Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Activity To Induce Relaxation

"When faced with a challenge, look for a way, not a way out." -David Weatherford

Since making the decision to take Daniel off the Focalin XR, we have to look for a way to deal with his symptoms, until we figure out the cause of his ADHD. One of Daniel's biggest problems, is being able to calm himself. He snaps at the drop of a hat. He is extremely impulsive and once wound up, it is hard to unwind. He does not posses the ability or self control it takes to calm himself. It is my job to teach him to use relaxation techniques. One of his favorites, is a bedtime ritual that I perform. We call it "Blue Light."

  1. Have your child lay in his/her bed with eyes closed.
  2. Have them take 3 slow, deep breaths.
  3. *Use your hands to touch each body part that you send the blue light to. You can lightly stroke your child's forehead or whatever body part the blue light is at, as you talk. The healing power of touch is tremendously beneficial to children. This is so calming to Daniel.
  4. Use a soft, quiet voice to guide your child through the activity. From here on out, I will speak in a monologue, so you get a better idea of what to say:

"Picture a soft, blue light. Imagine that the light is warm and relaxing. Every body part that the light travels through, will relax that part of your body. When the light moves to a new body part, let it just sink into the bed and get heavy. The light will help you relax. Ready?

The light will start at the top of your head. It is soft and warm. Your head is very relaxed. As you breathe, let out all of your worries. Breathe in good thoughts. Each breath in will bring peace, and each breath out will release stress. Now relax your face. Let your eyes get heavy. Feel your mouth relax. The blue light is traveling down your face. As it moves, let it relax you.

The light is moving down your face into your neck. Your neck is relaxing. Let it get heavy and sink into your pillow..."

Do this for each body part (minus the groin area, of course.) Move the blue light all the way down to his/her toes, then travel back up, ending at the head. The power of suggestion will help them to relax completely. These visualization techniques will help to take their minds off of stress, school, or whatever plagues their mind at night. You can tailor this activity to your child's needs and time constraints. The whole activity takes me ten minutes. It is a ten minutes well spent. Daniel drifts off quickly and has a more restful sleep, it seems. Keep repeating the words "calm; relax; heavy, peaceful;" and incorporate them into the activity. End the activity (if your child is still awake,) with deep, slow breaths. Instruct them to listen to each breath as it goes in and out. It will continue to keep their mind focused on relaxing. You can use anything, not just a blue light. I chose a blue light to represent peace. Your child might want to picture a moon, a heart or something that makes them feel calm. You can teach your child, over time, to do this activity whenever he/she feels stressed. Soon, they will be able to guide themselves through it. I like to do it for Daniel because it is ten minutes that I get to bond with just him. Let me know what kind of results you get!


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