Updated: Apr 13
This is a grounding technique called the 4 Elements. It's designed to reduce stress in the body and help to achieve a parasympathetic state. With the current distress everyone is under, it's important to do things to get a reduction in cortisol and the adrenaline in the body. Increases in stress can compromise the immune system.
Hi there, my name is Kelly O'Horo and I'm calling in from the Arizona Trauma Recovery Network. We are designed to respond for community disasters and we do pro-bono EMDR Therapy for those affected by large scale community events. We are not currently set up to address COVID in the way that we typically have and so what we have elected to do right now is serve first responders and medical personnel until things calm down. And we want you to know that we are here to support you and we know that your schedules are very difficult to manage right now - and finding time and space to get your own self care can be difficult. We also know that you're under a tremendous amount of pressure in unusual circumstances without the support of - sometimes and in some cases - the administration wherever you might work - and certainly the lack of personal protective equipment that you're used to being able to have at the ready. So - we understand there is a lot of additional stress right now and pressure that you must be feeling. What we'd like to offer you, specifically, is something that you can do when it's convenient for you and it's a grounding technique. It's called the 4 elements. This can be done in a very short amount of time to bring down an acute stress response into a relaxed and ready state. We know that elevated cortisol and adrenal response will negatively impact your immune system, so we want to give you a mini vacation from the stress.
Take a moment to get yourself comfortable.
Find a chair or couch, as comfortable as you can. Somewhere you don't have to stand.
After you find that moment - put your feet on the ground.
The first element is Earth. I want you to first notice the Earth under your feet. Notice the weight of your body settling into the furniture your sitting on. Notice that the gravity of the Earth is holding you present. Allow the release of your muscles.
The second element is Air. Notice the temperature of the air around you. Notice the quality of the air around you. We're going to do a few deep breaths - a box breath. This is breathing in for four, hold for four, exhale for four, and hold for four. Repeat that sequence of breathing another three or four times.
While you breathe notice the earth under your feet.
The third element is Water. Take a sip of water, and hold the water in your mouth. Go ahead and swallow. Notice your deeper breath now that you've swallowed.
The fourth element is fire. Imagine a powerful light energy spreading down through your head, face, shoulders, arms, chest, abdomen, legs, all the way down to your feet. Notice the healing energy. Take advantage of a calmed relaxed state.
We hope this helps - and take care.