In search of a standardized protocol for parasympathetic nervous system activation
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Description: While endocrine stress research has long benefitted from standardized protocols for hypothalamus-pituitary adrenal axis activation, no such protocol has been established for induction of psychophysiological relaxation. For the maintenance of health, the activation of regenerative systems during times of recovery is likely as important as the activation of stress systems during times of threat. Thus, we wanted to investigate whether a body massage is capable of significantly stimulating a psychological and physiological relaxation response. The study is officially registered at the German Clinical Trials Register (https://www.drks.de, trial DRKS00021162).