Fearless Flying Course
Institute for Psychology of Air Travel
551 Boylston St.
Rate: $475 for 10 weekly, two-hour group sessions, four audiotapes, and a copy of ``Fearless Flying ," cowritten by Dr. Albert Forgione. The 11th week is a graduation flight on the Delta shuttle from Boston to New York and back, accompanied by Forgione. Its cost is not included in the course fee.
Forgione will tailor his program to individuals who prefer to consult with him alone, for an hourly fee of $100. There is also a home study package available for $79.95 that includes the book, tapes, and instructions .
A key to flying without fear is learning to breathe from the belly and to then relax your muscles through simple, repetitive exercises. There are other ways to help ease your fears. Most of the following suggestions are shortened versions of information found on Forgione's website:
Get to the airport early; rushing heightens anxiety.
Eat nutritionally before a flight; if you are stressed, your body burns blood sugar quickly. Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates, and don't let three hours pass on the flight without a snack or meal .
No alcohol, caffeinated beverages, or other stimulants.
Put a pillow in the small of your back and recline in your seat. Place a hand gently above the belly button; your hand should rise when you inhale and settle when you exhale, allowing the breath to flow like air escaping from a balloon.
Focus your mind on a pleasant scene, a field of grass swaying with the breeze or a sunny beach with waves rolling in and receding.
While seated, take your shoes off.
Get up and walk a little every 30-45 minutes during the flight.
Remember that turbulence is not dangerous, that the plane is designed to fly through air currents. The looser your body is, the less the turbulence will bother you.
Repeat to yourself: Anxiety does not mean something bad will happen.