Herbert Benson

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"Herbert Benson, M.D., is the Director Emeritus of the Benson-Henry Institute (BHI), and Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. A graduate of Wesleyan University and the Harvard Medical School, Dr. Benson is the author or co-author of more than 190 scientific publications and 12 books..

""More than five million copies of his books have been printed in many languages.

"Dr. Benson is a pioneer in mind/body medicine, one of the first Western physicians to bring spirituality and healing into medicine. In his 40+ year career, he has defined the relaxation response and continues to lead teaching and research into its efficacy in counteracting the harmful effects of stress. The recipient of numerous national and international awards, Dr. Benson lectures widely about mind/body medicine and the BHI's work. His expertise is frequently sought by national and international news media, and he appears in scores of newspapers, magazines, and television programs each year. Dr. Benson's research extends from the laboratory to the clinic to Asian field expeditions. His work serves as a bridge between medicine and religion, East and West, mind and body, and belief and science." [1]

" In 1988, I became the founding president of the Mind/Body Medical Institute and remained in that position until its closing in 2006. At that time it became the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and I became its Director Emeritus. My work has been recognized and honored by the Coors Foundation who have supported the establishment of the Herbert Benson Professorship in Medicine which will be activated upon my retirement and my work has been archived at the Countway Library, http://oasis.harvard.edu/html/med00061frames.html." Full CV

His first book The Relaxation Response was written in 1975 by Herbert Benson, a Harvard physician, and Miriam Z. Klipper. The response is a simple version of Transcendental Meditation (TM) presented for people in the Western world.


Grant Review Activities

Editorial Activities

  • 1974-1991 Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics
  • 1974-1985 Journal of Biofeedback and Self Regulation
  • 1974-1993 Behavioral Medicine (formerly Journal of Human Stress), Executive Editor (1981-1993)
  • 1977-1988 Associate Editor, Journal of Behavioral Medicine
  • 1980-1982 Chairman, Editorial Board, Massachusetts Journal of Community Health
  • 1983-1993 Journal of Psychiatric Research
  • 1993-1997 Co-Editor-in-Chief, Mind/Body Medicine

Select Grants

Current Funding

  • 2010-2015 - Quantification of Outcome Measures for Mind Body Interventions, NCCAM 1R01AT006464-01 - PI ($175,998) - This study aims to provide novel information on the relative precision, reliability and validity of psychological self-report, biochemical and genomic outcome measures for mind body interventions, and on the strength of correlations between them

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. Benson-Henry Institute Herbert Benson, organizational web page, accessed July 30, 2013.
  2. Institute for Research on Unlimited Love Advisory Board, organizational web page, accessed July 15, 2018.