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Parkinson's disease tremor is diminished with relaxation guided imagery


  • Potential conflict of interest: None of the authors have any financial interest nor do they have any conflict of interest.


Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) may have pronounced tremor that exacerbates during stress. To determine whether PD tremor improves with relaxation guided imagery (RGI) and relaxing music. Twenty patients with PD with moderate to severe tremor participated in sessions where relaxation techniques were implemented. Tremor was objectively monitored using an accelerometer. RGI dramatically decreased tremor in all 20 patients (baseline 270.38 ± 85.82 vs. RGI 35.57 ± 43.90 movements per minute P < 0.0001). In 15 patients, RGI completely abolished tremor for 1–13 min. Average tremor activity remained significantly bellow baseline both 15 min and 30 min after RGI was discontinued (P < 0.001). Patients reported improvement lasting 2–14 hours (mean 6.8 ± 3.8). Relaxing music significantly reduced tremor but to a lesser degree than RGI (220.04 ± 106.53 movements per minute P = 0.01). Self-relaxation had no significant effect on tremor. RGI can supplement conventional medical treatments for tremor in patients with PD on best medical treatment. © 2009 Movement Disorder Society