An average human being is bound to go through about two traumatic events in a lifetime. But for those working in emergency services and other helping professions, that is increased exponentially – to 500 to 800 traumatic events in the span of a 20- to 30-year career. Given these statistics, it shouldn’t come as a shock when law enforcement officers, first responders, and social workers end up a little bit more jaded or cynical, and that suicide rates and mental health issues are a little bit more common in these professions. It only makes sense to equip the people who are tasked to face such traumatic incidents with the tools to build resilience, prevent and manage stress and trauma, and intervene before it takes a toll on overall wellness.
This session’s instructor is Rodger Ruge, a Stress Management & Biofeedback Practitioner, Life Coach, and Resilience Advantage Trainer. He founded HeroTalk LLC where he shares his knowledge, skills, and experience to promote body-mind-soul wellness and resilience. He has a 20-year law enforcement career where he served in different assignments including being the Master Instructor for the California POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) where he designed the agency’s wellness program.
Specifics of this experiential discussion include:
- Breathwork as the lowest hanging fruit to reset our system and the science behind how breathing influences our feelings and performance.
- The 4-7-8 Breathing, its benefits on the parasympathetic nervous system, blood pressure, and heart coherence, and the reasons why this technique is recommended over other approaches.
- A step-by-step guide to the 4-7-8 Breathing, practicing this breathing technique, its immediate and observable effects on the body, and situations when it can be used.
- How a meditation practice works and the recommended length for it to be effective.
- The Three Minute Meditation, guidelines to practice it, trying out this technique, and instances when it can be utilized.
- The importance of conducting a pre- and post-practice body scan and the signs and means to recognize its parasympathetic impact on the body.
- Thoughts and beliefs that serve as barriers to implementing a meditation and mindfulness practice.
- How meditation is leveraged by warriors dating back to the ancient times to modern military systems.
- The concept of stacking and integrating breathwork and meditation practice to maximize the effects.
- How the best approach to take when it comes to mindfulness is the one that is practiced constantly.
- How primary and vicarious trauma for those working in emergency services adversely impacts the body’s systems and processes and the value of post-event restoration to reverse this.
- Understanding what happens to the body during the fight or flight response and the result when we stay elevated in that fight or flight mode for too long.
- The Fight or Flight Reset approach, the specific actions to undo the effects of the flight or fight response, and what it induces the body into.
- The length of time required for the Fight or Flight Reset to take effect, specific situations where it can be useful, and practicing it regularly for it to be part of our muscle memory.
- The benefits of mixing and matching these techniques and employing these in our daily practice to influence our responses, processes, feelings, and outcomes.
Topics raised during the Q&A were about:
- Transcendental meditation used in military special forces.
- The science backing up the usefulness of the practices.
- Overcoming the tough-it-out culture by being open to various wellness-improving approaches.
- Recommended cycle, length, and frequency for the techniques discussed.
- Measuring the effectiveness of the techniques through pre- and post- body scans.
- The difference between meditation and prayer.
- Difficulties disengaging thoughts during meditation and other ways to invoke the same effects.
- How uncrossing limbs allows deeper relaxation and parasympathetic restoration.
Other Webinars with this Presenter:
- July 19: Tactical Resilience Part 1: Mental Preparedness for Peak Field Performance (this webinar)
- Sept 13: Tactical Resilience Part 2: Physical practices for Peak Field Performance
Resources and Handouts:
- “To start with, I feel super relaxed after the exercises we did during this session. Now I feel and see the importance of these techniques that take very little time from my work, but make me feel revitalized and more eager to continue doing what I do for my community. Thank you so much!” — Arely
- “Rodgers, fantastic presentation and highly informative. Truly enjoyed all the techniques and did notice positive shifts in the body❣️❣️❣️” — Barbara
- “I really liked the breathing techniques I will be implementing these for myself and plan to share them with coworkers and family.” — Bob
- “I really enjoyed this webinar and feel so relaxed. Thank you for allowing me to attend!” — Brenda
- “Easy to understand material and easy to learn techniques.” — Brent
- “The tangible practice involved in this webinar really reassures of the value of the exercises offered. The fact that these techniques can be accomplished in 3 minutes is also invaluable. THANK YOU!” — Tim
- “This training is very valuable to those that are not familiar with the techniques discussed. For those that have been around a long time, it was a good refresher.” — Doug
- “The webinar enhanced and expanded my current knowledge and practice of breathing techniques and meditation. It enforced my belief that what I had been doing to ease tension and fear in dangerous situations was right for me. Great webinar!” — Mary
- “Superb presentation by an experienced expert! — Bill
- “Excellent presentation! practical, useful, good presentation on why to start, or continue, doing this daily — Cynthia
- “Rodger was fantastic!! Learned some new techniques that I believe will actually benefit me long-term. What a lovely human Mr. Rodger seems to be. Thank you for this opportunity!” — Michelle