Young people do yoga indoors

At my first appointment with Paula at Ruane Bioenergetics, I was not sure what to expert and what methods would be used to aid the way I approached and dealt with stress at work.

Ruane Bioenergetics focuses on a unique three-step process that identifies, resolves and equips people to cope with the effects of stress.

The system can help to dramatically improve the efficiency and productivity of staff, tackling the high levels of absenteeism and low productivity prevalent in a working environment.

It might all sound a bit vague, but Paula’s work has proven results, is evidence-based and ground in scientific research.  Central to Paula’s work is the groundbreaking HeartMath Training, which enables people to control their heart rhythms and manage stress using specific tools and techniques.  Clinical trials have shown that after six weeks of using HeartMath, respondents reported better sleep, reduced anxiety and muscle tension and less negative emotions, all of which has improved their work.

Paula began the session by fixing a sensory device to my earlobe, as this is part of the HeartMath Training. The system is visual and showed a diagram of my body, with the areas highlighted in red, amber or green depending on the amount of attention needed.  She also used a hand held scanner which tracked the areas of stress in the body which may result in tension, aches and pains.

Paula is clearly an expert in the field. She noted various health issues linked to areas of stress that I indeed have experienced, simply by translating the screens which reported on my breathing.  She offered natural remedies and solutions to each problem, so I do not leave the session feeling burdened by these issues, but instead enlightened with an idea on how to solve each problem.

To get yourself ‘in the zone’, Paula then trained me on how to control my heart rhythms and breathing techniques to push myself to use the parts of my brain that focus on my mid-level to high-level control, moving away from the ‘reflex/instinct’ part of my brain which is where my thoughts and emotions lie when I’m are stressed.

The breathing techniques felt strange at first, and can cause a slight dizziness, but once I adapted to the slower prescribed rhythms a sense of calm washed over me. Paula taught me that using this simplest of techniques during times of stress at work can be instantly gratifying, easing me into a state of mind that instead looks calmly upon a situation of stress, rather than jumping to anger, or panic.

All aspects of the course were explained in a scientific light so I was able to understand exactly how the programme would build my resilience to stress with the proven strategies.

Later in the session, after discussing some of the particular issues and worries on my mind, Paula shaped the session to teach me the best and most innovative methods to handle the type of situation I am currently experiencing. Without going into detail, we delved lightly into unique breathing techniques,  ancient Chinese medicine and meridian tapping, and I left the room feeling calmer and lighter than I have done in months.

Ruane BioEnergetics offers a range of bespoke HeartMath technology workshops which last from one hour to a full day. Paula offers one-to-one sessions and also group training sessions for up to 15 members of staff which can also include assessments to identify individuals who need additional support.


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Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.