This Attention Tutoring Program focuses on teaching relaxation breathing for all ages. Participants learn the importance of a calm body in order to feel more comfortable, in control and to improve focus.
Children, adolescents and adults increasingly suffer from stress due to more and more pressure at school and at work. Learning to relax increases comfort and quality of life. The great news is that relaxation techniques can be learned and mastered–easily. This program teaches relaxation techniques such as calm breathing and biofeedback.
The relaxation response
During Attention Tutoring lessons, children and adults practice relaxation either through relaxation breathing techniques or biofeedback. Both of these methods successfully slow down breathing. This leads to a well-researched physiological reaction called the “relaxation response”, where the sympathetic nervous system activity (fight or flight) decreases and the parasympathetic nervous system activity (rest and digest) increases, leading to a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure. The body becomes calmer and more comfortable.
The relaxation and stress reduction program
At each lesson, tutors work with participants using biofeedback. The biofeedback apparatus measures and shows the student’s heart rate on a screen. When a person breathes, his or her heart rate naturally increases when breathing in, and decreases when breathing out. The biofeedback device tracks the difference in heart rate between breathing in and breathing out. This is also called heart rate variability (HRV), which is depicted on the screen by a curve. Essentially, the curve shows the students respirations, and prompts them to deepen and slow respirations. When this happens, the sympathetic nervous system activity slows down, and the parasympathetic nervous system kicks in. This makes you feel relaxed. Participants find that being comfortable is an immediate relief and also gives them a sense of control.
Some children and adults also take advantage of this relaxed state to support attention. Additionally, some people use the attention training neurofeedback during the lesson to enter a focused and attentive state. During and between the neurofeedback attention exercises relaxation is emphasized. The neurofeedback attention training is followed by another relaxation practice.
Other relaxation approaches, such as visualization or progressive relaxation are also used.
Participants in the program are encouraged to practice relaxation between the Attention Tutoring relaxation lessons. Different school, home and work strategies are discussed and personalized with the participants.
The goal at Attention Tutoring is to teach skills and increase awareness. As participants recognize the benefits of relaxation, they are encouraged to practice their learned skills throughout the day, during challenging transitions, at school, work or at home.