The Harmonized Hemispheric Technique (HHT) is emerging as a goto method in my development of practices in the realm of relaxation techniques and stress management. Rooted in principles similar to autogenic training but with some key changes I discovered working with ADHD clients, HHT offers a unique approach to achieving mental and physical relaxation and balance, but I find it can be done at any time, even while typing, with little need to concentrate on the process other than to start it.
What is the Harmonized Hemispheric Technique?
HHT is a technique that focuses alternately on the left and right sides of the body, inducing a balanced state of relaxation. This method is grounded in the concept of bilateral symmetry and harmony, targeting the synchronization of both hemispheres of the brain and body. It's designed to be a brief but effective practice, typically lasting about two minutes per session.
How Does HHT Work?
The process of HHT is straightforward and can be practiced almost anywhere. Once you start the exercise, you can let it happen on its own without having to pay attention to it, which frees you to do it while simultaneously doing other things. For example, I have used it during public speaking engagements. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown:
Find a Comfortable Position: Sit or lie down in a relaxed setting. As you get better with practice, you will be able to invoke the process at will at any time.
Start with the Left Side: Focus on a sensation, such as warmth, heaviness, or the feeling of air on the left side of your body. The key is to focus on your left side. When you notice your right side fading away from your awareness, then…
Switch to the Right Side: Shift this sensation to the right. Until you no longer are aware of your left side.
Continue Alternating: Keep alternating between the left and right sides for two minutes. Shifting when the counter side leaves your awareness. People use words like empty, air-like, and disappeared to describe the feeling of the opposite side you are not focusing on.
Conclude with a Balanced State: Finish the session feeling a sense of balance and harmony across your body by allowing your focus to exist on both sides. When you do this, there will be a unique sensation and a slight release of muscle tension in common areas like the shoulders and neck.
The Benefits of HHT
Even individuals who suffer from severe ADHD and have difficulty clearing their thoughts can effectively meditate to a controlled depth even with eyes open using this exercise, in my experience. One of the advantages of HHT is stress reduction, achieved by focusing on bodily sensations and stimulating both sides of the brain.
Improved Focus: The technique enhances concentration and mental clarity, given it is an exercise in controlling your focus. You will find it gets easier and more accessible. I can do the exercise even as I’m typing this and feel the cessation of random thoughts.
Enhanced Body Awareness: Regular practice can increase awareness of bodily sensations and symmetry. You will start noticing areas in your body that stand out with whatever sensation you focus on. You can focus on other areas to better connect to your mental and physical awareness.
Accessibility: HHT is easy to learn and doesn’t require special equipment. It is an excellent practice for people with hyperactive minds or who are feeling stressed in public. Once mastered notice that the left to right and back focus shifts at the pace of dissociation, when one side "disappears from awareness", can be done automatically with little to no conscious control necessitated.
Integrating HHT into Your Routine
Incorporating HHT into your daily routine can be a simple yet effective way to manage stress and achieve greater physical and mental balance. Whether at home, at work, or even traveling, taking just two minutes to practice can profoundly impact your overall well-being.
Embracing Balance and Harmony
HHT represents an innovative relaxation and stress management approach, emphasizing bilateral harmony and mental balance. As we continue to explore and embrace new wellness practices, techniques like HHT offer promising avenues for achieving a more balanced and stress-free life.
Remember, while HHT is a self-administered technique, balance the level of relaxation to the requirements of your situation. Practicing this while driving, for example, is not recommended.