Despite being safer and more comfortable than ever before, your patients biochemistry is reacting to modern day life as though it is being chased by a big black wolf at all times.
There are notifications on all devices (even your fridge!) at all times, aggressively disrupting you at every turn — interrupting even the slightest sense of relaxation. Work life is bleeding into their personal life, hijacking what should be relaxing time with family.
And then there's the 24/7 news cycle, always giving our patients something else to be worried about - even if it is happening on the other side of the world.
This all spells bad news for stress levels... and in turn, will lead to an increase in cortisol as our patients try to deal with these never-ending perceived threats.
Teach Your Patients How To Eliminate Their Stress In Under 10 Minutes
This is a simple but excellent relaxation technique.
Dr. Schmitt has used it personally and with his patients for over 20 years, ever since it was originally taught to him by ICAK charter diplomate John Diamond, M.D.
Here's why it works so well:
Often, what your patient is stressed about is something that is not happening right now.
Maybe it's a conversation they need to have at work with their boss tomorrow...
A project that is due next week...
Or a difficult stage that their child is going through, and they worry what may come next.
The Relaxation Rainbow brings your patient back to the present moment, giving them room to breathe and center themselves.
How To Use The Relaxation Rainbow
The Relaxation Rainbow works by directing your patient's mind on to one thing at a time — specifically individual colors.
The colors of the rainbow are easily remembered by the mnemonic ROY G. BIV:
Your brain interprets colors in this exact same order. The area for recognition of red is next to the area for orange is next to the area for yellow, and so on.
By mentally focusing on each of the ROY G. BIV colors in this sequence, you automatically activate these areas of brain in a very orderly fashion.
This creates a calming or centering effect which reduces the effects of stress.
Here's how The Colored Staircase works:
Have your patient imagine they are walking up a flight of steps. The first one is red.
Your patient must remain on the red step in their mind. Once they are totally focused on the red step, not thinking of anything else, they may then step to the next step which is orange.
Once your patient is totally focused on the orange step, they may step up to the yellow step.
The patient continues this process through green, blue, indigo, and violet steps.
At the top of the steps is a very bright white light which your patient can see after they have completed focusing on the violet step.
Other Ways Of Using The Relaxation Rainbow
Other variations of The Relaxation Rainbow include replacing the stairs with colored pools of water to swim through, or colored fields of flowers to walk through.
In both cases, the patient should imagine themselves being fully immersed in, or surrounded by, the color. Only once they have been successful in this endeavour should they move to the next color.