caudill M, Zuttermeister PC, Benson H. An inventory of positive psychological attitudes with potential relevance to health outcomes: Validation and preliminary testing. Behav Med 1991;17:121-9.
  37. Caudill M, Schnable R, Zuttermeister P, Benson H, Friedman R. Decreased clinic utilization by chronic pain patients: Response to Behavioral Medicine intervention. Clin J Pain 1991;7:305-10.
  38. Myers SS, Benson H. Psychological factors in healing: A new perspective on an old debate. Behav Med 1992;18:5-11.
  39. Domar AD, Zuttermeister P, Seibel M, Benson H. Psychological improvement in infertile women after behavioral treatment: A replication. Fertil Steril 1992;58:144-7.
  40. Jacobs GD, Rosenberg PA, Friedman R, Matheson J, Guerry PM, Domar AD, Benson H. Multifactor behavioral treatment of chronic sleep-onset insomnia using stimulus control and the relaxation response: A preliminary study. Behav Mod 1993;17:498-509.
  41. Jacobs GD, Benson H, Friedman R. Home-based central nervous system assessment of multifactor behavioral intervention for chronic sleep-onset insomnia. Behav Ther 1993;24:159-74.
  42. Benson H, Kornhaber A, Kornhaber C, LeChanu MN, Zuttermeister PC, Myers P, Friedman R. Increases in positive psychological characteristics with a new relaxation-response curriculum in high school students. J Res Dev Ed 1994;
  43. Jacobs GD, Benson H. Topographic EEG mapping of the relaxation response. Biofeed Selfreg 1996; 21: 1-7.
  44. Peng CK, Mietus JE, Liu Y, Khalsa G, Douglas PS, Benson H, Goldberger AI. Exaggerated heart rate oscillations during two meditation techniques. Int J Cardiol, 1999; 70:101-7.
  45. Benson H, Dusek JA. Self-reported health, illness and the use of conventional, unconventional medicine, and mind/body, spiritual healing in Christian Scientists and others. J Nerv Ment Dis, 1999; 186:539-48.
  46. Lazar SW, Bush G, Gollub RL, Fricchione GL, Khalsa G, Benson H. Functional brain mapping of the relaxation response and meditation. NeuroReport, May 2000; 11:1581-85.
  47. Nakao M, Fricchione G, Myers P, Zuttermeister PC, Barsky AJ, Benson H. Depression and education as predicting factors for completion of behavioral medicine intervention in a mind/body medicine clinic. Behav Med, in press.
  48. Nakao M, Myers P, Fricchione G, Zuttermeister PC, Barsky AJ, Benson H. Somatization and symptom reduction through a behavioral medicine intervention a mind/body medicine clinic. Behav Med, in press.
  49. Nakao M, Fricchione G, Zuttermeister PC, Myers P, Barsky AJ, Benson H. Effects of gender and marital status on somatic symptoms of patients attending a mind/body medicine clinic. Behav Med. in press.
  50. Nakao M, Fricchione G, Myers P, Zuttermeister PC, Barsky AJ, Benson H. Depression and education as predicting factors for completion of behavioral medicine intervention in a mind/body medicine clinic. Behav Med, 2001; 26:177-84.
  51. Dusek, JA, Sherwood JB, Friedman R, Myers P, Bethea CF, Levitsky S, Hill PC, Jain, MK, Kopecki SL, Mueller PS, Lam P, Benson H. Study of the therapeutic effects of intercessory prayer (STEP): study design and research methods. Am Heart J 2002; 143:577-84.
  52. Deckro GR, Ballinger KM, Hoyt M, Wilcher M, Dusek, J, Myers P, Greenberg B, Rosenthal DS, Benson H. The evaluation of a mind/body intervention to reduce psychological distress and perceived stress in college students. J Am Coll Health 2002; 281-7.
  53. Keefer L, Blanchard EB.
    A one year follow-up of relaxation response meditation as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome.
    Behav Res Ther 2002; 40: 541-6.
  54. Keefer L, Blanchard EB.
    The effects of relaxation response meditation on the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome: results of a controlled treatment study.
    Behav Res Ther 2001; 39: 801-11.
  55. KATSUO KAMATA, MASATO NAKAJIMA and MAKOTO SUGIURA, Effects of superoxide dismutase on the acetylcholine-induced relaxation response incholesterol-fed and streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice  Study
    Department of Physiology and Morphology, Institute of Medicinal Chemistry, HoshiUniversity, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 142-8501, Japan

Feature Article

Benson, H.; Wallace, R., et al.  Decreased drug abuse with Transcendental Meditation: A study of 1,862 subjects. In Drug Abuse: Proceedings of the International Conference, ed. Chris J. D. Zarafonetis, pp. 369-376. Philadelphia: Lea and Febiger, 1972.

Reduced Drug and Alcohol Use

Benson, H.; Wallace, R., et al.  Decreased drug abuse with Transcendental Meditation: A study of 1,862 subjects. In Drug Abuse: Proceedings of the International Conference, ed. Chris J. D. Zarafonetis, pp. 369-376. Philadelphia: Lea and Febiger, 1972.

List of Dr. Benson's Research


  1. Jevning, R., Wallace, R.K., Beidebach, M., "The Physiology of Meditation: A Wakeful Hypometabolic Integrated Response." Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 16 (3): 415-424, 1992.
  2. Benson, H., Marzetta, B.R., and Rosner, B.A., "Decreased Systolic Blood Pressure in Hypertensive Subjects Who Practised Meditation". Journal of Clinical Investigation, 52: 8a, 1973.
  3. Goleman, D.J. and Schwartz, G.E., "Meditation as an Intervention in Stress Reactivity". Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 44: 456-466, 1976.
  4. Carrington, P., "Modern Forms of Meditation" in Lehrer, P.M. and Woolfolk, R.L. (Eds.). Principles and Practice of Stress Management (2nd Edition). New York: Guilford Press, 1993, 139-168.
  5. Carrington, P., Collings G.H., Benson H., Robinson H., Wood L.W., Lehrer P.M., Woolfolk R.L., Cole J.W., "The Use of Meditation - Relaxation Techniques for the Management of Stress in a Working Population". Journal of Occupational Medicine, April 1980, Vol.22 No.4: 221-231.
  6. Benson, H. The Relaxation Response. New York: Morrow, 1975.
  7. Daniels, D. Cited in P. Carrington: Freedom in Meditation. Anchor Press/Doubleday. 1977, 60-61.
  8. Shapiro, A.P. et al., "Behavioural Methods in the Treatment of Hypertension". Annals of Internal Medicine, 86: 626-636, 1977.
  9. Benson, H., "Systemic Hypertension and the Relaxation Response." New England Journal of Medicine, 296: 1152-1156, 1977.
  10. Schneider, R.H., Staggers, F., Alexander, C.N., et al., "A Randomized Controlled Trial of Stress Reduction for Hypertension in Older African Americans". Hypertension, 26(5): 820-827, 1995.
  11. Benson, H., Alexander, S., and Feldman, C.L., "Decreased Premature Ventricular Contractions Through the Use of the Relaxation Response in Patients with Stable Ischaemic Heart Disease." Lancet, 2: 380, 1975.
  12. Zamarra, J.W., Schneider, R.H., Besseghini, I., et al., "Usefulness of the Transcendental Meditation Program in the Treatment of Patients with Coronary Artery Disease." American Journal of Cardiology, 77(10): 867-870, 1996.
  13. Zamarra, J.W., Besseghini, I., and Wittenberg, S., "The Effects of the Transcendental Meditation Program on the Exercise Performance of Patients with Angina Pectoris." In D.W. Orme-Johnson & J. T. Farrow (Eds.). Scientific Research on the Transcendental Meditation Program: Collected Papers: Vol. 1. Livingston Manor, NY: Maharishi European Research Press, 1978, 331-334.
  14. Woolfolk, R.L., Carr-Kaffashan, K., Lehrer, P.M., et al., "Meditation Training as a Treatment for Insomnia". Behaviour Therapy 7: 359-365, 1976.
  15. Shafii, M., Lavely, R.A. and Jaffe, R.D., "Meditation and the Prevention of Alcohol Abuse." American Journal of Psychiatry, 132: 942-945, 1975.
  16. Royer, A., "The Role of the Transcendental Meditation Program in Promoting Smoking Cessation: A Longitudinal Study". Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly. Vol. II (1-2): 221-239, 1994.
  17. Alexander, C.N., Robinson, P., and Rainforth, M., "Treating and Preventing Alcohol, Nicotine, and Drug Abuse Through Transcendental Meditation: A Review and Statistical Meta-Analysis of 19 Studies." Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, Vol. II (1-2): 13-87, 1994.
  18. Wilson, A.F., Honsberger, R., Chiu, I.T., et al., "Transcendental Meditation and Asthma." Respiration, 32: 74-80, 1975.
  19. Deepak, K.K., Manchananda, S.K., and Maheswari, M.C., "Meditation Improves Clinicoelectroencephalographic Measures in Drug-Resistant Epileptics." Biofeedback and Self-Regulation. 19 (1): 25-40, 1994.
  20. Cooper, M.J. and Aygen, M.M., "A Relaxation Technique in the Management of Hypercholesterolemia." Journal of Human Stress, 5: 24-27, 1979.
  21. Heriberto, C., "The Effects of Clinically Standardized Meditation (CSM) on Type II Diabetics." Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Adelphi University, Institute of Advanced Studies, 1988.
  22. Gaston, L., "Efficacy of Imagery and Meditation Techniques in Treating Psoriasis". Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 8 (1): 25-38, 1988.
  23. Kaplan, K.H., Goldenberg, D.L., and Galvin-Nadeau, M., "The Impact of a Meditation-Based Stress Reduction Program on Fibromyalgia." General Hospital Psychiatry, 15 (5): 284-289, 1993.
  24. Luthe, W. and Schultz, J.H., Autogenic Therapy, Vols. I-VI. New York: Grune and Stratton, 1969.
  25. Fowler, J.E., Budzynski, T.H., and Van den Berg, R.L., "Effects of an EMG Biofeedback Relaxation Programme on the Control of Diabetes: A Case Study". Biofeedback and Self-Regulation, 1: 105-112, 1976.
  26. Wesch, J.E., Clinical Comments Section. Newsletter of the Biofeedback Society, 5 (3), July 1977.
  27. Patel, C.H., "Yoga and Biofeedback in the Management of Hypertension". Lancet, 2: 1053-1055, 1973.

More at

Reviews, Chapters, and Editorials

  1. Benson H. Yoga for drug abuse. New England Journal of Medicine 1969;281:1133 (letter to the editor).
  2. Benson H, Wallace RK. Decreased drug abuse with Transcendental Meditation: A study of 1,861 subjects. In: Zarafonetis CJD, ed. Drug abuse-proceedings of the international conference. Philadelphia: Lea and Febiger, 1972:369-76.
  3. Marzetta BR, Benson H, Wallace RK. Combating drug dependency in young people: A new approach. Counterpoint 1972;4:13-36.
  4. Wallace RK, Benson H. The physiology of meditation. Scientific American 1972;226:84-90.
  5. Benson H. Methods of blood pressure recording: 1733-1971. In: Onestic G, Kim KE, Moyer JH, eds. Hypertension: mechanisms and management. New York: Grune and Stratton, 1973:119-23.
  6. Benson H. Conditioned modifications of blood pressure. In: Onesti G, Kim KE, Moyer JH, eds. Hypertension: mechanisms and management. New York: Grune and Stratton, 1973:119-23.
  7. Benson H. Transcendental meditation - science or cult? JAMA 1974;227:807.
  8. Benson H. Your innate asset for combating stress. Harvard Business Review 1974;52:49-60.
  9. Benson H, Gutmann MC. The relation of environmental factors to systemic arterial hypertension. In: Eliot RS, ed. Contemporary problems in cardiology, vol. I. Stress and the heart. Mt. Kisco, New York: Futura, 1974:13-31.
  10. Benson H, Marzetta BR, Rosner BA. Decreased blood pressure associated with the regular elicitation of the relaxation response: a study of hypertensive subjects. In: Eliot RS, ed. Contemporary problems in cardiology, vol. I. Stress and the heart. Mt. Kisco, New York: Futura, 1974:293-302.
  11. Shapiro D, Schwartz GE, Benson H. Biofeedback: a behavioral approach to cardiovascular self-control. In: Eliot RS, ed. Contemporary problems in cardiology, vol. I. Stress and the heart. Mt. Kisco, New York: Futura, 1974:279-92.
  12. Benson H. The relaxation response and cardiovascular diseases. Chest, Heart, Stroke J 1976;1:28-31.
  13. Benson H, Greenwood MM. Behavioral modifications of blood pressure in man. In: Onesti G, Fernandes M, Kim KE, eds. Regulation of blood pressure by the central nervous system. New York: Grune and Stratton, 1976:119-28.
  14. Benson H, Kotch JB, Crassweller KD. The usefulness of the relaxation response in the treatment of stress-related cardiovascular diseases. J S C Med Assoc 1976;72:50-6.
  15. Benson H. Can hypertension be induced by stress? A case discussion. J Human Stress 1977;3:4-11.
  16. Benson H. Systemic hypertension and the relaxation response. N Engl J Med 1977;296:1152-6.
  17. Benson H, Kotch JB, Crassweller KD. The relaxation response: A bridge between psychiatry and medicine. Med Clin North Am 1977;61:929-38.
  18. Benson H, Kotch JB, Crassweller KD, Greenwood MM. Historical and clinical considerations of the relaxation response. Am Sci 1977;65:441-5.
  19. Benson H, Kotch JB, Crassweller KD. Stress and hypertension: Interrelations and management. In: Onesti G, Brest AM, eds. Hypertension: Mechanisms, diagnosis and treatment. Philadelphia: Davis, 1978:113-24.
  20. Peters RK, Benson H. Time out from tension. Harvard Business Review 1978;56:120-4.
  21. Benson H. Behavioral Medicine: A perspective from within the field of medicine. National Forum 1980;60:3-5.
  22. Benson H, Allen RL. How much stress is too much? Harvard Business Review 1980;58:86-92.
  23. Benson H, Goodale I. The relaxation response: Your inborn capacity to counteract the harmful effects of stress. J Fla Med Assoc 1981; 68:265-7.
  24. Wechsler H, Benson H, Bovey JD. Training of health researchers: Postdoctoral trainees and fellows in Massachusetts. Mass J Community Health 1981;1:30-3.
  25. Benson H. The relaxation response: History, physiologic basis and clinical usefulness. Acta Med Scand 1982;660(Suppl):231-7.
  26. Lehmann JW, Benson H. Nonpharmacologic therapy of blood pressure. Gen Hosp Psychiatry
  27. Stainbrook GL, Hoffman HW, Benson H. Behavioral therapies of hypertension: psychotherapy, biofeedback, and relaxation/meditation. Rev Int Psychol 1983;32:119-35.
  28. Benson H. The relaxation response: Its subjective and objective historical precedents and physiology. TINS 1983;6:281-4.
  29. Lehmann JW, Benson H. The behavioral treatment of hypertension. In: Genest J, Kuchel O, Hamet P, Cantin M, eds. Hypertension: Physiopathology and treatment. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1983:1238-45.
  30. Benson H. The relaxation response: Physiologic basis and clinical applicability. In: Dembroski TM, Schmidt TH, Blumchen G, eds. Biobehavioral bases of coronary heart disease. Besel: Karger, 1983:439-49.
  31. Benson H. Relaxation response and norepinephrine: A new study illuminates mechanisms. Integrative Psychiatry 1983;1:15-19.
  32. Benson H. The author responds. Integrative Psychiatry 1983;1:66-8.
  33. Kutz I, Caudill M, Benson H. The role of relaxation in behavioral therapies of chronic pain. In: Stein JM, Warfield CA, eds. Pain management. Boston: Little Brown, 1983:193-200.
  34. Benson H. The relaxation response and the treatment of anxiety. In: Grinspoon L, ed. Psychiatric update. The American Psychiatric Association annual review vol. III. Washington: American Psychiatric Press, 1984:440-8 and 530-1.
  35. Benson H, Caudill MA. The use of relaxation techniques in the management of hypertension. Primary Cardiol 1984;10:137-44.
  36. Benson H, Pomeranz B, Kutz I. Pain and the relaxation response. In: Wall PD and Melzack R, eds. Textbook of pain. London: Churchill Livingstone, 1984:817-22.
  37. Barr BP, Benson H. The relaxation response and cardiovascular disorders. Behav Med Update 1985;6:28-30.
  38. Benson H, Friedman R. A rebuttal to the conclusions of David S. Holmes' article: "Meditation and somatic arousal reduction." Am Psychologist 1985;40:725-8.
  39. Benson H. Stress, health and the relaxation response. In: Gentry WD, Benson H, deWolff CJ, eds. Behavioral medicine: Work, stress and health. Dordrecht: M. Nijhoff. NATO ASI Series D - No. 19, 1985:15-32.
  40. Benson H. Stress, anxiety and the relaxation response. In: Behavioral biology in medicine - A monograph series: No. 3. So. Norwalk, CT: Meducation, 1985:1-28.
  41. Benson H. The relaxation response. How to lower blood pressure, cope with pain and reduce anxiety in 20 minutes a day. Harvard Medical Alumni Bull 1986;60:33-5.
  42. Benson H. The physiology, history and clinical applications of the relaxation response. In: Klump W, ed. Encyclopedia of neuroscience. Boston: Birkhauser, 1987:1045-7.
  43. Caudill M, Friedman R, Benson H. Relaxation therapy in the control of blood pressure. Bibl Cardiol 1987;41:106-19.
  44. Benson H. The relaxation response: A bridge between medicine and religion. Harvard Med School Letter 1988;4:4-6.
  45. Benson H. Book review of The Golden Guru. The strange journey of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Harvard Medical Alumni Bull 1988;62:10-1.
  46. Benson H. Hypnosis and the relaxation response. (Editorial) Gastroenterology 1989;96:1609-11.
  47. Everly GS Jr, Benson H. Disorders of arousal and the relaxation response: Speculations on the nature and treatment of stress-related diseases. Int J Psychosomatics 1989;36:15-21.
  48. Benson H. A tribute to Norman Cousins. Advances 1991;7:56-7.
  49. Friedman R, Stuart EM, Benson H. Essential hypertension: nonpharmacologic adjuncts to therapy. In: Cooke JP, Frohlich ED, ed. Current management of hypertensive and vascular diseases. St. Louis: Mosby-Year Book, 1992:1-7.
  50. Friedman R, Siegel WC, Jacobs SC, Benson H. JAMA (Letter to the editor) 1992;268:198.
  51. Domar AD, Friedman R, Benson H. Behavior therapy. In: Warfield CA, ed. Principles and practice of pain management. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993:437-44.
  52. Benson H. The relaxation response. In: Goleman D, Gurin J, ed. Mind/Body medicine. Yonkers: Consumer Reports Books, 1993:233-57.
  53. Friedman R, Zuttermeister P, Benson H. (Letter to the editor) N Engl J Med, 1993; 329: 1201.
  54. Stuart E, Friedman R, Benson H. Promoting nonpharmacologic interventions to treat elevated blood pressure. Behavioral Science Learning Modules, Geneva: World Health Organization, 1993: 1-42.
  55. Domar AD, Benson H. Application of behavioral medicine techniques to the treatment of infertility. In: Seibel MM, Kiessling AA, Bernstein J, Levin SR, eds. Technology and infertility: Clinical, psychological, legal and ethical aspects. New York: Springer-Verlaq 1993: 355-360.
  56. Benson H, Stuart EM, Friedman R. (Letter to the editor) Ann Int Med, 1994; 230: 91.
  57. Friedman R, Benson H. Behavioral medicine: a retrospective and a look forward. Behav Med 1994; 19: 143-4.
  58. Friedman R, Vasile RG, Gallagher RM, Benson H. Behavioral-medicine and psychiatry: Difference and areas of collaboration. Directions Psychiatry 1994: 14: 1-8.
  59. Friedman R, Shackelford A, Reiff S, Benson H. Stress and weight maintenance: the disinhibition effect and the micromanagement of stress. In: Blackburn GL, Kanders, BS, ed. Obesity pathophysiology psychology and treatment. New York: Chapman Hall, 1994: 253-63.
  60. Benson H, Friedman R. Alternative to mainstream medicine: science as the arbiter. Congressional Record. Proceedings and Debates of the 103th Congress, Second Session, 1994; 140: E1199-200.
  61. Benson H, Friedman R. The three legged stool: Mind/Body medicine and mainstream medical care. Mind/Body Med 1995; 1: 1-2.
  62. Benson H. Commentary: Placebo effect and remembered wellness. Mind/Body Med 1995; 1: 44-5.
  63. Friedman R, Sobel D, Myers P, Caudill M, Benson H. Behavioral medicine, health psychology and cost offset. Health Psychol 1995; 14:509-18.
  64. Benson H, Friedman R. Harnessing the power of the placebo effect and renaming it "remembered wellness". Annu Rev Med 1996; 47: 193-9.
  65. Friedman R, Myers P, Krass S, Benson H. The Relaxation Response: Use with Cardiac Patients. In: Allen R, Scheidt S. eds. Heart and mind. The practice of cardiac psychology. American Psychological Association Press, Washington, 1996; 363-84.
  66. Benson H, Friedman R. Behavioral medicine and health care reform. The Leifer Report. Spring - Summer, 1996.
  67. Friedman R, Benson H. Mind/body medicine and diversity. Mind/Body Med 1996; 175.
  68. Friedman R, Benson H. Spirituality, religious practice and medical outcomes. Mind/Body Med 1997; 2:87.
  69. Friedman R, Steinman M, Benson H. The relaxation response: physiological effects and medical applications. In: Haruki Y. ed. Comparative and psychological studies on meditation. Tokyo: Waseda University Press, 1996: 205-11.
  70. Friedman R, Sedler M, Myers P, Benson H. Behavioral Medicine, Complementary Medicine and Integrated Care: Economic Implications. In: Randall J, Lazar J, ed. Primary Care. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 1997: 949-62.
  71. Friedman R, Myers P, Benson H. Meditation and the Relaxation Response. In: Friedman HS, ed. Encyclopedia of Mental Health. San Diego: Academic Press, 1998: 621-8.
  72. Friedman R, Myers P, Benson H. Relaxation response. In:Allison N, ed. Illustrated encyclopedia of body-mind disciplines. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 1999:322-4.
  73. Benson H, Myers P. The importance of the placebo effect in alternative therapies. The Forum, 1999; 19:7-8.
  74. Benson, H. The relaxation response. Physiology, history and clinical applications. In: Adelman G, Smith BH, eds. Encyclopedia of neuroscience. 2nd edition Boston:Elsevier, 1776-8.
  75. Benson H, Myers P. Medical aspects of belief. In: Stannard, R. ed. God for the 21st century. Radnor, Pennsylvania: Templeton Foundation Press, 2000.
  76. Benson H, Myers P. Mind/body medicine and spirituality. In: Hermann, R. ed., Ten scientists consider humility theology, 2000.
  77. Koenig HG, Idler E, Kasl S, Hays JC, George LK, Musick M, Larson DB, Collins TR, Benson. H. Religion, spirituality, and medicine: A rebuttal to skeptics. Int J Psychiatry Med, 1999; 29:123-31.
  78. Kradin R, Benson, H. Stress, the relaxation response and immunity. Mod Asp Immunobiol, 2000; 1:110-3.
  79. Stefano GB, Fricchione GL, Slingsby BT, Benson H. The placebo effect and the relaxation response: neural processes and their coupling to constitutive nitric oxide. Brain Res Rev (in press).
  80. Esch T, Stefano GB, Fricchione GL, Benson H. Stress in cardiovascular diseases. Med Sci Monit, 2002; 8:RA 93-101.
  81. Esch T, Stefano GB, Fricchione GL, Benson H. Stress-related diseases-a potential role for nitric oxide. Med Sci Monit 2002, 8:RA 103-118.
  82. Esch T, Stefano GB, Fricchione GL, Benson H. The role of stress in neurodegenerative diseases and mental disorders. Neuroendocrinol Lett 2002; 199-208.
  83. Benson H, The relaxation response: a learned mechanism. Placebo (in press).
  84. Esch T, Stefano GB, Fricchione GL, Benson H. An overview of stress and its impact in immunological diseases. Mod ASP Immunobiol 2002 (in press)

Books, Monographs, and Text Books

Benson H. The relaxation response. New York: Morrow, 1975.

1a. ibid, London: Collins, 1976.
1b. ibid, New York: Avon, 1976.
1c. ibid, (Mietiskellen mielenrauhaan) Helsinki: Werner Soderstrom Osakeyhtio, 1976.
1d. ibid, Boston: Hall, 1976.
1e. ibid, (Reagir par la detente) Paris: Tchou, 1976.
1f. ibid, (La risposta rilassante) Milan: Rizzoli Editore, 1977.
1g. ibid, Tokyo: Kodan Sha, 1977.
1h. ibid, (Relajacion) Barcelona: Editorial Pomaire, 1977.
1i. ibid, (Afspaending meditation og blodtryk) Copenhagen: Bergens Forlag, 1977.
1j. ibid, (Aprendendo a relaxar) Rio de Janeiro: Editora Artenova, 1977.
1k. ibid, (Bewust ontspannen) Amsterdam: H J W Becht's Uitgeversmaatschappij, 1978.
1l. ibid, (Arslappning) Varnamo: Brombers Bokforlag, 1980.

Foundations and Organizations Recommending the Relaxation Response

Scientific Studies on the Transcendental Meditation Program

Steps to Elicit the Relaxation Response


Other Articles by Dr. Herbert Benson - some of which may include references to the Relaxation Response

  1. Costas R Jr, Garcia-Palmieri MR, Feliberti M, Benson H, Blanton JH, Aixala R. Accuracy of death certification in metropolitan San Juan. Bol Assoc Med Puerto Rico 1964;56:411-23.
  2. Garcia-Palmieri MR, Feliberti M, Costas R Jr, Benson H, Blanton JH, Aixala R. Coronary heart disease mortality: A death certificate study. J Chronic Dis 1965;18:1317-23.
  3. Blanton JH, Rodriquez M, Costas R Jr, Benson H, Aixala R, Garcia-Palmieri MR. A dietary study of urban and rural males in Puerto Rico. Am J Clin Nutr 1966;18:169-75.
  4. Benson H, Costas R Jr, Garcia-Palmieri MR, Feliberti M, Aixala R, Blanton JH, Colon AA. Coronary heart disease risk factors: A comparison of two Puerto Rican populations. Am J Public Health 1966;56:1057-60.
  5. Truett JT, Benson H, Balke B. On the practicability of submaximal exercise testing. J Chronic Dis 1966;19:711-5.
  6. Skinner JS, Benson H, McDonough JR, Hames CG. Social status, physical activity and coronary proneness. J Chronic Dis 1966;19:773-83.
  7. Benson H, Ellis LB, Harken DE. The effect of preoperative systemic blood pressure on closed mitral valvuloplasty. A study of 1,630 patients with up to 15-year follow-up. Am Heart J 1968;75:439-48.
  8. Ellis LB, Benson H, Harken DE. The effect of age and other factors on the early and late results following closed mitral valvuloplasty. (A study of 1,817 patients). Am Heart J 1968;75:743-51.
  9. Benson H, Herd JA, Morse WH, Kelleher RT. The behavioral induction of arterial hypertension and its reversal. Am J Physiol 1969;217:30-4.
  10. Benson H, Akbarian M, Adler LN, Agelmann WH. Hemodynamic effects of pneumonia. I. Normal and hypodynamic responses. J Clin Invest 1970;49:791-8.
  11. Kumar R, Wallace WA, Ramirez A, Benson H, Abelmann WH. Hemodynamic effects of pneumonia. II. Expansion of plasma volume. J Clin Invest 1970;49:799-805.
  12. Benson H, Herd JA, Morse WH, Kelleher, RT. Hypotensive effects of chlordiazepoxide, amobarbital, and chlorpromazine on behaviorally induced elevated blood pressure in the squirrel monkey. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 1970;173:399-406.
  13. Benson H, Herd JA, Morse WH, Kelleher RT. Behaviorally induced hypertension in the squirrel monkey. Circ Res Suppl 1970;I 26-27:21-26.
  14. Benson H, Shapiro D, Tursky B, Schwartz GE. Decreased systolic blood pressure through operant conditioning techniques in patients with essential hypertension. Science 1971;173:
  15. Benson Herbert. How antihypertensive drugs act: A physiologic approach. Consultant. 1972;12:23-4.
  16. Benson H, Epstein MD. The placebo effect--a neglected asset in the care of patients. JAMA 1975;232:1225-7.
  17. Benson H, Greenwood MM. Metabolic changes during the prodrome of a migraine headache. Headache. 1978; 17:248-9.
  18. Frankel FH, Apfel RJ, Kelly SF, Benson H, Quint T, Newmark J, Malmaud R. The use of hypnotizability scales in the clinic: A review after six years. Int J Clin Exp Hypn 1979;37:63-73.
  19. Benson H, McCallie DP Jr. Angina pectoris and the placebo effect. N Engl J Med 1979;300:1424-9.
  20. Benson H. The placebo effect. Harvard Med School Health Letter 1980;5:3-4.
  21. Kutz I, Borysenko JZ, Come SE, Benson H. Paradoxical emetic response to antiemetic treatment in cancer patients. N Engl J Med 1980;303:1480 (letter to the editor).
  22. Borysenko M, Turesky S, Borysenko JZ, Quimby F, Benson H. Stress and dental caries in the rat. J Behav Med 1980;3:233-43.
  23. Bear D, Schenk L, Benson H. Increased autonomic response to neural and emotional stimuli in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. Am J Psychiatry 1981;138:843-5.
  24. Williams RB Jr, Benson H, Follick MJ. Disease as a reflection of the psyche. N Engl J Med 1985;313:1356-7 (letter to the editor).
  25. Crary B, Borysenko M, Sutherland DC, Kutz I, Borysenko JZ, Benson H. Decrease in mitogen responsiveness of mononuclear cells from peripheral blood following epinephrine administration in humans. J Immun 1983;130:694-7.
  26. Jemmott JB, Borysenko JZ, Borysenko M, McClelland DC, Chapman R, Meyer D, Benson H. Academic stress, power motivation, and decrease in salivary secretory immunoglobulin A secretion rate. Lancet 1983;1:1400-2.
  27. Crary B, Hauser SL, Borysenko M, Kutz I, Hoban C, Weiner HL, Benson H. Epinephrine-induced changes in the distribution of lymphocyte subsets in peripheral blood of humans. J Immunol 1983;131:1178-81.
  28. Pomeranz B, Macaulay RJB, Caudill MA, Kutz I, Adam D, Gordon D, Kilborn K, Barger AC, Shannon DC, Cohen RJ, Benson H. Assessment of autonomic function in man by heart rate spectral analysis. Am J Physiol 1985;248:H151-3.
  29. Shannon DC, Carley DW, Benson H. Aging of modulation of heart rate. AM J Physiol 1987;253:H874-7.
  30. Jacobs SC, Friedman R, Parker JD, Tofler GH, Jimanez AH, Muller JE, Benson H, Stone PH. Use of skin conductance changes during mental stress testing as an index of autonomic arousal in cardiovascular research. Am Heart J 1994;
  31. Middleman MA, Maclure M, Sherwood JB, Mulry RP, Tofler GH, Jacobs SC, Friedman R, Benson H, Muller JE. Triggering of acute myocardial infarction onset by episodes of anger. Circulation. 1995; 92: 1720-5.
  32. Jacobs GD, Benson H, Friedman R. Perceived benefits in a behavioral-medicine insomnia program a clinical report. Am J Med 1996;100:212-6.
  33. Tasiemski A, Salzet M, Benson H, Fricchione GL, Bilfinger TV, Goumon Y, Metz-Boutigue MH, Aunis D, Stefano GB. The presence of antibacterial and opioid peptides in human plasma during coronary artery bypass surgery. J Neuroimmunol, 2000; 109:228-35.
  34. Nakao M, Fricchione G, Myers P, Zuttermeister PC, Baim M, Mandle, CL, Medich C, Wells-Federman CL, Arcari PM, Ennis M, Barsky, AJ, Benson H. Anxiety is a good indicator for somatic symptom reduction through a behavioral medicine intervention in a mind/body medicine clinic. Psychother Psychosom, 2001; 70:50-7.
  35. Stefano GB, Murga J, Benson H, Zhu W, Bilfinger TV, Magazine, HI. Nitric oxide inhibits norepinephrine stimulated contraction of human internal thoracic artery and rat aorta. Pharmacol Res, in press.

Other Reviews, Chapters, and Editorials - some of which may include references to the Relaxation Response

  1. Goldsmith RS, Arnaud CD, Benson H. Comparison of metabolic and hemodynamic responses to phosphate and calcitonin in Paget's disease of bone. In: Immunopathology of inflammation. Excerpta Medica International Congress Series, 1970;229:257-66.
  2. Gutmann MC, Benson H. Interaction of environmental factors and systemic arterial blood pressure: A review. Medicine 1971;50:543-53.
  3. Benson H. How antihypertensive drugs act: A physiologic approach. Consultant. 1972;12:23-4.


Abstracts of Independent Research on Transcendental Meditation, 1996, TranceNet, Albert B. Miller

Castillo, Richard J. Depersonalization and meditation. Psychiatry; Interpersonal and Biological Processes. May 1990, pp158-168.

DeNaro, Anthony D. Counselor at Law. Twelve-page affidavit. Sea Cliff, New York, July 16, 1986

Desiraju, T. The Yoga and Consciousness Project. National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience. Bangalore, India: Omni, Nov. 1990, pp84-88.

French, Alfred P. et al. Transcendental meditation, altered reality testing and behavioral change. A case report. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 1975, p55.

The Various Implications Arising from the Practice of Transcendental Meditation: An empirical analysis of pathogenic structures as an aid in counseling. Bensheim, Germany: (Institut fur Jugend Und Gesellschaft, Ernst-Ludwig-Strasse 45, 6140.) Institute for Youth and Society, 1980 (188 pgs).

Glueck, Bernard and Charles F. Stroebel. Meditation in the treatment of psychiatric illness. Meditation: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives (722 pages), edited by Deane Shapiro and Roger Walsh. New York: Alden Publications, 1984, p150.

Hassan, Steven. Combatting Cult Mind Control. Rochester, Vermont: Park Street Press, 1988.

Heide, Frederick J. and T.D. Borkovec. Relaxation-induced anxiety enhancement due to relaxation training. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1983, p171.

Heide, Frederick J. and T.D. Borkovec. "Relaxation-induced anxiety: mechanism and theoretical implications." Behavioral Research Therapy, 1984, pp1-12.
Holmes, David S, Sheldon Solomon, Bruce M. Cappo, Jeffery L. Greenberg. Effects of transcendental meditation versus resting on physiological and subjective arousal. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1983, pp1245-1252.
Holmes, David S. Meditation and somatic arousal reduction. American Psychologist, January 1984, pp1-10. Ensuing discussion follows in four more issues: June 1985, pp717-731; June 1986, pp712-713; September 1986, pp1007-1009; September 1987, pp879-881.
Kaffman, Mordecai. The use of transcendental meditation to promote social progress in Israel" The Cultic Studies Journal, Vol. 3, No. 1, 1986, p135.
Kesterson, John and Noah F. Clinch. Metabolic rate, respiratory exchange ratio, and apneas during (TM) meditation. The American Journal of Physiology, March 1989. p637.
Lazarus, Arnold A. Meditation: the problems of any unimodal technique. Meditation: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives (722 pages). Edited by Deane Shapiro and Roger Walsh. New York: Aldin Publications, 1984, p691.
Lazarus, Arnold A. Psychiatric problems precipitated by transcendental meditation. Psychological Reports, 1976, pp601-602.
Lifton, Robert J. Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism. Chapel Hill, South Carolina: The University of South Carolina Press, 1989 (510 pages).
Michaels, R.R., M.J. Huber and D.S. McCann. Science 192, 1976, pp1242-1243.
Otis, Leon S. Adverse effects of transcendental meditation. Meditation: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives (722 pages). Edited by Deane Shapiro and Roger Walsh. New York: Aldin Publications, 1984, p204.
Pagano, RR, R.M. Stivers and S. Warrenburg. Science 191, Jan. 21, 1976, p308.
Pagels, Heinz R. New York Academy of Sciences. An affidavit dated July 1, 1986.
Persinger, Michael A, Norman J. Carrey and Lynn A. Suess. TM and Cult Mania (198 pages). North Quincy, Massachusetts: Christopher Publishing House, 1980.
Persinger, Michael A. Enhanced incidence of 'the sensed presence' in people who have learned to meditate; support for the right hemispheric intrusion hypothesis. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1992, 75, pp1308-1310.
Persinger, Michael A. Transcendental meditation and general meditation were associated with enhanced complex partial epileptic-like signs: evidence for 'cognitive' kindling? Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1992.
Pollack, A.A., D.B. Case, M.A. Weber and J.H. Laragh. Limitations of transcendental meditation in the treatment of essential hypertension. Lancet 1(8002):71-3, January 8, 1977.
Roark, Dennis E. Letter to Pat Ryan confirming a telephone conversation (2 pages), dated July 11, 1987. Warner Pacific College, Oregon.
Royer-Bounouar, P. A. The Transcendental Meditation Technique: a New Direction for Smoking Cessation Programs. Ph.D. thesis: D, MIU, 1989, T735,494, in the MIU library.
Singer, Margaret T. and Richard Ofshe. Thought reform programs and the production of psychiatric casualties. Psychatric Annals, April 1990, p188.
Skolnick, Andrew A. Maharishi Ayur-Veda: guru's marketing scheme promises the world eternal 'perfect health.' Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), October 2, 1991, Vol. 266, No. 13, pp1739-1750.
Smith Jonathan C. Psychotherapeutic effects of transcendental meditation with controls for expectation of relief and daily sitting, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1976, pp630-637.
Stanford Research Institute. Adverse effects of transcendental meditation.
See Leon Otis above.
Teb-ecis, A.K. A controlled study of the EEG during transcendental meditation: comparison with hypnosis. Folia Psychiatr Neruol, Japan 29(4):305-13, 1975.
Trumpy, Franklin D. An investigation of the reported effect of transcendental meditation on the weather. Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 8, No. 2, Winter 1983-84, pp143-148.
Woolfolk, R.L. Psychophysiological correlates of meditation. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry, 32(10): pp1326-1333.
Younger, J. W. Adriance and R.J. Berger. Sleep during transcendental meditation. Perceptual Motor Skills, 40(3), June 1975, pp953-954.

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