There is a wide range of relaxation methods including progressive relaxation, imagery training, biofeedback, meditation, hypnosis, and autogenic training, but little evidence to indicate superiority of any one approach. Furthermore, there is little evidence to support the presumption that insomniacs are hyperaroused in physiological terms or that relaxation has its effect through autonomic change. At the cognitive level, these techniques may act through distraction and the promotion of mastery. During relaxation the mind focuses upon alternative themes such as visualized images or physiological responses. In meditation the focus is upon a 'mantra' and in self-hypnosis upon positive self-statements. Relaxation may be effective for thought processes that are anxiety-based, confused, and which flit from topic to topic.
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