By Reid Forgrave
The Cincinnati Enquirer
BATAVIA - In Linda Baker's surgical technology class at University of Cincinnati Clermont College, stress is part of the job.
Susan Auffart and James Schweickart are monitored for stress as Ronald Leslie (left) and Michael Vislocky look on.
The Cincinnati Enquirer/GLENN HARTONG
That's why her students spend some class time learning a biofeedback technique to deal with high stress.
"There's a lot of applications for knowing how to de-stress quickly in the operating room," said Baker, a professor in the associate degree program that covers the art and science of surgical instruments. "There's no cigarette breaks, no bathroom breaks in the OR. There's a lot going on to save a patient's life. You need to think quickly on your feet, so it's great having this quick method to get back to focus on the job at hand."
The method is Freeze-Frame, which teaches students to achieve physiological balance and mental clarity and to reduce performance blocks such as test anxieties and emotional turmoil. Once trained in the technique - basically synchronizing breathing and heart rates through focusing on positive emotions - it can be used as needed.
Two professors, trained in the technique at the Institute of HeartMath in Boulder Creek, Calif., use the "Freeze-Framer" computer program to study heart-rate variability and teach college and high school students the technique.
"Lots of people are afraid of math," said Michael Vislocky, a mathematics professor at the UC satellite campus. "Learning to relax in stressful situations can help these students perform better on tests, and it also opens up their life choices. So many people will switch majors just to avoid a specific math class."
Vislocky and Dr. Ron Leslie, an associate professor of psychology, hope to open a full-time HeartMath lab at the college to help students with stress training.
Students use the technique in everyday situations. When cardiac surgical technology student Susan Auffart was driving recently and a man started tailgating her, she said, she calmed herself by using the technique.
Surgical technology student James Schweickart calls it a quick form of meditation. "You get more focused," he said. "You can zone in, just like an athlete."
Catholics try to reconcile faith and political choices
Catholics speak out on politics and religion
Pilarczyk deflects sacrament issue
Take 3: 'Cops' invited back to city
'Cops' cameras roll in Covington
Our spelling 'shuud be lojical,' protesters cry
Students inspired by war, service
IN THE TRISTATE
Drake Center request gets divided reaction
Students learn de-stress method
Reserves head back to Iraq
State court widens liability for abuse
Close 2 centers for disabled, panel urges
Video gambling effort likely to fail
Pleasant Ridge mobilizes
Pot bust nets 164 pounds, two arrests
Public safety briefs
Morning music comes to Lebanon
Businesses pledge help if art school will move
Fernald cleanup fails powder test
Fees would pay for growth
Recreation center still perplexes West Chester
Brother gets four-year term in fatal shooting of sister
Good Things Happening
Bronson: Storm alert: Run for it! Enstupidation
Crowley: NKU tuition hike needs a perspective
Robert Dehan led company despite illness
Homes plan clears hurdle
Kentucky news briefs
Fletcher wants suit suspended
Nine abused kids needed her, nine times she took them in
Neighbors help to buy funeral for slain man
Plea averts trial
Talks proceed on diploma equivalent for dropouts