A new Dacorum-based business is offering a unique approach to stress management which includes changing the way you wash your hands.
Tania Barney runs Sensoria out of Berkhamsted, and believes she is the only person using her approach within the UK.
Tania, formerly an NHS occupational therapist for many years, said: “Stress is the number one single greatest cause of work related illness and it is a threat businesses need to tackle to ensure people can be happy and more productive in their work.”
Tania says the ‘problem’ with lots of stress management approaches is that they suggest you go away and learn new skills, such as mindfulness or meditation.
“While these approaches work and are effective, they take time to learn and need time in the day to use,” she said. “When we are at our most stressed, we are least likely to learn or use such techniques. It is easier to build small tweaks in the way we do things into our daily routines.”
Tania’s approach is based in neuroscience - how the brain works - and is already commonly used within therapy to help children. But the same theory applies equally well to healthy adults in the workplace.
She said: “It is possible to change brain functioning through the use of the senses and unconsciously people do this throughout the day.
“The unique approach taken by Sensoria, is to teach people how to use their senses – touch taste, smell, vision and hearing, plus two hidden senses; balance and body position to reduce their stress.
“Hand washing is just one of the many practical techniques that people learn. We wash our hands numerous times throughout the day, so this is a really easy way to bring in deep pressure touch. Deep pressure touch is calming for most people; this is one of the reasons why massages are so relaxing. By changing the way you wash your hands, to bring in this deep touch, you can help to calm and reduce stress.
“Through learning key principles about how the senses work, you will be able to consciously utilise a range of simple, practical strategies to either calm or alert according to your needs at the time.”
Techniques used by Tania include changing how you wash your hands, adding or removing sounds/noise, considering drink and snack choices and the use of movement. As well as the individual employees, Sensoria considers the impact of the environment on work.