Researchers from the University of Alicante in Alicante, Spain, performed a randomized controlled study to evaluate the impact of the Relaxation Response on enhancing the psychological well-being and modulating the immune responses of elderly people living in a residential facility when compared to a waitlist control group.

The study included a 2-week intervention period and a 3-month follow-up period. The main outcome variables were psychological well-being and quality of life, biomedical variables, and immune changes from the pre-treatment to post-treatment and follow-up periods.

The findings revealed significant differences between the experimental and control groups in CD19, CD71, CD97, CD134, and CD137 lymphocyte subpopulations at the end of treatment. Further, there was a decrease in negative moof, psychological discomfort, and symptom perception in the treatment group. Quality of life scores were increased at the three-month follow-up.

Application of a passive relaxation technique in residential programs for the elderly appears to be effective at enhancing psychological well-being and modulating immune activity in a group of elderly people in a residential facility. This relaxation technique could be considered an option for achieving health benefits with a low cost for residential programs, but further studies using this technique in larger samples of older people are needed to confirm the trends observed in this study.

Citation: Reig-Ferrer A1, Ferrer-Cascales R, Santos-Ruiz A, Campos-Ferrer A, Prieto-Seva A, Velasco-Ruiz I, Fernandez-Pascual MD, Albaladejo-Blazquez N. A relaxation technique enhances psychological well-being and immune parameters in elderly people from a nursing home: a randomized controlled study. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Aug 23;14:311. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-311. [email protected].