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* Many problems resolved, my face glows

Feedback from an African American client Christine (not her real name) who attended four of my classes over 5 weeks. She reported multiple problems when she came in. She absorbed the techniques and practiced them with all her heart. On my advice, she read most of my articles on Relationships (1). She came out of most problems in a surprisingly short time of 5 weeks. Details –

“I was really stressed out on my job at a medical office, due to my boss. I had to always to prove myself and be constantly on the go. I could never stop to even think where I was and what I was working on.I learned in the classes how take breaths and relax more effectively in my daily life. The breathing techniques I have been using are the ‘Tip mode’ and the ‘Segment mode’ (2), in the morning and night. I also do a lot of breathing  during the day (3).
Due to these practices, my body balance has changed and my mind has become so relaxed that nothing and no one stresses me. I am so calm even when dealing with others at work. My skin complexion has changed. I now have a bright glow in my face.

I thank ‘C S’ (Suryanarayana Chennapragada) for helping me achieve total peace of mind.”

I had a personal interview with her to inquire about the several problems that she had but did not mention in her above feedback. She let me know their status as described below.

Stressful interactions with boss

Before: Her boss was very intimidating and being mean in his daily interactions with her as well as other employees. She used to take his words seriously to her heart and tried to respond to them in all earnestness. As nothing she said or did made any difference to his behavior she was getting angry and frustrated. She used to clench her jaws and grind her teeth.
Now: After practicing the breathing at bedtime and during her interactions with her boss, she stopped taking his mean style seriously. She listens to him and tells herself that he is the one who has the problem, not she. His verbally abusive behavior  has nothing to do with her.

Jaw tension and Grinding of teeth

Now: Reduced by 95%

Migraine pains

Before: Almost every day, lasting for 2 hours.
Now: Once in a while.

Shoulders puffed up

Before: Whenever she heard his mean words, which was every day.
Now: None, in spite of his behavior  being same.

Hears everything in sleep

Before: In her sleep she used to hear all sounds around her. She used to wake up twice in the night.
Now: She sleeps undisturbed,till the alarm goes off. She does not hear any sounds. Recently her husband commented with a surprise that she was able to fall asleep even when the the TV was on. 

Hours of sleep

Before: She used to sleep at 10 and wake up at 3 am and was not able to get sleep for at least 30 minutes, due to her racing mind.
Now: She sleeps undisturbed all through the night, till the alarm goes off at 6 am.

How she felt on waking up 

Before: Felt exhausted
Now: Feels great.

Back pain and Neck pain

Now: She has them only slightly. To avoid neck pain she stopped holding the phone between her cheek and shoulder. Her chronic stress was straining her muscles in her jaws, neck, shoulders and back.

(1) My articles on ‘Relationships’
(2) How can I focus on breathing?
(3) Daytime practice
(4) Releasing tension in the jaws

Related pages
Face looks bright and healthy – Success stories

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* ‘Counting breaths’ during childbirth

‘First of its kind’ feedback from Emily Marynczak, (1) the mom of my grand daughter’s classmate at Robert C.Parker School (2). She herself practices the technique, finds it useful and teaches it to her clients.

“In my work as a childbirth educator, I have been teaching different modes of ‘counting breaths’ technique (3) to my clients. I direct my clients to practice twice a day – once in the morning and once at bedtime. I also direct them to the ‘countingbreaths.com’ web site for further study.

Many of my clients report back that they find the techniques useful on a day to day basis, for calming themselves. I have also had at least a couple of women report back after their births that at various tough moments during their labor, they used counting breaths effectively, for pain management.

When the mind has an anchor, fear is reduced. When fear is reduced in childbirth, the sensations are much more manageable – and potentially even enjoyable.”

(1) Emily Marynczak AAHCC, Bradley Method Childbirth Educator, (518) 478-0062,
(2) Robert C. Parker School, Wynantskill NY
(3) How can I focus on breathing?

Related pages
Emily’s previous report
Lamaze breathing

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* I have made great improvements with my weight, self confidence and …

Feedback from my most remarkable client who has done 19 classes (6) over the last one year, more than any other client.

She earnestly makes plans based on my suggestions, takes her written down plans home and sincerely tries to implement them. She keeps in touch by e-mail between the classes. Her multidimensional progress is a tribute to her courage and persistence. Her progress gives me immense satisfaction. She is still doing the classes, determined to get over all her problems. Such cases give me the impression that when the person is ready for change, help comes from somewhere, and it is absorbed like a sponge. Her report –

“This is how I am trying to implement my plans based on your suggestions.

  • I do my daily breathing practice.
  • When I have bad thoughts wherever I am, I do my breathing and it helps to calm me down, along with saying my prayers.
  • I do my breathing every night and try to do 4 times on each hand but usually dont make it that far before I fall asleep.
  • I do my breathing in the morning along with saying my prayers while getting ready.
  • I try to stay very busy inside and outside the house.
  • I drink Metamucil fiber at night before bed, and it does help with my bowel movements in the morning.
  • I have changed my diet a lot:  More fish, more vegetables and fruits, more fiber and water throughout the day. I eat more fruits and vegetables than ever before. I have a banana for breakfast every morning, not good at eating lunch, and cut down on my meat intake for dinner. (4)
  • I have been making my husband’s lunch for him to carry to work. (1)
  • I now drink soy milk. (3)
  • I take fish oil pills with 2000mg of Omega 3 every day. I started putting flax seed on my food and also put it on husband’s peanut butter and jelly sandwiches without him knowing. (5)
  • I keep calm when my husband’s temper builds up and walk out of the room. This has changed his yelling behavior.
  • I’ve let my husband know “He cannot control me”.
  • I do read a spiritual book every night before bed. Sorry I am not good at writing the journal.
  • We are paying down the debts and consolidating them.
  • I did look for a walking partner by posting two ads, but have gotten no responses yet.
  • I still need to work on smoking. I’m not sure I can make a full commitment right now, it is very hard for me but I am still trying and have cut down a little. I have tried to change my smoking habits before bedtime, by not going to bed till I am very tired and feel sleepy. (2)
  • I did call about taking CPR training and they put me on the list for a free class in September. (1)

I have made these great improvements in the last year with your help:
My weight, my self confidence, my body pains due to lupus, my marriage problems, my sleeping habits, my eating habits, learning how to control my fear and much more. I can’t thank you enough.”

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My notes
(1) She got this idea on seeing her husband gasp for breath recently. He is obese and does not care to do anything about it. She is worried he may have a heart attack one day. She is also trying to help him lose weight by not eating greasy outside food while at work.
(2) She smokes maximum number of cigarettes at night, after lying in the bed to sleep and not falling asleep. This suggestion was to break this behavior pattern.
(3) She had constipation for a long time. She was consuming lot of dairy products which were suspected to be the cause. On a trial basis, she was advised to avoid all dairy products for 2 months. Though she was very fond of yogurt, consuming about 4 cups a day, she gave it up with determination. This change eliminated her constipation.  Soy milk was replacement for diary milk.
(4) She hardly ate any vegetables or fruits before. Introducing fruits and veggies and cutting down meat helped her significantly in losing weight. She never ate any breakfast and lunch was irregular. She felt fatigued by mid day, aggravating her sensitivity to body pains.
(5) To get Omega 3 in view of her lupus and mental problems. Also to help improve her husband’s health.
(6) Seminars and classes

Her previous reports
I lost 30 pounds
I feel so much at peace now
My family life changed dramatically
I always leave your class feeling better

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* I practiced just before surgery

This the feedback from a woman who attended two of my classes (2) since Jan 11, 2012.

She had undergone tracheostomy. Some time back, due to injury to her throat, she could not breathe through the nose or mouth. A trach tube was inserted into a hole made in her throat to enable her breathe. Recently, her doctor advised that her throat was healed and she did not need the tube. But she was not willing to do it because when she took it off once, she was unable to breathe through the nose or mouth and was choking. Her doctor said that it was only her anxiety that was preventing her from taking off the tube and breathing through the nose. She was referred to me by Teri Hutson-Mulligan, a diabetes educator at Albany Medical Center.

Because of the tube in her throat, she couldn’t speak. In person, she communicates with a white board and dry erase marker or paper and pen. We interact occasionally by e-mail as she is not able to attend the classes being dependent on state transportation. I do the classes free for her, as she is disabled and on Medicaid.

She reported in the first class that she was unable to sleep for 2 to 3 hours every night and helplessly watched TV. Her sister died 5 years ago. The thought she was responsible for her sister’s death was haunting her, though she knew that this was not true. Her first report by e-mail is presented below.

“I am practicing the technique. I specifically remember using the ‘Tip mode’ (1) just before I went into surgery, to help me relax. The next thing I remember – I was waking up and the surgery was over. I have also used the technique at bed time. My sleep habits are a lot better. I sleep almost through the entire night.”

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(1) How can I focus on breathing?
(2) Seminars and classes

Relevant pages
Relieving anxiety – Success stories

* Walking on gold coins, eyes closed

‘Focusing on breathing’ is a technique that is easy to understand and practice.It reduces and prevents stress without demanding time, posture, teacher or money. Many people under stress  admit it may relieve some of their problems. But they are unwilling to try it, even at bed time which is the first step I suggest on this path. I believe it shows that they are not yet ready to come out of their stress and its consequences. This idea is brought out in the following story from Indian mythology.

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Once upon a time, there lived a great devotee of the God named Shiva. He was always chanting the name of God Shiva. But he was always poor, unable to support his large family. He would visit the nearby village every day, asking for donation of food from the housewives and return to his family to feed them.

One day, God Shiva’s wife, being aware of this devotee’s condition, asked Shiva why HE was not helping HIS great devotee. Shiva replied that the devotee’s time to come out of his suffering had not yet come. But Shiva’s wife, felt a lot of compassion for the devotee and insisted that Shiva must do something immediately, to help that poor devotee.

To pacify his wife, that night, Shiva sprayed gold coins all along the road on which the devotee walked every day to the village.

In the morning, Shiva and his wife watched from the heaven, to see what the devotee would do. When the  the devotee was about to step on that road, he got a brilliant idea. He thought “I have been walking on this road every day, for so many years. I know all its turns and pot holes. Let me challenge myself today, by walking on this road with my eyes closed.”. Then he closed his eyes and walked confidently, stepping on the gold coins lying all along the road. At the end of the road, he opened his eyes and congratulated himself for his great achievement!

Shiva told his wife “I told you that he is not yet ready to come out of his suffering!”
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I tell this gold coin story in the introduction part of my seminars. At the end the story I say that every breath that enters and exits our bodies is like a gold coin lying on our path. Noticing a breath is like picking up a gold coin for free, because every time we focus on a breath, we prevent stress and also reduce our stress, for sure, though only a tiny bit (1). In all our non-sleeping moments, we have this ‘golden’ opportunity to prevent and reduce stress (2). Stress being the root cause of many mind and body problems, this practice has immense potential to help us get relieved of many problems (3). Participants appreciate this powerful message.

(1) ‘It is only a little’ – My Article
(2) Stress – Its causes and effects
(3) Helping mind and body

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* My anxiety decreased by 50%

“I have been practicing the ‘Focusing on breathing’ method for almost two years. I was introduced to the methods by CS my office manager. Even after doing the breathing for about an year, I was still experiencing high levels of anxiety. Anxiety has been something I have dealt with for many years but never really addressed it because I would drown it out by obsessing over other things. It got to the point where the people I worked with and hung around could tell when my anxiety was at it’s peak. Thankfully by this point, I could feel my levels increasing too. I needed to do something about it.

I sought help from CS once again. His word of advice was…..”just breathe”. So after him telling and showing me other times that I could use the breathing, I tried it out on my own.  I first did my breathing at bed time to go to sleep. And also when I wake up, I breath for at least a half hour in the bed, turning on all sides, as advised by him. To decrease my anxiety, I have also started exercising six days a week, after my breathing in the morning. I work out for an hour, depending on the day. I noticed that even after breathing in the morning and working out, it seemed that my anxiety had increased. So C S explained to me to try to breath for another half an hour after my workout. So here I am a few months into increasing my breathing and I can say my anxiety has decreased at least by 50%. Not only can I feel the difference but I have my friends and peers telling my of the difference they see. I was told that my anxiety levels with my children decreased. When I didnt practice the breathing, I  would go from 1 to 10 in a matter of a few seconds. Now, I go from 1 to 3. I can definitely feel my stress level is down too. I  can get a full nights sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. To this day, I try and encourage people to at least try the breathing. I have even introduce the method to my children who actually practice it. It may not work for everyone but I an living proof that it has worked for at least one life.”

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Related pages
Relief from anxiety – Success stories

* I am now able to manage stress

Feedback from a man in New Jersey who is under extreme stress, due to his wife’s mental illness (1).

Before knowing ‘Focusing on breathing’
My wife refused to see reason due to her bi-polar problem though she has been under medication. I did not know of any way to convince her. I used to get excited and angry at her, aggravating stress for both of us. It was unbearable.  Under such situations, I was going to the gym and workout, for at least 2 hours. Even then, I was not getting relief from the stress. I used to wonder if I had to work out whole day.

Now
I do not run to the gym or go crazy. I respond to her unreasonable behavior without losing my cool. I am able to argue with her calmly and patiently, trying to convince her. This is defusing the situation for both of us. My life has become bearable, thanks to the breathing technique.

I am now introducing this technique to my wife at bedtime, as she does not have good sleep. She is not able to practice the technique on her own. When she needs to sleep, I sit by her side  and help her practice the ‘Tip mode’ (2). I hold her fingers and give verbal prompts, at each step of the practice. She accepts this help and is now able to sleep peacefully, thanks to this technique.

(1) His previous feedback “This meditation has saved my life”
(2) How can I focus on breathing?

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* “I practiced at my Dentist’s office”

I made a follow up visit on Nov 1,2011, to the kid’s group, at the American Cancer Society’s Hope club at Latham NY. There were 10 kids out of which 5 had attended my first session on Oct 4, 2011 (1) and 5 were new. There were 3 other adults. I asked each the five kids and adults who attended my previous session how they practiced the breathing technique and how they felt about it. Some of them said they practiced at bed time and some said they practiced in the morning. One 9 year old girl said she practiced at her dentist’s office, to calm herself. I asked her if she did it on her own or any one suggested to her, to use the technique. She said she did it on her own. See the amazing implication of this –

  • The 9 year old girl learned the technique and experienced its impact for about 2 minutes in a 15 minute group session. She received my 2 page hand out on the technique (2).
  • She clearly understood the technique and liked that brief experience. She internalized the technique, as her own self calming tool.
  • She was so comfortable with the technique that she remembered about it when she felt anxious at her dentist’s appointment and used it on her own to calm herself!

Does it not make sense to equip every child with this technique, as a simple and readily usable self calming tool, available life long, at no cost? Is it not as useful as the basic skills of reading the alphabets and counting the numbers? What an incredibly effective life long technique at no cost!

Some of the kids in this group lost a parent or family member due to cancer. As previously planned, I briefly shared with the group, my personal experience of losing my younger brother of 10 years in the year 1965, due to drowning in a lake (3).

I shared with the group the ‘Segment mode’ of focusing on breathing (4).

(1) Introductory seminar for kids at the Hope club
(2) ‘Calm yourself, anywhere, anytime’
(3) My brother Ramu died at the age of 10
(4) How can I do it?

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