Products - CDs

Passive Muscle Relaxation and Self-Generated Relaxation


by Mark S. Schwartz and Stephen N. Haynes.

© 1982 The Guilford Press


The relaxation audiotape and CD that Guilford Publications started publishing for me more than 30 years ago and used extensively for 3 decades at Mayo Clinic remains available.


Description from “Available as a CD or an audiocassette, this invaluable program is ideal for use with biofeedback patients or others seeking to improve general stress management. Listeners learn to use straightforward thought techniques to promote tension release without any physical effort. Part 1, Passive Muscle Relaxation, offers well-structured guidance for relaxing major muscles. Part 2, Self-Generated Relaxation, allows more flexible practice in body scanning for residual stress and discovering one’s own formula for relief.”



[  Catalog #2817C for CD and #2817 for audio cassette]

Uses: For persons who need or want to learn relaxation for prevention or reduction of a wide variety of symptoms, or for whom their health care professionals have recommended relaxation for various symptoms.


History: This tape was developed originally in the early 1970s by me at the Mayo Clinic. The original script for track 1 was by Stephen N. Haynes, Ph.D. when he was at Southern Illinois University. He had published research for the positive effects of relaxation with his script for sleep onset insomnia. He graciously accepted by request for the script. I modified it to fit my style and preferences. I developed an additional script called Self-Generated Relaxation based on Autogenic Therapy phrases but significantly altered also designed to meet my preferences, style, and the needs of some of my patients. I used reproduced copies of this audio cassette tape for my patients. After a couple of years. Most of the patients lived hundreds or thousands of miles away. Other people (family members, friends, or other associates) who knew my patients started asking for copies but I could not provide tapes to them as they were not my patients and neither I nor Mayo Clinic were in the business of selling tapes. Some patients also wanted to buy extra copies to give to other people or to have as back-ups to use in their second homes and when traveling. I had no way to provide such tapes.


I contacted a fairly new company [Biomonitoring Applications (BMA)] that produced cassette tapes for professionals and patients. That company eventually became Guilford Publications when they expanded the scope of their publications and added new ownership and executives. Before BMA published a revised version of the scripts, Dr. Haynes and I edited our script based on his years of experience with it in research and my clinical experience. We believe we improved it and BMA published it in 1978 (revised again 1982) along with a revised track 2. This allowed other people to obtain the tape. I used it in my clinical practice until the present. It was provided to many thousands of patients. Eventually, the CD version was published when it became increasingly apparent that more patients had CD players and fewer had cassette tape players.


Additional Reasons for this CD/Tape: There were other reasons for developing these scripts, and tape/CD in addition to the availability to more persons.


Progressive muscle relaxation involves tense-release procedures but the ultimate goal is for persons to release tension without tensing first and many persons already can release muscle tension sufficiently without first tensing them. Many persons should not be tensing muscles as part of relaxation because tensing can aggravate some symptoms such as pain, and other muscle tension related symptoms.


Furthermore, it was my experience that many of my patients did not like or feel comfortable with the wording of Autogenic Therapy/Training. The wording was too absolute, declarative and directive and did not capture the process of gradually increasing the relaxation sensations such as heaviness and warmth. Thus, I modified the wording to be less absolute and directive and capture more of the gradual process.


There is a common school of thought among many experts in relaxation that patients/clients benefit more from learning multiple types of relaxation, and combining some for which they are most comfortable and get the best results.


There are many relaxation tapes available. There is no good evidence of superiority of any tape or CD over others. There is very little research comparing different tapes and CDs.


I believe that practitioners and users should often try multiple procedures on various tapes or CDs. I believe that this tape/CD is a prudent addition to a desired set.


Instructions [See Patient/Client Health Education]:

I typically recommend that persons learn at least passive muscle relaxation, self-generated relaxation, and relaxed breathing. The instructions that I provide to persons are contained in:

[See Using Relaxation CD/tape and Relaxed Breathing  in Patient Education section]


FAQs regarding CD:

Q: Can I buy a copy of this CD from you instead of Guilford?

A: Yes, but…. I can sell copies of the CD but the price is a little higher from me ($20). If you are one of my patients, I can provide a CD to you at this price.


Q: Should I get this CD if I already have other relaxation CDs?

A: Probably. I assume that if you are reading this, you probably are less than ideally satisfied with the relaxation procedures you already have. Adding this will not necessarily provide the solution but it might provide additional ideas and benefits.


Q: is using relaxation CDs more or less useful than, or the same as, “live” or “face-to-face” instructions from a professional?

A: This is a debatable question with good professionals supporting various views. I wrote a chapter about this topic in Biofeedback: A Practitioner’s Guide (2nd Ed.). I am not saying here that you need to read that chapter although it is a good description of the issues. A detailed discussion is beyond the present space. My summary view is that a very large percentage of people can use CDs with additional instructions about their use in order to learn relaxation sufficiently to accomplish their goals of improved management of their symptoms. They obviously need to be well motivated, have sufficient and necessary information, and persist in their use of the CD over many weeks or months. That often makes more sense when considering a stepped-care approach, thus starting with less complicated and less expensive, yet credible and useful procedures, before more involved and more costly methods. Having said this and having practiced from this perspective for 40 years, I also know that some persons need individual, face-to-face, hence “live” instructions in a professional’s office.


Q: Are these relaxation procedures available electronically, such as via a linked downloadable file or on a flash drive.

A: Guilford Press kindly gave permission for me to provide flash drives to my patients. The charge is the same as for a CD and I pay Guilford as if I had bought CDs from them. They allowed this at least temporarily for those patients who do not have CD players as they are fast becoming obsolete. My plan and hope is that electronic downloads will become available for a fee from either Guilford Press or on this website.