DEAR DOCTOR K: I'm under a lot of stress, and I'd like to learn more about the "relaxation response." What is it? How can I achieve it?
DEAR READER: At Harvard Medical School, we do a lot of traditional "Western" scientific research. But we also have a long history of studying "Eastern" concepts of how the body works, disease and treatment. In the late 1970s, Harvard cardiologist Herbert Benson conducted research into the health hazards of stress -- and the body's potential to heal itself. One antidote to stress that Dr. Benson studied was the relaxation response.