The InstaCalm Relaxation Technique®
by Charles Beeson
The InstaCalm Relaxation Technique is a method using self-hypnosis to create a very relaxed state in less than a minute. It’s a valuable tool for stress reduction, especially for personal stress relief and workplace stress management.
Stress Management in America
Stress levels throughout America continue to take their toll, for both adults and teenagers. According to recent surveys reported by the American Psychological Association (APA), on its website, 42% of adults and 52% of teenagers feel stress is impacting their health and happiness. Harris Polls have, since 2007, continued to show the effects of personal finances, the economy and the overwhelming pressures in the workplace and school.
The subject of stress management has been on the minds of many since the 1920’s. Then, the term,”Stress Response” was first used to describe a fearful state of mind, also, called the “Flight or Fight Response”. Its’ effects being induced by feelings caused by the brain chemicals; adrenalin and cortisol, flooding the blood stream because of a perceived threat. But, rather than reacting to an actual life threatening situation, a vast majority of men and women are triggering this danger-warning, frequently throughout their day, due to normal life events.
Stress has been divided into two types; acute stress brought on by a temporary condition, and, chronic stress, describing, a prolonged state of extreme nervousness and tension. Chronic stress has been determined to contribute to a long list of illnesses.
Stress has been linked to cancer, high blood pressure, obesity and immune system disorders, to name a few. When not addressed and managed properly, stress can lead to depression and serious anxiety disorders that hurt personal performance and relationships .
The Relaxation Response
It has long been accepted that the practice of relaxation techniques can help counteract the problems brought on by stress. Harvard Medical School and the University of Califoria conducted research back in the 60’s and 70’s into how the practice of meditation, positively i
mproves physical and emotional states. A book was written and published in 1975, by one of these researchers at Harvard, Herbert Benson, MD. It’s called “The Relaxation Response”. It soon became a best seller.
The book described several, step-by-step, techniques that can create a more relaxed state of mind and body. These techniques use regulated deep breathing, progressive relaxation, and, mental focus methods that are taught in the practice of Transcedental Meditation (TM). It was a new concept at the time and many psychologists began giving the book to their clients.
I first read and studied this book in 1992, while working on the development of a stress relief program using hypnotherapy. It was obvious to me, having previously been an instructor of meditation, that teaching the technique could be challenging. Meditation requires a great deal of disciplined, mental focus.
Turn Off Your Light-Switch
As a hypnotherapist, I found it far easier to guide an individual into a deep, sleep-like, state of hypnosis, called somnambulism. I would then train the subject how to quickly return to that state using self-hypnosis. I had learned about a fast, self-hypnosis method called the Light-Switch, from a teacher of hypnotherapy, Gerald Kein, in Florida.
The name of the technique comes from a step used in the beginning of practicing it, when the subject imagines turning off a light-switch, as the fore finger is raised and lowered. Once a person learns the technique, a deep state of relaxation can be achieved, almost instantly!
For several years, I taught this technique to many of my own patients and in-time, found various ways of incorporating time duration limits. This means that a person could tell themselves how long they would stay relaxed before returning to a state of being wide awake and mentally alert (example: one… three… five… ten minutes, etc.).
The subconscious mind is believed to have an inner awareness of time. This could explain why a person is able to wake up in the morning seconds before their alarm clock goes-off!
The next step was to create hypnotic recordings that teach the technique for at-home use, as well as, to incorporate a way to condition the mind with new stress-coping skills through cognitive restructuring. I use a method of cognitive behavioral hypnotherapy to associate the feeling of tension with the triggering of:
- Taking a deep breath.
- Associating the feelings of calmness and confidence with the exhalation of the breath.
- Thinking of questioning the reality of the situation to keep it in a more calm perspective, without triggering the stress response.
I named this method InstaCalm® and registered it with the US patent office. It has now become the heart of 2 programs I offer today; the InstaCalm Stress Relief System™ and the InstaCalm Anxiety Relief Program. I now, offer a complete Stress Reduction training program, using four, MP3 hypnosis recordings. They work in the following steps…
Step 1 Listen to a 19 minute relaxation recording called “Deep Calmness” for one week. This completley calms the mind and body with effects, usually, lasting for one to three hours. This also helps the subject to become accustomed to using hypnosis and cognitive hypnotherapy.
Step 2. Listen to the recording, “Learning the Light-Switch Technique”. This takes 20 minutes.
Step 3. After completing Step 2, the subject immediately listens to the 10 minute recording, The One-Minute Light-Switch”. The complete technique can usually be learned in less than 45 minutes.
Step 4. The one minute technique is then practiced for several times throughout the day. The subject is instructed to begin listening to the recording, “InstaCalm Response”, which reinforces the technique and helps deepen the relaxation. It also conditions the mind with several easy-to-learn, stress coping behaviors.
Persons suffering with Chronic Stress or Generalized Anxiety Disorder can use this relaxation system to maintain a calm state by practicing the one minute technique every 2 to 3 hours. Based on my experience, the constant symptom of tension and nevousness, usually associated with severe stress and anxiety disorders, can often be alleviated in about two weeks. *Results Vary
Everything presented in this article, lacks the scientific scrutiny of a clinical study. It is based upon my personal experience and observations, having worked with hundreds of men and women who have come to me for help with stress and anxiety, at my office in Cupertino, California. Further research and clincal study is invited.
The “Deep Calmness”, recording can be obtained for free with the Anxiety Relief Kit. The complete training program for the InstaCalm Relaxation Technique is now available in a home study program called the, InstaCalm Relaxation System®
I can be reached at (408) 366-0707.