Case Studies

    JEAN, 38, was referred to me by her GP.   She was head of human resources in a large hotel company - a very exciting job she loved but which was tremendously demanding. She was suffering from dangerously high blood pressure. Her doctor was prescribing her the highest strength hypertension medication as well as beta-blockers for anxiety.  The condition had been ongoing for eight years.    Her condition became even more acute after a distressing and stressful management reorganisation.  In short, the pressure of work had caused her to lose contact with herself and her own well being.
    She saw me, and almost from the moment she started to learn to breathe correctly, she saw the connection between her breathing and the illness she was creating, touching the roots and not just the symptoms.  Over the next few weeks her situation changed dramatically.  With gentle counseling her anxiety abated. At that time I was working closely with her GP and we decided to gradually reduce the strength of her medications to the lowest level.

    CARLA, from Indochina was in her late 40s and had been taking anti-depressants and sleeping pills for several years.  Listening to her, it turned out that one of  the main reasons for her suffering was prolonged, unresolved grief.since the death of her husband. Her grief turned into loneliness and was made worse by family disputes and the fact that she had no one to talk to and share what was in her heart.  Although very reluctant and sceptical, she learned breath work and continued the simple exercises at home.  In a matter of weeks she started to feel so much better that she felt able to reduce her pills and, after some time, stop them altogether.

    COLIN, in his early forties, had chest pains so agonising that he had been to hospital A&E  five times with a suspected heart problem.  Doctors could find nothing wrong but on seeing him for the first time, I noticed  as he walked into the room that his body leaned to one side.  His face was contorted and his eyes partly closed.  He could not bear to be touched because he was in acute pain.  He was literally “knotted up" to the point of being practically disabled.  It transpired that his torso was in severe spasm due to excessive pressures at work and in his family life.  At my suggestion, he made a number of alterations to his life. For example, it appeared the way that he was sitting in front of his computer and holding the telephone, were directly affecting his well being.   He made ergonomic changes to office desk, chair, computer and finally, he even needed to buy a new bed and pillows. 
    As he be began to relax, he fully embraced the breathing exercises.  All this allowed him to experience  a new state of relaxation and integrate this into his everyday life.  By re-learning to breathe in and out fully, he released the tension and untied the knots for himself. 
    I showed Melvin how to listen to his illness.  It told him what was wrong so that he was able to put it right before it could become more serious.  As his counsellor, I facilitated this healing process by instruction and close and deep listening.

    JACK, a Londoner in his mid-60s, was a chauffeur whose job involved being called out at irregular hours of the day and night.  He never managed to get enough sleep and was suffering from exhaustion and anxiety.  He had to take sleeping pills as the patterns of his sleep were constantly disturbed.  At his very first consultation he listened very carefully and took his first in-breath, followed by an exhalation.  At this point, tears of emotional release ran down his face.  "I cannot believe I've got this far in life without taking a real breath!"  That was the beginning of his path to restoration of heath.  He came back from a holiday in the country, having done the exercises as shown and, moreover, having enjoyed sound sleep for the first time in years.  He continued the conscious breathing practice, and it sustained Jack through continuing stressful situations while he made changes towards a more harmonious, less demanding, lifestyle.   

                                  All clients' names have been changed to protect their privacy.

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