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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tip for living longer and healthier

People who can manage stress could live longer. Researcher at University of California (San Francisco) discovered telomerase. These have to do with genes and how cells split. Basically, they can help protect cells.

People with higher levels of trauma and stress were found to have less telomerase. How can you increase these? They suggest learning some de-stressors and “doing yoga.”

Notice: Have a course on yoga as a treatment intervention. Go to my web-site link here if you’re interested in taking this course:

Attended the 2009 American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) mid-year conference in the D.C. area. Learned about Heart Rate Variability (HRV). They had a neat tool. It clipped on your ear to measure HRV. Used it to test a person’s baseline HRV. They taught us several techniques to lower HRV, including: deep breathing, focusing on heart beat, thinking about “feeling loved.” Not necessarily thinking happy thoughts or about people who you want to love you. Sometimes, these are counterproductive.

Had a neat game to measure success in learning to decrease HRV. Was selected to be a test-demonstrator for the course. They hooked the tool on my ear. As used the stress management techniques – my HRV decreased. A video screen would show different pictures to reward me for decreasing it. At first the screen showed a green field. As my HRV decreased more rewarding images would appear on the screen such as animals, a small river, rainbows, etc. If my HRV increased the pictures would disappear to let me know.

By the end of this one training session, I felt that I was competent in knowing how to tell if my HRV is elevated and how to decrease it.

It is a self-regulation technique. Certain this technique and tool would help a person to build their telomerase.

My New Year’s resolution is to save up and purchase one of these tools for myself. But will use it to help the patients who I serve, too. Provide recreational therapy for children ages 7 to 12 who are abuse-reactive. They’ve suffered sever abuse and have learned to act out the same abuse on others. Based on my experiences, many of the children in this population have severe anger and stress issues. They’re both verbally and physically aggressive. Believe this tool could be a great way to help the children to be self-aware and learn how to de-regulate their emotions.

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