Herbert Benson, (2006) a pioneer in the field of mind and body medicine from the Harvard Medical School, believes that our bodies have the ability to “elicit the relaxation response” a state of deep rest that is the total opposite of the stress response. Benson and his team advocate that, “by adding stress management to your daily routine, you will see a noticeable improvement in your mood, ability to sleep, and general well-being” (2006).This is were Mindfulness comes in and the practice of meditation.
When we are relaxed our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) is activated which means slow respiration, deep breaths, a slower heart rate, contacted pupils, etc. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for “rest and digest” and “feed and breed”. These are activities that occur when the body is in a state of relaxation. especially after eating including sexual arousal, salivation, lacrimation (tears), urination, digestion and defecation.