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Forest Hills consultant introduces digital relief for stress

Forest Hills resident and stress management consultant Robert Lawrence Friedman has been helping clients relax since 1993. Now he has brought his techniques to iPhone users with the new application Relaxation On-Demand.

For 99 cents, those who download the application get relaxation techniques lasting anywhere from 30 seconds to five minutes, combining Friedman’s soothing voice with nature scenes or tranquil animations.

“What we’re most excited about these days is the approval of the app,” Friedman said during an interview Tuesday in his Fleet Street apartment, where he runs Stress Solutions. “The goal of Relaxation On-Demand is to give an individual a way to instantly relax.”

The application employs what Friedman called “immersive technology,” which uses self-hypnosis, guided imagery and music to help the user relax.

So far there have been 2,500 downloads of the application, Friedman said.

Friedman also has a soon-to-be released book coming out, “How to Relax in 60 Seconds or Less.”

The book combines both known techniques and methods Friedman developed.

“One of the keys [to relaxation] is learning how to practice doing things more slowly because we’re in such a fast-paced world,” Friedman said. “Learning to practice slower walking, for example, slower eating, for example, are two ways for slowing down the body’s mechanism for creating stress.”

Aside from stress management, Friedman conducts a program called Drumming Away Stress, where he takes anywhere from 20 to 600 drums and runs through exercises to help people release their stress through the drum.

In fact, the Glen Oaks native’s first company was called Drumming Away Stress in 1993 before morphing into Stress Solutions in 1995.

Back in 1993, Friedman cold called Forbes Magazine, but they were more interested in stress management that his drumming program. He said stress management was also something he could teach and began Stress Solutions.

“That became my primary program and it kind of blossomed,” said Friedman, who travels around the world teaching stress management techniques to Fortune 500 companies.

Friedman also teaches stress management to individual clients.

The Forest Hills resident also has techniques for dealing with stress related to big topics in 2010, such as terrorism-related stress and financial stress.

“It’s almost like there are specific strategies that a person can do when getting on an airplane and dealing with issues with finances,” Friedman said. “What we know is that when a person uses stress management techniques, their body develops a resistance to stress.”

For those taking an airline flight, Friedman recommends focusing on managing stress two to four weeks prior to the trip by using deep breathing and guided visualization.

“The technique that they’ve been doing becomes their anchor, essentially,” he said.

For financial stress, Friedman advises people to learn what their stress signature is, or where they store stress in their bodies. He preaches positive thinking and reframing, or turning a negative thought into a positive one.

“We can’t control the outer world,” he said. “But what we can control is our reactions to those events.”

For more information, visit stress-solutions.com and mypersonaloasis.com.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.

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