Learn More About Anxiety & Stress Control

Marlo Gantner on Her Office — Scientific Relaxation Specialist in Winter Park, FL
Marylou Gantner's career as a Scientific Relaxation Specialist began with her studies at Temple University School of Medicine with world-renowned psychiatrist Joseph Wolpe, M.D. Her career spans 35 years as a public and clinical educator in biofeedback and stress reduction.

Ms. Gantner, a single mother of four teenagers, completed her Bachelors degree at Rollins College in Winter Park in 1973, followed by extensive courses in her field at University of Florida, Harvard University, the University of Central Florida, and Temple University School of Medicine, Behavior Therapy Unit.

Drawing on her extensive knowledge of Scientific Relaxation, Marylou developed Orlando Regional Mental Health Center's first outpatient pain control clinic. In addition, she trained individual patients in anxiety and tension control methods. As the Center's first Educational Director, Marylou developed a series of community and professional training seminars lead by international scientists in the field of Scientific Relaxation and Stress Management.
Marylou believes that anyone can learn to relax. She provides confidential individual sessions, as well as workshops for special interest groups. Her approach is personalized to her clients' needs. Using biofeedback and individualized stress management techniques, Marylou teaches Scientific Relaxation.

Scientific Relaxation is a trained skill, not counseling or therapy. Leading scientists today report that the chronic tension caused by anxiety and stress is cumulative and leads to physical and emotional symptoms, illness, premature aging and even death.

Edmund Jacobson, a brilliant Harvard M.D. and psychologist/physiologist, discovered a mechanism within the voluntary muscles that makes learning to relax chronic tension possible. His discovery, Scientific Relaxation, is one of the most important breakthroughs in medical history. He found that by using the mind, the body can be trained to remain relaxed but alert – allowing one to accomplish much more with less effort. By practicing this skill in daily life, over 70 years of clinical and laboratory research has proven that symptoms of stress can be reduced or eliminated.
Most people think that “relaxation” can only be found outside of their daily life routines. However, even when on vacation, how many are really able to completely let go of their tension and worries? Or to retain that sense of calm for more than a couple of hours after a massage? Our thoughts of fear and worry cause our brains to create chemicals that flood our bodies with tension. Tension is not a vague term. It is primarily the result of brain, nerve, and muscle activity which increases when we feel stressed and threatened. When this continues on day after day, it leads to both physical and emotional symptoms of discomfort. In an attempt to feel better, we reach for ways to soothe our discomforts – often adding the impact of self-defeating addictions to our lives.
Scientific Relaxation, as taught so well by Marylou Gantner, shows us that there is a different way. We can learn how to be relaxed in the midst of our everyday, busy and often challenging lives. Scientists report that we waste 30-60% of our energy when stressed. By reclaiming this energy, we are renewed with a vitality that allows for greater productivity, creativity and fulfillment in our lives.
Scientific Relaxation is the combination of progressive relaxation, differential relaxation and proper breathing. Marylou uses biofeedback and individualized stress management techniques to teach these life-enhancing skills.
Today Marylou trains clients to restore mental and physical well-being by identifying and relaxing excessive neuromuscular tension patterns that create stress symptoms and illness. Many of her clients are referred by physicians, lawyers, and mental health therapists. She has a passionate belief that people can develop high level wellness and personal excellence when the basic skills of Scientific Relaxation are practiced in daily life.

Marylou provides confidential individual sessions in the privacy of her office. She also offers comprehensive workshops and training programs for corporations, small businesses, and special interest groups.


  • Private practice since 1977
  • Scientific Relaxation Specialist since 1975
  • Former Education Director/Counselor, Orlando Regional Mental Heath Center
  • Rollins College, B.A., 1973


  • Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback – AAPB
  • Section, International Stress Management-ISMA
  • Section, Education, AAPB
Roommates Relaxing at Home — Progressive Relaxation in Winter Park, FL

Progressive Relaxation

The client learns to relax the body deeper than is possible during restful sleep while remaining alert and aware. Research shows that this deep muscle relaxation minimizes the cumulative effects of stress, restores energy, and promotes mental clarity. This is the way our body begins to release the years of chronic tension habit that is stored in our muscles. Additionally, T cells, a measure of the body's immune function, have been shown to increase 40% with progressive relaxation training.
Businessman Resting at His Work — Proper Breathing in Winter Park, FL

Proper Breathing

Recent research shows that as high as 85% of medical visits to health care professionals are for stress related symptoms. Stressed and anxious people breathe from their upper chest (shallow and rapid breathing), rather than breathing properly by engaging their diaphragm (deep and slow breathing). This shallow breathing engages one's fight-or-flight system of urgency and threat and places extra work on the heart and cardiovascular system. Breathing incorrectly for as few as three minutes can decrease the amount of oxygen by 30% to the heart and the brain. Scientific Relaxation training necessarily begins with exercises to strengthen the diaphragm. Breathing with the diaphragm is found to be both calming and energizing as it brings 3 to 5 times more oxygen to the body and mind for optimal function. Learning to breathe properly is a life-skill that supports our physical and emotional well-being, helping us in our everyday lives while also providing a powerful tool for navigating life's most challenging times.
Woman Relaxing — Differential Relaxation in Winter Park, FL

Differential Relaxation

The client learns to identify the excess tension that is present in the voluntary muscles, especially in the neck, shoulders, face and jaw. This is the way we train ourselves to stop creating more tension that would be stored in our muscles. With practice, relaxing this excess tension becomes a habit and relaxed alertness at work and in social environments become second nature.
Young Man with EEG Headset on Head — Biofeedback in Winter Park, FL


Marylou's ability to teach her clients the skills of progressive and differential relaxation is greatly accelerated with the assistance of EMG biofeedback. This is a simple and non-invasive tool that lets the clients know when they are tensed or relaxed.