Saturday, April 12, 2014


We know deep relaxation switches on the parasympathetic nervous system often referred to as the “rest and digest” part of our autonomic nervous system, counteracting the “fight or flight” response associated with the sympathetic nervous system.

Research over the years has clarified the many benefits of deep relaxation and the following are some of them:


relieves stress and tension

facilitates high quality, natural sleep

strengthens your immune system

asthmatics learn to widen restricted respiratory passages

diabetics can reduce the need for insulin

improves body’s ability to regulate glucose in common types of diabetes

offers significant relief from chronic, unbearable pain

lessens or alleviates backache, chronic migraines, tension headaches, and cancer derived pain

releases muscle tension

lowers susceptibility to viruses

slows heart and breath rates

improves blood flow to the heart

lowers blood pressure

lowers cholesterol levels

lessens severity of angina attacks

helps the elderly with weakened immune systems

decreases bodily responses to stress released hormones (norepinephrine)

reduces cravings for food, alcohol and other drugs

reduces reliance on many psychotropic/prescription drugs

elevates endorphins, your natural pain killers

use of relaxation was recommended in 1984 by National Institutes of Health as a first therapy for mild hypertension, along with salt restriction and weight loss, before resorting to drug treatments

There are many ways to relax and Relaxation Therapy is one of them.  It is a powerful technique producing a comparatively deep state of relaxation as distinguished from mindfulness, meditation, prayer, progressive relaxation and other similar approaches.

To learn more about the original Relaxation Therapy go to the home page on this site and check out WHY RT?  located at the top of the page.

It is important to do Relaxation Therapy on a regular basis so you can experience the many benefits or RT.  You will soon develop Relaxation Skills.  Relaxation Skills allow you to relax in challenging, stressful situations without use of the RT Audio CD or RT MP3 download.

Remember, you ARE what you think.  You BECOME what you do.

Dr. Ray
For any of your comments or questions, email me at

Sunday, March 30, 2014


One of the most exciting scientific advances affecting the practice of Psychology in recent decades is the large body of research clarifying how NEUROPLASTIC our brain is and how we can change our brain through concentrated FOCUSED ACTION.

So what is Neuroplasticity and how does this come about through Focused Action?

Neuroplasticity is an umbrella term referring to changes in neural pathways and synapses resulting from changes in your behaviors, in the environment you live in, and complex neural processes ongoing in your highly active, dynamic brain.

Neuroplasticity occurs at multiple levels in your brain and is ongoing from childhood through the golden years.

The point is this:  As previously thought, your brain is not immutable.  It can be changed systematically through now available brain training technologies.  At the bottom of this Post, you will find references to books regarding the neuroplasticity of your brain.  In these books you will find links to web sites offering creative, practical, training opportunities as you seek improvements in your own brain functioning.  One is these is

An important component of the neuroplasticity of your brain is MENTAL FOCUS.  When you seek personal change, it is always better to have a clear idea what you want to change.  This is where the Personal Change Indicator (PCI) comes into play.

To assist you in optimizing the value of the Personal Change Indicator (PCI),  I have three previous Posts relevant to the pivotal outcome of your becoming YOUR OWN PSYCHOLOGIST.  These posts are:

How do you define a Personal Concern?             Posted on February 17, 2014
What is most important to you in your life?       
Posted on February 24, 2014
How goal directed are you?                                    
Posted on February 28, 2014
You might want to check these posts out before you complete the PCI.  Then, upon completion of the PCI, you will have clarification of your Primary, Secondary and Highly Focused Personal Concerns.  The good news is they are immediately available to you in your online THIS IS ME! report.

When you have a clear idea of what the concern is, the solution to the concern becomes readily apparent.  Changing your behaviors and your brain using the PCI, soon becomes a matter of FOCUSED ACTION, which means practicing what it takes to resolve your clearly defined Personal Concerns.

As you practice new behaviors, behaviors leading to the resolution of your personal concerns, new neural pathways will develop and will be observed in new, positive HABITS.

NOTE: To complete the PCI you will need an access code, just email me using the link below and I will send you your FREE ACCESS CODE.  This will be joined with your privately assigned password, fully protecting your privacy.  No one but you will see your THIS IS ME! Report. 

Remember, you ARE what you think.  You BECOME what you do.

Dr. Ray

For any of your comments or questions, email me at

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Simply put, pain is a message from your body something is not going well.  It is drawing attention to the area of concern.
When it speaks to you, listen.
A common reaction to pain is to seek some form of medication.  Let’s listen to what the INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE  has to say on the subject:

“Pain is a major driver of visits to physicians, a major reason for taking medications, a major cause of disability, and a key factor in quality of life and productivity.    Given the burden of pain in human lives, dollars and social consequences, relieving pain should be a national priority.

Because pain varies from patient to patient, healthcare providers should increasingly aim at tailoring pain care to each person’s experience, and self-management of pain should be promoted.”

Self-management of personal health and yes, pain, is a continuing theme of this Blog.

I have encouraged patients for decades to replace psychotropic and pain medications with self-mastery and internal locus of control and to replace pain, depression, tension and anxiety with emotional health coping skills.  In other words, engage self-management alternatives to drug dependence.

Deep Rhythmic Breathing and Relaxation Therapy offer such alternatives.

Learn to use them appropriately and experience the benefits.

Remember, you ARE what you think.  You BECOME what you do.

Dr. Ray

For any of your comments or questions, email me at

Monday, March 17, 2014


Pharmacy is the science and technique of preparing as well as dispensing drugs and medicines.

Your body is the best source of useful, natural Biochemicals.  Mother Nature set it up that way.  Why not use them to the fullest?  They are always available, you don’t have to drive anywhere to access your source, they do not cost anything  AND they are your most effective support  system for the positive, emotional, and physical results you seek.

Biochemicals occur naturally in nature, which means they naturally occur in your own body.
Let’s see what this means for you.

Your body is already equipped to deal with the demands and challenges of everyday life.  Your body is a SURVIVOR and has the ADAPTIVE potential you need to meet stressors effectively.  There are many such Biochemicals, so let’s review but a few:

SEROTONIN regulates mood, sleep and digestion.  When activated, you feel positive, confident, flexible and easy going.

ENDORPHINS are soothing and reduce pain.  They are your own, natural pain-killer and they do not have side effects.  Relaxation Therapy generates a good dose of endorphins.

OXYTOCIN promotes nurturing behaviors.

VASOPRESSIN supports pair bonding in males.

ADRENLINE provides power and focus.

DOPAMINE is utilized by all the reward centers in your brain.

MELATONIN is a hormone produced by the pineal gland; a small gland in the brain. Melatonin helps control your sleep and wake cycles.

These Biochemicals are readily available in your body and are designed to serve your health and happiness needs. ACTIVATE THEM!

The following is an example of how you can do this:

When you do Relaxation Therapy and do Deep Rhythmic Breathing, the breathing stimulates the vagus nerve, which then sends messages to your brain which then generates your own, naturally produced tranquillizer.

This is one of the many good reasons to do Relaxation Therapy on a regular daily basis.  When you have developed Relaxation Skills, you can achieve the same result without the MP3 file or Audio CD.  Practice, practice and more practice and you will get there, perhaps sooner than you think.

Remember, you ARE what you think.  You BECOME what you do.

Dr. Ray

For any of your comments or questions, email me at

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


JULIAN B. ROTTER, PHD     1916-2014

As some of you know, Dr. Julian B. Rotter is the author of Social Learning Theory, upon which much of this Blog is based.
It was my great privilege to study and work with Dr. Rotter, starting at Ohio State University where I served as his student and research assistant, and later relocated to the University of Connecticut when Dr. Rotter joined the UCONN faculty.
It is with great respect I present the following Obituary:
Julian B. Rotter, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Connecticut, died in his home on January 6, 2014. He was 97 years old.
He is survived by his wife Doffie Hochreich Rotter, his daughter Jean Rotter, and his older brother Saul Rotter, M.D. Jules, as he was known to his family, friends and colleagues, was predeceased by his first wife Clara E. Barnes Rotter, his son Richard, and Jules' brother Norman Rotter. Jules was born on October 22, 1916 In Brooklyn, N.Y. to Abraham Rotter and Bessie Goldstein Rotter.
He attended primary and secondary school in that borough and received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Brooklyn College. His formal education proceeded at the University of Iowa where he received a Master's degree in Psychology and culminated with a Ph.D. in Psychology from Indiana University.
He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and married Clara Rotter in 1941. His daughter Jean was born in 1947 and his son Richard was born in 1949. His academic career began at Ohio State University whose Psychology faculty he joined in1949. He rapidly rose to the rank of Full Professor and directed the Clinical Psychology graduate program for nine years.
In 1963 he joined the Psychology faculty of the University of Connecticut and directed it's Clinical program until his retirement in 1987. During his years at Connecticut Clara Rotter died in 1985 and he married his friend and colleague Doffie in 1997.
 Professor Rotter's career was extraordinarily productive, so much so that he has been identified as one of the most influential psychologists of the twentieth century by the American Psychological Association and by the BBC which included him in a series they called the "Mind Changers".
He wrote many scholarly articles, produced three widely used measurement scales, and a ground-breaking book "Social Learning and Clinical Psychology." His works were widely cited and he mentored over 100 graduate students most of whom became highly competent academics or clinical practitioners. He taught those students the importance of grounding theory and practice in carefully controlled experimentation, a lesson which was sorely needed in the early and mid twentieth century, an era when speculation was often substituted for science.
Among his many honors were the APA's Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award and an Honorary Doctorate from the Ohio State University.
As impressive as was Jules' professional career, his qualities as a human being were even greater. He was insightful, empathetic, compassionate, and possessed an admirable social conscience. The word " mensh" has crept from Yiddish into the vernacular. Leo Rosten in his "Joys of Yiddish" offers three definitions: 1. human being, 2. an upright, honorable, decent person and, 3. someone of consequence; someone to admire; someone of noble character. Jules was all of these.
He was a Mensh.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Having a solid sense of self-direction, knowing where you are, where you are going, and how to get there, is fundamental to your success.  When you’re In The Zone, you are operating at your peak.  Like the great performers in every field, you can get there if you know what it takes.

When I wrote In The Zone: Making Winning Moments Your Way of Life, I wanted to evolve my previous books into the world of SPORT PSYCHOLOGY.  But it wasn’t just about sports.  Consider the following, from the first paragraph:
What Zone?

“If you are at all involved in sports, you may know what I mean right away.  The zone is not a literal place. It’s not the end zone on a football field.  It’s inside you, a feeling, a state of mind and body, a level of performance when everything clicks.  You are effortlessly at your best.”
Later in the book I wrote:

No matter how vague their idea of being in the zone is, most of the people I meet and talk with understand two things about it.  First, it occurs when we are totally involved, mentally and physically, in some activity we do well and enjoy.  And second, it doesn’t happen to most of us very often, and even when it does, it’s unpredictable.

Eventually I came to the conclusion that common knowledge was accurate on the first point and inaccurate on the second.  The feeling of being in the zone occurs indeed when we are fully involved in what we are doing.  But it need not be something that occurs by chance.  In fact, there’s a great deal we can do to make it happen.

After years of refining a comprehensive approach to correct body movement, I have concluded there are four crucial elements underlying high level performances In The Zone: relaxation, balance, flexibility and focus.”

Relaxation Therapy and the development of Relaxation Skills is what aims to introduce you to.  I am hoping you will find self-development through performance skills attainment useful to your being the best you can be.

Remember, you ARE what you think.  You BECOME what you do.

Dr. Ray

For any of your comments or questions, email me at

Saturday, March 1, 2014


ACHIEVING GOALS is fundamental to Social Learning Theory (SLT).  How we achieve goals varies from person to person.  INTERNALS feel success results from acquired skills and what they do for themselves to make things happen.  Internals anticipate good health, for example, by not smoking, proper exercise, good nutrition and similar self-management activities.  EXTERNALS feel good luck and the actions of powerful others make things happen.  Externals are more likely to purchase a lotto ticket, hoping for the big bucks, regardless of the improbable outcome.  From their perspective, achieving good health by quitting smoking is not so important.  Externals expect they will get cancer or not, depending on the fall of the dice.

MOTIVATION FOR GROWTH AND CHANGE is different for Internals and Externals.  Internals appreciate competitive situations where performance skills dominate, letting the best man/woman win.  Externals are more comfortable in chance based environments.  They will go to the Casino and play the slots.  You will find Internals at the Poker table, if they have the card playing skills required for success.

Where do you stand along this dimension of Internal and External Locus of Control?  Have you given much thought to the importance of acquired skills to your evolving success? If so, you have probably looked into self-development activities such as Yoga, Martial Arts, Mindfulness Training, Meditation and related activities.

How about Relaxation Therapy when seeking self-management of personal health and emotional self-regulation?  Relaxation Therapy is all about development of RELAXATION SKILLS and you will find competitive athletes, successful executives, highly productive corporate cultures, all headed in this direction.

The highly stressed, emotional dysfunctional individual will not last long in today’s extremely competitive environment.  Those seeking personal comfort from recreational and prescription drugs and similar external mechanisms of control, will be observed bringing up the rear.

You can’t fake self-confidence and self-esteem.  Either you have the skills of a successful competitor or you do not.  The good news is such skills can be developed and you can always move from a disposition of externality, toward internality.

Developing Relaxation Skills is the first step in my program for Elite Performers as outlined in my book, In The Zone: Making Winning Moments Your Way of Life.  This subject will be covered in later posts on this Blog.  For now, you might give some thought to how much control you would like over your evolving life and how an evolving attitude of internality can help you achieve your particular goals.

Remember, you ARE what you think.  You BECOME what you do.

Dr. Ray

For any of your comments or questions, email me at 

Friday, February 28, 2014


Let’s start with an assumption.  People are generally goal directed.  There is our desire for food, for rewarding relationships, for a measure of success, and the list goes on.  Where do you fit within the dimension of goal directedness? Do you have long and short term goals?  Are your goals specific, well defined, achievable, likely to come to fruition?

These may seem easy questions to answer.  Most people would quickly report they are goal directed.  When asked what their goals might be, they often make vague comments about being happy, becoming successful, living a good and healthy life.

Be sure to note, these are indeed, very vague goals and not so easy to achieve.  This is where Social Learning Theory (SLT) enters the scene, helping you bring clarity and definition to your own goal directedness.

As mentioned in other posts, this Blog builds upon the Social Learning Theory of Dr. Julian B. Rotter, ranked among the most influential psychologists of the 20th century.  A basic assumption of SLT is human behavior is purposeful, and it is our privilege to pursue self-defined goals and a life of our particular choosing.  Let’s see what this means.

If you feel aimless, as though you are drifting through life, your daily experience is that of a tumble weed, then it is likely you are not all that fulfilled, are not experiencing a gratifying sense of accomplishment, and are not particularly happy.  You might be asking questions such as “Who am I?” and “What does it all mean?”

Consider this.  It is difficult to define personal goals when you are feeling tense, anxious, angry, and crowded by emotional turmoil.  Your feelings can dominate your consciousness and you spend your time trying to fix them.  In so doing, you might try recreational or prescription drugs, going to doctors, looking for solutions basically outside yourself.  An alternative is to look inside yourself for the answers you seek.  There are important voices within, seeking expression.  Listen to them.

When you do Relaxation Therapy, you experience inner calm, peace within, a feeling that life is actually okay, at least for now, in this moment.  It is during these moments when we are most clear as to what we want from life and what we can do to achieve satisfying results.

I invite you to try something.  Do Relaxation Therapy.  Then, when you return to a wakeful consciousness, ask yourself what matters most to you.  Let yourself FEEL the answer.  Allow yourself to feel who you are and what you want from life.  Feel and allow the answers to surface as they may.  You might be surprised to discover you have achievable goals, modest or magnificent as they may seem to be.

Remember, you ARE what you think.  You BECOME what you do.

Dr. Ray

For any of your comments or questions, email me at

Monday, February 24, 2014


I have asked this question to thousands of people in my seminars across North American for over three decades.  The answer almost always is, “My health and the health of my family.”  So what does this have to do with you?

If your health is truly this important, I would expect you would do whatever it takes to accomplish desired results.  But, this is not always the case and perhaps more often simply not the case.  We do what we do in the moment, satisfying current needs at the expense of the larger goal to achieve rewarding health.

Let’s consider an example:  John knows he needs adequate sleep.  He retires for the evening, fatigued, has a few drinks to calm his nerves, and then takes a sleeping pill or two.  Perhaps he doesn’t know better OR, perhaps he is doing what serves the convenient moment, requiring no self-discipline or thought.  Since adequate, quality sleep is a fundamental requirement for good health, John will soon find himself in trouble, not only health wise, but also in his performance at work and in his interpersonal relationships.  John simply can’t continue to perform adequately, not to mention competitively, without a rested body and a clear mind.

Let’s say John learns about Relaxation Therapy and tries it, and does so without sleeping pills or alcohol.  Let’s say John has a great night’s sleep and wakes up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world.  Let’s also say, John thinks this is a good idea, but returns to his former habits.

John does have choices and sooner or later, he will have to take decisive action or he will find himself in even greater trouble.  With minimal reflection and a desire to feel better, John can do Relaxation Therapy as described elsewhere in this Blog and immediately realize positive results.  All he has to do is DO IT!

Sometimes self-management of personal health can be as simple as that.  Not every positive health habit is so easy to do, but Relaxation Therapy is.  DO IT and you will feel better.  When you do, let me know your results so I can report your experiences to others seeking improved health.

This site and related Blog are about all of us working together, sharing results, searching for solutions.  You are a part of the TEAM if you so choose and your comments are always welcome.

Remember, you ARE what you think.  You BECOME what you do.

Dr. Ray

For any of your comments or questions, email me at

Monday, February 17, 2014


Words can be vague, elusive, confusing and deceiving.

We often think we know what we mean when using ordinary, everyday language, but the same word can mean many different things to different people.  The word love is a good example.

This Blog is based on the Social Learning Theory (SLT) of Dr. Julian Rotter.  The theory will be fully explained in later posts on this Blog, nevertheless I will explain the concept of Personal Concern from an SLT perspective.  It goes like this:

A Personal Concern from an SLT perspective is:

A high expectancy for losing something you value. (I might lose my good job)

A low expectancy for getting something you value. (I might not get the job I want)

When you complete the Personal Change Indicator (PCI) presented on other posts on this Blog and available at you will be examining your own concerns from this perspective.  It may seem too simple for some, but upon closer inspection, you might be surprised how many of your personal concerns can be reduced to these two simple statements.

Thinking clearly is very much what cognitive behavioral psychology is about.  When you have a clear idea as to the nature of your own concerns, you have a better understanding of where your feelings are coming from, and a clearer idea what action you can take to resolve your concern and related emotions.

This Blog was designed to help you find your own self-defined way to enhanced mental health and happiness.

As always, if you have questions or comments, please e-mail me and I will address the issues in future posts on this Blog.

Remember, you ARE what you think.  You BECOME what you do.

Dr. Ray

For any of your comments or questions, email me at

Sunday, February 16, 2014


In 1995 I wanted to take In The Zone performance principles to the world of golf.  It started when reading an article about Ben Hogan’s golf swing.  In the article, the author had identified basic principles of Hogan’s swing.  They were identical to the performance principles I had presented when writing in In The Zone.  I was curious.

I read as many books as I could on the subject and  history of golf and what the Masters of the game had to say.  I quickly discovered what they were saying paralleled In The Zone performance principles.

 I was off and running.  All I had to do is create a plot, develop an imaginary golf course and feature In The Zone principles within the context of a sport psychology novel.

It seems people learn better when exposed to stories and I wanted this story to reflect the mentality of regular, ordinary people on and off the course. I wanted to present how playing the game of golf has direct relevance to how we live our lives no matter where we are.  If you are out of control, angry and stressed while playing golf, this is predictive of how you live your life off the course.

In short, I wanted the reader to learn how In The Zone principles of elite performance apply to all aspects of our lives.  I had come full circle, back to Tension Management & Relaxation: An Approach to a Balanced Way of Living.  I was pleased to see how the basic ideas had remained unchanged over the years.  Teaching performance principles has been a good strategy.

I am reminded of the words of Miyamota Musashi, the greatest of Japanese swordsmen  

When you learn basic performance skills with application to diverse performance challenges, you acquire self-confidence and an anchored sense of self.  This is much of what this Blog is about and acquiring Relaxation Skills is a significant step in this direction.

If you are a golfer, you may want to check out the Audio CD, TRUST YOUR SWING: THE POWER OF THE PENDULUM AND RHYTHMIC FLOW.  It is yet another expression of how Relaxation Skills can enhance your athletic performance.

Remember, you ARE what you think.  You BECOME what you do.

Dr. Ray

For any of your comments or questions, email me at

Friday, February 14, 2014


In 1995 I decided to take basic back health care and related wellness training into the world of elite performances.  I spent a year researching the issues of relaxation, balance, flexibility and focus, to learn their range of application to world class performers in sports and the performing arts.  I was looking for any such performer who could excel when one of the 4-Core Competences was lacking.  I found none.  All Elite Performers are relaxed, balanced, flexible, and focused.

I worked with many such performers and found even their performances could be enhanced when the 4-Core Competencies were carefully addressed, especially those of Relaxed Moves and Focused Moves.  It was exciting to learn how the basic principles of back injury prevention and rehabilitation applied so well within this environment.  The 4-Core Competencies were indeed, required performance skills and this provided the basis for my evolving emphasis on SELF-MASTERY SKILLS TRAINING.

What is equally interesting to see how the 4-Core Competences apply to activities of daily living in the general  population.  In our current culture, contrasted with our culture only a few decades ago, we understand the importance of deep relaxation, rhythmic breathing, mindfulness, meditation and, yoga.  We now appreciate how our highly stressed lives are improved when we acquire the skills taught within these environments.  In The Zone: Self-Mastery Skills Training does just that, and is exciting to see people take charge of their health, their well-being, and their lives.

When these skills are applied in the lives of individuals from various walks of life, I have seen dramatic enhancements in quality of sleep, reductions in depression and anxiety, significant reductions in physical pain and yes, even more calm dispositions as I had first mentioned in Tension Management & Relaxation: An Approach to A Balanced Way of Living.

A big part of this is how people are learning to reduce reliance on pharmaceutical drugs with self-mastery skills.  Just yesterday, a patient I am working with proudly reported he is no longer on any such drugs, is sleeping great each and every night, is feeling better and no longer abusing any form of drug, over the counter, prescription or recreational.

If you are seeking similar results in your personal life, why not read through all of the posts on this Blog, starting with the first one in January of 2014.  Read each one as a continuing step in your evolving understanding  of how Relaxation Therapy can work for you.  I foresee abundant self-reliance forthcoming for those who do.

Remember, you ARE what you think:  You BECOME what you do.

Dr. Ray

 For any of your comments or questions, email me at

Tuesday, February 11, 2014



Today was a special day for me and I would like to share the experience with you.   I was invited to attend a meeting of the Veteran Support Council here at Sheridan VA Regional Medical Center.  Little did I know, the gathering was in my honor with a Certificate of Appreciation from the Council, acknowledging my work with Veterans and the significance of Relaxation Therapy to Veterans.  I was deeply moved.

Recovering Veterans face multiple challenges, many of which result from combat experiences and others from re-entry into civilian life.  I believe most would agree, life is a continuing challenge and no one said it was to be easy.  This is true for most of us, as it is clearly true for recovering Veterans.  Self-navigation in a stormy sea seems an appropriate metaphor for those knowing a healthy survival requires a steady ruddy and calmness amidst the storm.

This Blog is focused on the value of patient education leading to self-management of personal health and happiness, and this has been the continuing theme for this Psychologist since publication of Relaxation Therapy (RT) in the mid 1970’s. As such, RT provides participants with a self-help tool, reliably delivering a deep sense of relaxation and inner calm.  During 20 minutes of RT, participants let go of their tensions, into a rhythmic, relaxing process leading to activation of the parasympathetic nervous system.   In so doing, they become rested and more capable of meeting challenges when returning to a demanding work/life schedule.  In the words of Dr. Rick Hanson, in his book, Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence, “If you routinely practice relaxation, this will increase the activity of genes that calm down stress reactions, making you more resilient.”

Over four decades I have observed how RESTORED PEOPLE FEEL after an RT POWER NAP. Following RT, I often verbalize how nice it feels to be relaxed and you can feel like this throughout your day.  Development of reliable Relaxation Skills makes this possible.

You ARE what you think.

You BECOME what you do, and this is certainly true regarding the experience-dependent neuroplasticity of your ever-changing brain.

Dr. Ray

 For any of your comments or questions, email me at 


For those following this Blog and have read THE BACK SCHOOL post, you will find the following is part of an evolving story.  The Back School was a good start, but new concepts were forming in my mind and new communication technologies were rapidly entering the training scene.
I addressed these issues in my new Freedom From Back Pain video based training program, focused on greater training impact in the educational process.  This led to Freedom From Stress and Back Pain and the introduction of many new training procedures, including various martial arts performance skills.  The newly completed program was implemented within numerous employer environments across North America.  You can check this out at
Freedom From Back Pain, and then Freedom From Stress and Back Pain, contains four training modules referred to as RELAXED MOVES, POWER MOVES, ELASTIC MOVES and FOCUSED MOVES.  An introduction to these modules can be reviewed on the above site.  Relaxation Therapy and the Position of Comfort are presented in the Relaxed Moves module.
As communication technology expanded, I contracted with PRIMEDIA in Dallas, TX and created Watch Your Back for the nationwide audience of policemen and firemen.  This broadcast represents one of the first implementations of back injury prevention training within the workplace learning environment.
Of course, this isn’t the end of the story.  In 1995 I published In The Zone: Making Winning Moments Your Way of Life, representing another training advance into the world of Sport Psychology.  The 4-Core Competencies of Elite Performers In the Zone was the next evolutionary step as relaxation, balance, flexibility and focus were further sharpened into the training procedures they are today.  We have come a long way from sound on slide presentations, to video based programs, DVDs and MP3 files downloaded from the internet.
Our next step, in January of 2009, was to implement First Aid for Back Pain with PureSafety online training out of Nashville, TN.  Once again, Relaxation Therapy in the Position of Comfort was featured as an important step for those employers and employees wanting to self-manage relief from their back pain. 
I am currently considering introducing IN THE ZONE SELF-MASTERY TRAINING procedures within web training environments, again pursuing ever more advanced training as I continue to include the ever advancing communication technologies.  The program includes new information, particularly information resulting from research in the new science of the brain.
New measurement technologies and exciting new research findings are shedding light on the secrets of the brain and how it functions.  It is exciting to see how Relaxation Therapy and Self-Mastery training continues to play a central role.  Scientists are learning more about the importance of deep relaxation and deep rhythmic breathing, and how they positively affect brain development, the functioning of our nervous system, and so much more.
Currently, I work with patients within Individual and Group Therapy environments and continue to offer RT as a basic ingredient of the therapy I do.  I continually learn from my patients as I expect to learn from followers of this Blog.  You are encouraged to express your comments and questions.  New ideas often spring from unexpected sources and I will be pleased if one of these ideas comes from you.
Remember, you ARE what you think.  You BECOME what you do.
Dr. Ray

 For any of your comments or questions, email me at 

Sunday, February 9, 2014


My particular contribution to The Back School, along with Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Arthur White and Physical Therapist Bill Mattmiller, was helping to resolve the psychological side of back pain.  I knew a little about the subject, having experienced back surgery when I was 27.  Following the questionably successful surgery, I routinely experienced a good deal of pain, especially toward the end of the day.  I didn’t want or use muscle relaxants or pain killing medications, and eventually discovered what helped me most was simply to lie down and relax.  I didn’t have RT to assist me at the time, but what I did reduced my pain.

Eventually, over several years, I learned how to counteract back pain and started working with back patients sent to me by physicians who thought I knew something about the problem.  I was working at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, CA at the time.  One of the orthopedic physicians asked if I would present my work at a forthcoming meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons hosted by the Mosby Medical Publishing company.  Dr. White was presenting as well, and Mosby later asked if we would like to integrate our work in a Mosby publication.  Long story short, we did and in 1981 The Back School was born.

There are now many such back schools across North America with the same or similar name, but they do not contain RT as a basic educational component.  The Back School was dedicated to a holistic, team approach to patient education, leading ultimately to the prevention and self-management of back pain.

RT was an integral component of The Back School, as it has been in all of my subsequent works.  If interested, you can check out the evolution of Relaxation Therapy on the home page under the tab WHY RT?

Since back pain ranks among our nation’s leading health problems, I suspect many of you have a personal interest in learning more about the subject and I will be happy to help out.  For openers you can go to  If you are a ‘Follower’ of Dr. Ray’s Blog, I will do my best to address your questions and comments via future posts.

Tension Management & Relaxation and The Back School were followed by The Portable Back School, 12-Steps to A Pain-Free Back, Freedom From Stress and Back Pain, In the Zone and Teeing Off With the Masters, all containing RT as a core concept and self-help procedure.  As you will see, there is reliable continuity in these works, demonstrating my continuing emphasis on the importance of Relaxation Therapy to those wanting to take better care of themselves.

Remember, you ARE what you think.  You BECOME what you do.

Dr. Ray

 For any of your comments or questions, email me at 

Saturday, February 8, 2014


When I introduced Relaxation Therapy (RT) in the mid 1970’s, I was confident control over the autonomic nervous system would be pivotal to mental health procedures in the future.  I felt the many existing techniques to relax and to develop a sense of calmness such as meditation, prayer and mantras had this basic skill in common.  I believed control over the nervous system of the body was the critical issue and this is what I chose to focus on.

As you may know, the autonomic nervous system has two basic divisions: the sympathetic for fight or flight and the parasympathetic for rest and digestion.  These two systems alternate with one or the other being dominant at any given time.  The rest and digest system is the one we want to be operative most of the time and RT generates this outcome.  The fight or flight system is for emergencies and for  high alert and high energy responses when needed.  Let’s look into this.

When you do RT or even do Deep Rhythmic Breathing alone, your bodily disposition moves toward parasympathetic activity.  This is very useful during the day to reduce stress and it is very useful when wanting a good night’s sleep.  These subjects will be addressed more fully in future posts on this Blog.  For now, come to appreciate how important this is for you.  It is natural for most of us to become increasingly tense during the day.  This can be easily turned around with an RT Power Nap which includes Deep Rhythmic Breathing and takes about 20 minutes.

Staying relaxed in high challenge situations is very useful and I first referred to it as learning how to live in the EYE OF THE STORM.  This was in my Mosby/Times Mirror publication, TENSION MANAGEMENT & RELAXATION published in 1981. Since that time I have taught this skill to NBA and LPGA athletes, corporate executives and their employees, soldiers, veterans and people from all walks of life.

Mediation, Mindfulness and other important procedures facilitating relaxation are now common in our culture.  RT is a bit different from these procedures because of its specific focus on managing the autonomic nervous system and specifically the parasympathetic division as mentioned above.

As always, if you have any questions or comments please utilize the Comment box and I will review them.  I will address the issue in future blogs or e-mail you directly.

Remember, you ARE what you think.  You BECOME what you do.

Dr. Ray

 For any of your comments or questions, email me at

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


When you do Relaxation Therapy (RT) I have observed the Position of Comfort works best for most people.  It works well because the position, by elevating your legs, takes pressure off your lower back and does stretch the spine slightly.

Whether you lie on the floor or use a chair, as presented in RT instructions, it is most importance you are comfortable.  If you are not, find a position that suits you and proceed to do RT in your own way.  Some people actually sit in their chair, as I often do.  Just be sure your lower back curve is supported so your low back does not slouch into a strained position.

Now you are in the POSITION OF COMFORT and will initiate DEEP RHYTHMIC BREATHING.  While you will engage in Deep Rhythmic Breathing during RT, you can also do it anytime during the day to remain relaxed and to regain your composure when needed.  The more you do it, the more it becomes a tension management skill. Many people hold their breath and do shallow breaths far more than they realize, which actually adds to their tension and stress related responses.

When you do Deep Rhythmic Breathing, focus mostly on the breathing itself and how each micro step in the breathing process has a positive effect, from inhalation to exhalation.  There are no hard and fast rules, but it is useful to inhale through your nose to the count of 4, while also EXPANDING your stomach, and then to exhale through your mouth to the count of 8.  Don’t stop and hold your breath when you come to the top of the inhale.  When you complete the inhale, immediately start the exhale and continue to focus on your chest, your stomach, and how the slow rhythmic breathing relaxes your entire disposition.  The more you practice, the more effective it is.

Pregnant women should not use the Position of Comfort because this is not a comfortable position for them, nor should people with rheumatoid arthritis because remaining is such a position for an extended period of time can cause contractures.  The majority of people will be just fine with the Position of Comfort as presented.

One Veteran I was working with used the MotivAider to remind him to do Deep Rhythmic Breathing every 20 minutes and reports how significant this has been for effective self-management of his overall emotionality. The MotivAider is an interesting and most useful tool developed by Dr. Steve Levinson. You can go directly to his site to see how the MotivAider works and order one if you like.
Just so you know, I do not receive any compensation regarding your purchase of the MotivAider.  I recommend it because I know its value for those who want to accelerate desired behavioral changes in their lives.

Remember, you ARE what you think.  You BECOME what you do.

Dr. Ray

 For any of your comments or questions, email me at