Certain negative emotional states such as anxiety, anger and panic, include a component of overarousal thereby triggering the “fight or flight” repertoire of physiological responses. Some of these existing emotional tendencies are additionally amplified by stress. When in an undesirable emotional state, many individuals then experience unwanted cognitive and behavioral phenomena that can lead to impaired performance and undesirable behavioral choices. If shifted to a more positive, balanced emotional state, many find that performance and behavioral control improves. The emWave PC/Mac Stress Relief System has been used successfully with clients having emotional/behaviorial conditions, such as:
The following information is provided by a licensed clinical social worker in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia.
I have a private psychotherapy practice in the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. I also spend a day each week in an urban low cost clinic. I work with adults ranging in age from their early 20’s into their 70’s. In both practice settings most of my patients are city dwellers. They present with a spectrum of diagnoses ranging Generalized Anxiety Disorder to Complex PostTraumatic Stress Disorder. Some seek to resolve creative blocks limiting their art and others are seeking freedom from lives interrupted by intrusive recollections of a painful childhood. I introduce each of them to the emWave PC/Mac Stress Relief System regardless of their presenting problem.
I usually present the emWave PC/Mac Stress Relief System in this manner. I tell my patients that change, while sometimes desirable (and always inevitable) is nonetheless often contrary to the habitual nature of humans. I explain that psychotherapy will often stir up memories and emotions and that part of their therapy will involve my teaching them some basic skills. These skills, in emotional self-regulating as practiced with the emWave PC/Mac Stress Relief System, will help them to understand and manage these “periods” so they might make the best therapeutic use of them.
I want to teach my patients how to “soothe” and “ground” themselves. I help them learn that they can change their minds about a problem by using the emWave PC/Mac Stress Relief System. They discover new ways to manage their emotions rather than feeling controlled by them.
The emWave PC/Mac Stress Relief System quickly and easily shows them the power of their own thoughts and the immediate effect they can have on their body. One goal of therapy, stated or not, is always to heal the past in the present and thereby free the future for new possibilities. The emWave PC/Mac Stress Relief System is a valuable tool that helps my patients learn that they can change their minds.
I use the emWave PC/Mac Stress Relief System in conjunction with these psychotherapeutic techniques:
Here is a case study from a recreation therapist at University of North Carolina hospital in Chapel Hill, NC, who points out that consistent practice, and helping patients move along the continuum from education to application, can result in burn patients learning to reduce stress and anxiety, expand coping skills, and improve autonomic nervous system functioning.
Author's Commentary: Burn injuries result in sequellae of events, often with profound physical, psychological, and emotional ramifications. Concomitant trauma on a psychological level frequently accompanies the physical trauma of the burn injury. Aside from the very significant pain issues, burn survivors often suffer from anxiety, PTSD, and/or depression. HeartMath techniques, and the emWave PC/Mac Stress Relief System, offer patients a means for reducing the distress associated with post burn psychopathology and a method for influencing the pathophysiology.
In the burn population, researchers are interested in the psychopathological responses to burn injury. Psychological distress has been shown to affect the physical recovery process. Clearly, interventions designed to improve coping with the myriad of post burn issues are of significant interest. The HeartMath techniques offer a user-friendly format for integrating emotional aspects of coping with cognitive processing. For example, the emWave PC/Mac Stress Relief System and Quick Coherence technique can be useful for engaging the patient in dialogue around trauma-associated distress while providing an appropriate avenue for focusing efforts to reduce the distress.
Two cornerstone HeartMath emotions, appreciation and gratitude, are effective building blocks for developing the much-needed coping skills. Burn patients often gravitate to this perspective naturally, and the attentive healthcare worker will often hear an expression of gratitude. This affords the opportunity to introduce a framework for skill development, such as the Quick Coherence technique. For example, patients often make a remark of gratitude, such as “I am thankful my burn wasn’t worse” or in reference to spared body parts, survival, family support, etc. Depending upon the location of the burn, those with an available digit can benefit from the concrete learning opportunities associated with the emWave PC/Mac Stress Relief System.
Although use of HeartMath technology is necessarily tailored to an individual’s specific circumstance, common elements of progressive training can be identified. Following an introduction to HeartMath techniques, with an emphasis on the impact of both positive and negative emotions, specific skill development may continue. The point at which the technology of the emWave PC/Mac Stress Relief System is introduced may vary. For those patients who are technologically inclined, or who may be drawn to the “game-like” nature of the program, it can be effectively introduced during the initial session. The immediate reduction in pain or anxiety that patients frequently report after use of the emWave PC/Mac Stress Relief System is reinforcing, as patients often integrate the perception that they can teach themselves to feel better. Since many patients experiencing pain or anxiety also exhibit disordered breathing patterns, attention to breathing can aid patients in achieving coherence.
Patients who understandably become very focused on the situations surrounding their injury may require coaching to identify events in their life evocative of positive emotional experiences. Empowering patients to influence their physiology and sense of well being through use of the emWave PC/Mac Stress Relief System is most effective when followed up with identifying potential situations for applying the new skill.
Application of HeartMath techniques can be useful during specific burn related events that typically increase pain or anxiety, such as wound-care, surgical interventions, or emotionally charged issues like facing family, friends, or classmates after a disfiguring burn injury. The following are a few examples of specific situational applications of the emWave PC/Mac Stress Relief System.
A. Jen, a middle age woman with burns on over 40% of her body, was highly motivated to use the emWave PC/Mac Stress Relief System program on a daily basis. She noticed that she “felt better” after spending time in a coherent state. This was significant, given her history of substance abuse, depression, and anxiety. During her 7-minute practice session, with the hot air balloon game, the soaring balloon dropped precipitously, then resumed it’s previous height. In processing this event afterwards, the patient relayed flashing back to the events surrounding the fire, and being able to recover from the anxiety by focusing on the gratitude she felt for having saved a child’s life before the fire ravaged the house.
B. Freddy, a teenager was extremely nervous prior to surgery, and was open to trying the emWave PC/Mac Stress Relief System program during Recreational Therapy. The immediate success was evident, as his first request after returning to his room post-op was to use the emWave PC/Mac Stress Relief System again because he wanted to feel better.
C. Scott, a 50 year old man, frustrated with many perceived annoyances of being hospitalized, applied the Quick Coherence® technique, and used the emWave PC/Mac Stress Relief System to change his perspective about many of his stressors. In one instance, after becoming frustrated with the phone “ringing off the hook,” the patient was able to apply his heart intelligence to observe that “they don’t know what’s going on up here, they are just being concerned friends. I can let them know when a good time to call would be.”