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J Psychosom Res. 1984;28(4):265-73.

The utility of prolonged respiratory exhalation for reducing physiological and psychological arousal in non-threatening and threatening situations.


To determine whether slowing and altering the respiratory pattern is an effective means for reducing physiological and psychological arousal, subjects participated in one of three treatment conditions in which they reduced their respiration rate to 6 cpm and either inhaled quickly and exhaled slowly, inhaled slowly and exhaled quickly, or spent equal amounts of time inhaling and exhaling. Other subjects participated in a distraction control condition or in a no-treatment control condition. Arousal was measured during a practice period, a threat (electrical shocks) anticipation period, and a threat confrontation period. The results indicated that the breathing manipulations were not effective in reducing arousal during the practice period, but that inhaling quickly and exhaling slowly was consistently effective for reducing physiological (skin resistance) and psychological (subjective cognitive) arousal during the anticipation and confrontation periods.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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