10 Hours | 30 Mins
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Evidence-Based Relaxation - An Introduction to Psychoneuroimmunology Seminar

The Science of Stress Reduction


Why do nurses live with stress despite knowing it is detrimental to physical and psychological health? Why do nurses expect, even anticipate stress despite solid evidence that chronic stress compromises health? Preventing and coping with emotional and physical hazards in nursing is essential for nurses to compassionately care for others. An appreciation of Psychoneuroimmunology, which explains links between neurological, endocrine and immune systems, lays the foundation for enhanced stress management. This knowledge reveals how certain techniques are effective for relaxation. This unique and dynamic two day seminar provides an opportunity for all nurses to learn:

  • Why is stress so detrimental to health?
  • How are stress, inflammation and disease linked?
  • What is the science of mind body health?
  • How are the immune, endocrine and nervous systems connected?
  • What are the known benefits of relaxation?
  • How do evidenced-based relaxation techniques enhance healing and improve health?
  • Realistic approaches to integrate relaxation into modern, daily life and nursing practice
  • Opportunities to practice relaxation skills and much, much more…

Attend this seminar to gain practical, evidenced-based stress-reduction skills for yourself and your patients. Book now!

Need for Program

The nature of the profession, unfortunately, exposes nurses to physically and emotionally demanding situations. This daily taxing environment leads to work-related stress. It is well documented that stressful and traumatic events can impact the immune system and affect healing. Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) examines links between psychological processes and resistance to disease and chronic conditions. An understanding of PNI is important to nurses as it connects the negative impact of stress and the benefits of relaxation on health. Attending this program is more important than ever as it explains PNI research and offers efficacious relaxation strategies to promote mental and physical health in nurses and patients.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this seminar is to enable nurses to practically implement effective relaxation strategies that are underpinned by strong evidence-based knowledge.

Your Learning Outcomes

  1. Use PNI research to explain scientific mechanisms of stress-related ill health
  2. Correlate links between stress, inflammation and disease to instil a need for regular relaxation techniques
  3. Apply evidenced-based relaxation techniques to enhance your own and your patients’ health
  4. Enhance patients’ experience of care as a result of your better wellbeing!
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Day One

8:30am - Registration and Refreshments


Welcome and Introduction to Seminar


Joining the Dots - The Immune, Endocrine and Nervous Systems

This introductory session sets the scene for the next two days. It takes you on a journey that reveals how science demonstrates the relationship between mind and body. It will explain definitions, history and the development of Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). Includes:

  • What are the links between the neurological, endocrine and immune systems?
  • What research showed that behavioural conditioning could suppress immune responses?
  • What are implications of this research?
  • How has the fascinating history of medicine shaped our understanding of PNI today?


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - What is Stress?

While the concept of stress is likely to be conjure up negative connotations for most nurses, stress is not always bad! This session will use current evidence to explain the real meanings of stress, distress and eustress. Includes:

  • What is the great myth about stress?
  • When does stress become distress?
  • How does psychological stress manifest physiologically?

10:30am - Morning Tea


Psychoneuroimmunology: The Science of Mind Body Interactions

What is the relationship between the immune, neurological and endocrine systems? How do our thoughts and behaviours influence our immune function? This session examines psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) research and reveals how stress is linked to health. Additionally, it introduces the world of cellular interactions and pathways. It reviews the role of cytokines in sickness behaviour and research that demonstrates intimate communications between immune, neural and endocrine systems. Topics include:

  • What is stress-induced immunomodulation?
  • Can we change our experience of stress?
  • How are psychological conditions, physical health and immune function connected?
  • What are common medical conditions that may be triggered by psychological stress?


To Relax or Not To Relax?

Learning relaxation techniques is the key for nurses to reduce stress and improve health. Armed with this evidence, nurses are also well positioned to transfer these skills to patients and clients. In this session we will discuss relaxation as a therapy. Discover:

  • What actually is relaxation?
  • What are fundamental principles of practicing relaxation techniques?
  • How can relaxation influence health and immunomodulation?
  • Important principles to safely teach and implement relaxation techniques in clinical practice

12:30pm - Lunch and Networking


Deep Diaphragmatic Breathing (DDB) – Practise What You Preach!

How often do you encourage your patients or clients to take some nice slow, deep breaths? How often do you stop and apply this wisdom to your own health? Once you understand the science of DDB, you may reconsider taking some of your own advice more often! This session provides an opportunity for you to learn, experience and understand how to teach DDB. Includes:

  • Separating the myths from facts surrounding deep diaphragmatic breathing
  • What does the research reveal about breathing, the vagal nerve and abdominal muscles?
  • How does deep diaphragmatic breathing improve health and reduce conditions such as pain, inflammation, fatigue and anxiety?
  • An opportunity to practise the art of deep diaphragmatic relaxation
  • Learn to teach patients how to take deep breaths - what to say, when and why…


Progressive Muscle Relaxation Therapy

Research demonstrates that progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is an effective way to monitor and reduce muscular tension. Greater awareness of our physical body sensations can help differentiate between tension and relaxation. This session explains the evidence behind this relaxation technique and offers an opportunity for you to practise this stress management strategy. Includes:

  • How has PMR developed as a therapy?
  • Why can brief increases in muscle contractions reduce sympathetic nervous responses?
  • How can you isolate and reduce areas of muscular tension?
  • How can PMR be implemented in clinical practice?

3:15pm - Afternoon Tea


Chromosomes, Genes and Other Sophisticated Relaxation Research

More and more exciting evidence is revealing the benefits of relaxation therapies. This final session of day one will briefly uncover some of this fascinating new knowledge. Blend an understanding of the science with practice and come away feeling confident that you can implement these evidence-based techniques into your life and clinical practice.

4:00pm - Close of Day One of Seminar

Day Two

9:00am - Commencement of Day Two


Review of Deep Diaphragmatic Breathing (DDB)

Now is the time to comment about your overnight experience with Deep Diaphragmatic Breathing.

  • How did your overnight practice compare to during the day?
  • Did you feel a difference?
  • Which patients could benefit from DDB?


Guided Imagery (GI): History, Theory, Evidence and Practice

This session introduces practical ways to experience, learn and teach GI. Topics include:

  • What physiological pathways are involved in guided imagery?
  • Discuss how patients can best benefit from GI
  • Learn specific scripts for pain relief


Clinical Considerations of Relaxation Therapy

All nurses need a “toolbox” of therapies to suggest to patients. Relaxation therapy is an excellent adjunctive therapy, which can be helpful to patients experiencing a range of conditions. This session includes:

  • Policies and implementation of relaxation into your clinical nursing practice
  • Cost effectiveness of relaxation therapy in health care
  • Identify issues of adherence, perception, frequency, locus of control and enjoyment in relaxation

11:00am - Morning Tea


But Wait, There’s More Evidence…

Now, research even explores how relaxation can affect genetic expression. PNI demonstrates that relaxation can make profound changes in our minds and bodies. Find out what the future holds for relaxation in clinical practice.


Massage Therapy and Hands on Techniques: Research & Evidence

Massage therapy (MT) is one of the oldest forms of therapy and has a rich, diverse history. This fascinating session will reveal how massage has assisted in the promotion of wellness over the past centuries and reviews latest evidence.

12:30pm - Lunch and Networking


Massage Therapy: Evidence and Practice

  • How is massage therapy efficacious and can it cause harm?
  • Learn hand massage self-massage and passive movements to joints
  • Important considerations such as consent, contraindications and your posture!

2:30pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


More Evidence: Types of Relaxation for Different Conditions

Learn the latest evidence of relaxation therapies for:

  • Depression
  • Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Stress, Depression and Post-Traumatic Disorder


Fine Tune the Theory and Techniques Covered Yesterday and Today

This final session allows for further questions and practice to maximise your ability to provide relaxation therapies for your patients.

4:00pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations



Evidence-Based Relaxation - An Introduction to Psychoneuroimmunology 2018

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