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RELAXATION & MEDITATION COMPANION: The 28-page booklet explains how to reduce stress with complete breathing and other techniques such as "guided imagery," in which a person creates an imaginary safe place to retreat from the world. It includes a 60-minute tape that features Dr. Gaffney reading her book.

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RELATED TOPICS
DR. GAFFNEY'S BOOK
The Coaching Guide for Parents provides a simple structure and useable ideas for getting along better at home.
PARENTS' SUCCESS KIT Assessments, journal, communicate, relax and know what to do - all in one place!
THE NEWSLETTER Release the Leader within.
PARENTING TIPS Simple ideas to help you enjoy your most important relationships.
COACHING TIPS Evaluate yourself and set your course for change!
FAMILY SOLUTIONS If you are concerned about raising a family today, check out the ideas in this section.
TWO-MINUTE MOMENTS Two minutes of relaxation.
DR. GAFFNEY'S PICKS Books on Personal Care & Development as well as Parenting that Dr. Carol Gaffney recommends.
FORMER RESIDENT WRITES BOOK ON RELAXING

by David Singband
     Barrington Times


It's 2 am and you can't fall asleep. You're worrying about your job, the idiot who cut you off on 195, or any of the many stresses plaguing modern man.

Psychologist and former Barrington resident Dr. Carol Renaud Gaffney's new book on relaxation and meditation techniques may have the answer to your problem.

Complete breathing is essential to relaxation, Dr. Gaffney says. Not the constricted puffed-chest breathing many people do, but deep abdomen filling inhalation.

Inhale, sucking air into your abdomen, letting your belly rise. Then let it out and give an extra exhale to really empty your lungs. Then in again, feeling your belly rise.

As you concentrate on breathing, you will become "in the moment," truly experiencing the act of breathing to the exclusion of all else, Dr. Gaffney says.

Psychologist Dr. Carol Gaffney, with her bright blue eyes and turquoise jewelry, puts a distinctly Western face on the traditionally Eastern art of meditation.

A 1963 graduate of Barrington High School and now a resident of Arlington, Texas, Dr. Gaffney was in town last week to visit her parents, Elizabeth and Alphonse Renaud of Sowams Road, and to promote her new book and audiotape, "The Relaxation and Meditation Companion."

The 28-page booklet explains how to reduce stress with complete breathing and other techniques such as "guided imagery," in which a person creates an imaginary safe place to retreat from the world. The 60-minute tape features Dr. Gaffney reading her book.

In today's increasingly technological world, people need a portable, easy-to-use manual about basic meditation as a way to relieve stress' Dr. Gaffney said. People have forgotten how to heal themselves, she said.

Ironically, it was to modern technology—the 900-number—that Dr. Gaffney first turned to disseminate information about relaxation and meditation. Earlier this year, she opened the line which features information about meditation and new meditation tips that she changes weekly.
She acknowledged the seamy reputation that plagues 900 numbers.

"People said 'Oh God, what are you doing?'," she said. "At first, I was a little hesitant about telling people about what I was doing."

But, a 900-number is an effective way to reach people, she added.

The booklet and audiotape set was developed out of research she did for the meditation line.

Dr. Gaffney earned her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1984. She was introduced to meditation through the work of Dr Herbert Benson, a cardiologist who studied the affects of meditation on the body. When a person relaxes, he found, blood pressure, breathing and heart rates, metabolism and muscle tension decrease.

Dr. Gaffney decided to try to teach meditation after practicing it herself and seeing how it calmed her and helped her find patience with life.

"I'm not naturally a calm person." she said laughing. "I would say I'm type A."

Now, however, she can let life happen rather than obsessing over what she can't control.

"Life is as it is," she said. "I'm more in the flow." - Though there is a strong spiritual aspect to meditation, Dr. Gaffney was careful not to tie her book to any particular religious doctrine. The goal of meditation in Dr. Gaffney's work is to relax, to counteract the affects of chronic stress. These techniques work on a purely physiological level, she said.

"This is not about religion," she said. "This is about a person being aware of who he or she is."

Dr. Gaffney, the mother of three boys, is working on another book about parenting. She maintains a psychology practice, but would like to move into giving seminars on stress management at corporations.

"The Relaxation and Meditation Companion," book and tape, is available at The Little Professor Book Center on County Road.

Barrington Times, July 12, 1995 (Barrington, Rhode Island)


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TAKE AN ASSESSMENT

The more you know about your style, the easier it is to figure out what naturally stresses you and what to do to relax.

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TAKE A DEEP BREATH, RELAX
Stress and strain of daily living got you down? Breathe. Relax. Reclaim yourself and your energy – two minutes at a time.

TAKE A DEEP BREATH, RELAX
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MEDITATION & THE RELAXATION RESPONSE
Have you been wondering about meditation? Well, it’s easier than you think. You just have to get started. One breath, one focus, two moments.

MEDITATION & RELAXATION RESPONSE
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