This study used stress profiles to assess whether a biofeedback-assisted stress management program that previously documented decreased anxiety, stress symptoms, medication use, and increased well-being also had physiological effects. Psychophysiological stress profiles are used in quantifying an individual’s responses under stress and during recovery from stressors by looking at their degree of response, pattern of response, and degree of recovery. A stress profile measuring surface electromyography (sEMG), heart rate, and skin temperature was performed on 141 adults before and after their participation in a group relaxation and stress management program. After 10 sessions of skills training, the only significant change in physical parameters was warmer hand temperatures in both males and females. Temperature was also the only modality that was included as biofeedback training within the program. Trait anxiety (STAI) was significantly positively correlated with females’ sEMG before and after the program. Females had significantly colder hands, higher heart rate, and a pattern of higher sEMG than males did throughout all profiles. The responses and recovery from different stressors showed some significant male-female differences. Future psychophysiological and psychological studies should further investigate male-female differences.

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