The Technique:

1. Cue: Usually being annoyed or tense.

2. Response: Break into "a sparkle smile." Sparkle (twinkle) with the eyes. (Stroebel suggests that in public this may be done inwardly, to avoid the reaction of a stranger who is sparkled at.) The idea is to "get the facial muscles out of the grim posture of a dog going into battle."

3. At the same time you are smiling, give yourself the suggestion of an alert and amused -- this is important -- mind and a calm body.

4. Take an easy deep breath -- Stroebel used to call for two, but the Type A's asked it one wasn't enough -- through imaginary holes in the bottom of your feet. (This makes use of the diaphragm.)

5. Inhale the breath up through the legs and into the stomach, to experience a sensation of flowing warmth and heaviness.

6. Exhale the breath back down through the legs and let your jaw, tongue and shoulders go limp, (unclench the teeth) and feel the warmth and heaviness go out of your body.

Use the QR at the "scene of stress," as in driving on the Beltway hehind a car that's going 20 miles an hour with bumper-to-bumper lanes on either side of you.

For children, the imagery is appropriately colorful (such as "magic jaw string"), ending with "my own very good feeling," as one child described it.

For adults the metaphors are of a car, with the brain shifting the body into the appropriate gear to achieve homeostasis , or natural balance.

Kiddie QR is taught in 16, 2-minute training segments with reinforcement exercises later. It is critically important, Strobel emphasises, that QR be taught with professional supervision. A child's lowered arousal state could, for example, precipitate a seizure of some kind, or in a diabetic, cause an overreaction to insulin.

Adults, if they are on medication or have any special problems, also need to be carefully supervised. It takes longer for an adult to unlearn the stress pathways formed over a lifetime.

"We don't have enough research data yet, but there's every good reason to believe that it will have a remarkable impact on creativity and productivity in the classroom," says Strobel. "It's almost common sense that it works."