- Introduce the emWave program by doing a classroom demonstration. Begin the class by asking a student volunteer to connect themselves to the emWave hardware. Ask the student to shift focus by doing deep heart breathing (in for 4-5 seconds out for 4-5 seconds) and generating a feeling of appreciation. After several minutes ask the rest of the class to comment on what they observe on the computer screen. Explain how the emWave program is a new technology that helps people deal with stress and perform better. It is currently being used by thousands of people including Health professionals and athletes.
- Suggest classroom etiquette when using the emWave program. Ask students to respect each other’s privacy by refraining from talking, touching or interrupting one another when in session. Add that no one is expected to get a high score right away. Also, ask students to turn the sound off on each computer. The chimes are a distraction for students. Note: Discourage score comparisons or competition among students in advance.
- Have students practice the quick coherence tool. Before moving in to the emWave program, guide the class over several sessions to practice deep slow breathing through the area around the heart (in for 4-5 seconds out for 4-5 seconds) and generating a positive emotional state. Practicing the Quick Coherence tool for around 2 minutes each time (depending on age appropriateness) is optimal because it helps students perform better on the emWave program. Note: Age appropriateness means that some children especially, under 8 or 9, will have difficulty maintaining a sustained focus past 30 seconds to one minute. Some kids have different temperaments that make using the emWave program challenging for any sustained period of time which is a requisite to doing well in the games. As a rule of thumb, we recommend that children under 8 are not skilled enough to maintain long periods of focused attention to do well in the emWave program. But of course, there are plenty of exceptions.
- State that the goal of the emWave program is to transfer the skills they learned on this technology to real-life situations where they may be feeling too much stress conflict or a need to perform better in some area of their life.
- Identifying a personal goal. Before using the emWave program, students must first identify and write down a specific goal that is immediately do-able and concrete. Some students will need guidance in arriving at the specific goal(s) they wish to accomplish at home or school.
- Begin practice of the emWave program with the students. Instruct students to first begin using the Heart Rhythm Coherence Skill Building section. During their first few sessions they should not practice much longer than 2 minutes each time to become comfortable with the technology. Have them record their results on a scoring sheet or on the computer itself.
- Move onto the Software Games. When a student has lowered the coherence score to 50% or less in the red color (low coherence entrainment) they are ready to begin playing the software games. The software games progress from 3 to 5 to 7 minutes long. To stay focused for 7 minutes will be challenging for a number of students. So the idea of students building towards increased level of sustained focus over time is an important benchmark to communicate early on so they have the confidence to succeed.
- Check regularly with students on their progress. Monitor student use of the emWave program, frequently checking on their individual scores and the relative success of meeting their goals. Students should use the emWave program a minimum of 6 to 10 times to best internalize the skill sets learned from this technology. It takes practice. The first few sessions in the emWave program should last only about two minutes, so they become more familiar with the technology. Reinforce the fact that even low coherence is still coherence and not to be discouraged by that.
The emWave products were developed specifically for educational purposes only and are not intended for use as diagnostic tools. Before using emWave Products in an educational setting with minors, HeartMath recommends always consulting with your school and/or district about all guidelines that may pertain to the types of classroom educational programs and tools they support. HeartMath assumes no liability or responsibility for how educators and/or educational staff choose to use emWave educational programs.