All posts by JPA

I have been practicing and teaching meditation for over 30 years. My focus is on helping people learn methods and techniques to enhance their health, performance, relationships and spirituality.

Breathing for Recovery from Stress

The following instructions are to help with stress and are not meant as treatment for any medical conditions. If you have any discomfort from any technique then stop using it.

Recovery breathing maintains our reserves.

Stress tends to wear us down physically and emotionally. In the model of stress that I use, this comes from our reserves being depleted. When our reserves are depleted we feel physically exhausted or emotionally drained. Even thinking about doing something can feel too much for us.

We need to maintain our reserves no matter what type of stress we are dealing with. Breathing techniques can help us do that.

We can optimize the rate we recover from stress by developing three aspects of breathing. These are

  1. Enjoying the breath
  2. Pacing the breath
  3. Deepening the breath

Continue reading Breathing for Recovery from Stress

Scammers and Unease

I am working on various ways of presenting material. I had a request for an audio version of posts so I will include that here as well as the text version.

I read a recent report on scammers preying on people’s fear of COVID-19 to sell them bogus cures. I thought it would be interesting to apply the unease modulation model of stress to understand how scammers work and how to protect ourselves.

Continue reading Scammers and Unease

Tibetan Bowl Sounds

I have a Tibetan bowl that many people have found quite relaxing. However, not all people like the same pitch. This post links to a page that has a number of differently pitched Tibetan bowl sounds. Each link on the page will take you to a 5 min track of a Tibetan bowl at a different pitch. Find one you like and relax.

One purpose of these Tibetan bowl tracks, the paced breathing tracks, and any of the relaxation tracks you can find on this site is to help you relax and recover from stress.

Another equally important function is that they should help you disengage your attention from useless focusing on what is making you uneasy and enable you to shift your attention to what may reduce your difficulty. More on this in a couple of days.

Tibetan Bowl Sounds Various Pitches

Paced Breathing for Brief Relaxation

Our parasympathetic nervous system helps us recover from stress. When we breathe at a slow pace, generally between 5 and 7 breaths per minute for adults, our physiology shifts into a recovery state in which natural restorative processes become more active. This is associated with activation of the parasympathetic nervous system and it will occur within a few seconds of beginning that breathing pattern.

The link below points to a page with a series of videos that you can use to breathe with.  Pick a pace and breathe with it. If a particular pace does not feel soothing then try a different pace. You are looking for a breathing pace that feels effortless and soothing. Your body should settle into it effortlessly. Most people like a pace between 5 and 7 breaths per minute. Continue reading Paced Breathing for Brief Relaxation

Guided Meditation for Peaceful State

This is a guided meditation that uses vocals mixed with nature sounds. The intention is to help you experience a peaceful state of mind and body.

This track was mixed to be listened to on headphones for the best experience.

This meditation uses several nature sounds tracks that are licensed from Karl Hamilton at www.naturesounds.ca

The tracks used are

  • Wind in Pines
  • Forest Stream
  • Relaxation Brook
  • Silver Falls
  • Broad-Winged Hawk
You can find these and many other excellent nature recordings at his site.

 

Some Interesting Ideas on Pain and Dealing with It.

I wanted to let visitors know about a site by Kevin Cuccaro, D.O.

Dr. Kevin has some extremely important ideas about pain and how to deal with it effectively.

His blog is Straight Shot Health

He also has a free class on ways of thinking about pain that can be transformative at The Pain Class  

The free class is can be understood without having a medical background.

I see stress as being a factor in the experience of pain and am working on how the model of stress I use will work with his model of pain. I’ll post more as I make progress on that.

Research Article Published – Finally

After months of work the research article I was working on has been published in Frontiers in Psychiatry. The article describes a new model for stress by breaking stress down into several components. These components are:

  • Difficulty
  • Unease
  • Sympathetic Activation (SMP)
  • Parasympathetic Activation (PMP)
  • Reserves

These components affect how we experience the world and how we respond to it. Unease has more influence and so learning to modulate unease is the most important part of dealing with stress.

The article is free to read and the link is

The Unease Modulation Model – A New Theory of Stress

Site Revision in Spring 2019

I have not posted here for awhile because I am working on a couple of research articles, as well as developing apps and a training program. Those have been absorbing all the time and energy I have to spare and will continue to do so for the next couple of months.

After those projects are completed this site will be redone to include new material and to make it more organized. Thanks for your patience.