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Seminar – Voorheesville Library

The first seminar at the Voorheesville Public Library was on February 9, 2015 from 7 to 8.30 pm (1). Attended by 11 people (9 adults and 2 teens. A folder containing my key handouts  and sample testimonials was given to each participant (2), (3). It was remarkable that so many turned up in spite of the severe snow storm throughout the day and still going on at the time of the seminar.  

Scanned images of the Feedback forms

Summary of the Feedback

I will practice this technique for my (concern) 

  • Daily stress and mind focus
  • Stress, Relaxation
  • Calm my mind, reduce stress level
  • Anxiety and develop concentration
  • Hypertension
  • Pain, Tension, Stress
  • Stress level and Migraines
  • Focusing practice
  • Better sleep, Less stress
  • Stress level
  • Anxiety, Falling asleep, Concentration

My ‘Take home’ points

  • Incorporate breathing technique into my daily routines, especially upon waking up and going to sleep.
  • I plan to use the breathing techniques, they seem very effective.
  • Start, just start the practice and take steps to meditate.
  • Different counting techniques, Can do lying down (yes!). Also it is OK to count (I was taught to be quiet, no thoughts) – so helpful.
  • Breathing, Posture, and Better focus.
  • Relax.
  • Try to use the technique in everyday activities. Use the technique before I fall asleep.
  • How to relax by controlling my breathing.
  • Will practice with my 4 year old grandson. It will help to count, this will help concentrate my mind.
  • To try it at night and in the morning as a start. Don’t worry about rules, just do it!
  • Meditation can be used anytime and anywhere, “each breath  is a life”. “You can’t change people’s actions, you can only change your reaction.”

My expectation from the seminar is fulfilled to level 

  • A+ – 1
  • A    – 8
  • B    – 2

Comments

  • Thank you – much food for thought.
  • A appreciated your philosophical perspective in reinforcing the importance of meditation and mind/body.
  • A little hard to her you with the heater running.
  • I had a very hard time hearing the presenter’s soft voice and missed some of the talk. Seems to be an excellent way to quite the mind. I am excited to try it at home.
  • My husband always tried to get me to meditate but the way you broke it down made it more understanding and simple.
  • Great tips! Am eager to try the technique.
  • I like that there are no rules.
  • I really enjoyed the presentation. I am looking forward to trying the breathing. I will consider contacting you about more classes.
  • I loved your presentation and I know I will be able to use these techniques to help me relax.

I recommend this seminar to (name the group)

  • May be my book group. If there is enough interest I will contact you.
  • Anyone. it is easy and free.
  • College students dealing with stress.
  • The teachers at my school.
  • Everyone could use these methods.

(1) Voorheesville Public Library
(2) Documents for download – All handouts
(3) Sample testimonials – 16

Related pages: Public Seminars

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@ “I decided to take charge of my health before it took charge of me”

Said one of my on-line clients from New Jersey. He practiced ‘counting breaths’ (1) and got remarkable relief from stress (2). In one of his mails he mentioned that proper diet was very important for good health. I was curious as I have been focusing on nutritional aspects (5) recently. On my request, he shared the following details of the diet changes he made and the benefits gained.

It is interesting that he says ‘counting breaths’ meditation endowed him with the will power needed to sustain the remarkable diet changes. I thank him for sharing his experience and hope it would inspire some visitors.

Q: What was your diet before and now?

Breakfast

Before: Coffee and Cereal
Now: Oatmeal with almonds, walnuts, chia seeds (3) and one fruit – apple or pear

Lunch

Before: Chicken turkey sandwiches, Pizza
Now: Salad with different raw vegetables without any dressing

Evening

Before:Donuts
Now: Salad and sometimes, yogurt with flaxseed (4) and almonds

Dinner

Before:Four chapathis (Asian Indian style flatbreads) and vegetables
Now: Two chapathis with cooked and raw vegetables, soy milk or almond milk

Q. Where did you get the knowledge about the diet changes?

A. From the book “The complete handbook of Nature cure” (6) sent by my brother from India.

Q: When did you make these diet changes?

A: April 2012.

Q: What prompted or inspired you to make these big changes?

A: I saw too many health issue around me. My Dad died due to stroke in Oct 2011. Looking around I decided to take charge of my health before my health took charge of me.

Q: Have you been able to sustain the changes?

A: I am trying to. On weekends when I go to somebody’s house, I might deviate from my diet.

Q: Do you think you will be able to keep up these changes?

A:I am praying and hoping that I keep up my determination. It needs a lot of will power. That is where counting breaths (1) meditation helps me.

Q: What improvements have you noticed due to the diet changes?

A:I found that eating more raw vegetables coupled with ‘counting breaths’ made me

* less tired

* breathing easier while doing counting breaths. Before, I could not breath at times, get restless in mind and drink lots of coffee.

* I am calmer than before, even in desperate situations at work.

* take every day as it comes

* less worry

* calmer than before at home

Q. What was your weight before and now? 

A. Before - 185  Lbs
   Now - 148  Lbs
   Lost - 37 lbs

(1) Counting mode
(2) “Thank you for helping me and my family”
(3) Chia seeds – Wiki page            Health benefits of Chia seeds – Jen reviews
(4) Flax seed – Wiki page
(5) Nutrition – Books I like 
(6) The complete handbook of Nature cure – PDF

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* Improved on weight, blood pressure, moods, and neck & back pains

Feedback from a client, a patient of my daughter Padma Sripda MD (6), who has done 12 classes over the last one year and eight months. She gained weight (from almost underweight to a healthier BMI), lowered her persistently high BP  and gradually lowering her anti-anxiety medication per her doctor’s advice and made more improvements.

Breathing: I practice the breathing exercises while driving, walking and at work. I mostly do the ‘Counting mode’ but when driving I do the ‘Tip mode’. (4)

Hypertension: Last week I had a really great blood pressure reading 126/86. This is one of the lowest I have had. (3)

Diet changes: I have been having breakfast every morning and a better lunch and dinner. I am working to cut out sugar. Instead of soda I have been drinking juices and water. I gained 25 lbs from these changes. I added a multi-vitamin, vitamin D, Vitamin C in the powder form and the milled flax seed which I put in smoothies or a salad every day.  That was a lot of work to change my eating habits but well worth it.(1)

Sleep: I have been waking up fresher in the mornings but still getting great sleep.

Moods: I find that my moods are more even. I don’t have as much anger or depression. I feel things are easier to deal with (5).

Anxiety medication: I have been cutting down on the anxiety medication very slowly but I think I have made great progress. I used to take 2 a day. I am now down to 1.25 to 1.5. I think I feel better now cutting back on this medication.

Chronic neck and back pains: My neck pain has greatly improved from the stretching as well as my back. I can’t remember the last time I needed pain medication for these problems. (2)

I am going to continue to practice all the above items. I would like to start hiking and maybe working out a little in the gyms at the hotels I stay at.

(1) She was very lean for her height with a BMI of 21 (normal range is 19 to 24), her cheeks were shrunk and her face was looking sick . She was working out of  town and on her feet for hours. She was not eating any breakfast and hated to have any. It required lot of persuasion over many classes, for her to change her long established habit.  She neither had any good lunch. She was feeling fatigued and low in moods by afternoon. After the diet changes, her weight has improved and she is feeling much better overall.
(2) She had chronic neck and back pains and taking pain medications and sometimes even shots for acute neck pain.  Her back pain dramatically improved after practicing the “Focusing on breathing’ modes (4) and the waking up routine.
(3) She had persistently high BP (Hypertension) for at least 6 years. During the visits to her doctor, the systolic ranged from 136 to 219 and the diastolic ranged from 94 to 129.
(4) Different modes of ‘Focusing on breathing’
(5) For many months from the time she attended the classes, she was bitterly complaining about her employer’s treatment of her – not paying fair wages, not appreciating her high quality work etc. In last six months she did not say one thing on this issue.
(6) Padma Sripada

Related pages
Her previous feedback
Relief from Hypertension – Success stories
High Blood pressure and Heart disease – Books I like

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* Helping my patients – says a Doctor

Feedback from Padma Sripada MD (Internal Medicine), my daughter (1). She recommends this technique to her patients with anxiety, panic attacks, hypertension and insomnia who may be open to such practices (2).

  • This technique is appealing in its simplicity, and absence of restrictive conditions”: The focusing on the breathing technique is appealing in its simplicity, and absence of restrictive conditions that often hamper the adoption of most techniques of meditation. I have introduced the technique to some of my patients with anxiety, panic attacks, hypertension and insomnia. Everyone who has adopted the technique has reported it helps them relax. Some patients have reported it has helped then sleep better, and no longer rely on medications. The most remarkable effect was on a patient with severe panic attacks, who could not drive over a bridge without taking an anxiolytic first, is now able to drive over bridges without relying on medications!”
  • Helping my patients: “My female patient in her forties has been suffering for many years with anxiety, depression and insomnia, made significantly worse due to negative interactions with a supervisor at work. Her BP (Hypertension) had been borderline high at most of her visits. She was always visibly stressed and appeared on the edge. To control her symptoms she was on two anxiety medications and a sleeping pill.Recently when she came in, she had a very relaxed demeanor. She told me she was off both her anxiety medicines since she does not need them any more. Her BP was in perfect range.I asked her what brought about the remarkable change. She said she decided that she would change how she reacts to her supervisor. She would do the best job she can and not let anything else affect her. She does the breathing as recommended (3). She does not use her fingers to count her breaths (4) but focuses on her breaths (5). She finds that it calms her down significantly.

    I was very surprised and happy for her, since her quality of life is significantly improved. It is a clear example of how simple techniques can help transform lives.”

(1) Padma Sripada MD (2) How Can I Focus On Breathing?

Related pages Relief from Anxiety, Fear and Panic attacks – Success stories

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* “My family can’t believe the change”

Feedback from a woman who attended two of my classes over 3 weeks. She is a retired hair dresser referred by Teri Hutson-Mulligan, a diabetes educator at Albany Medical Center to help her improve her breathing. Her problems: Insomnia, hypertension, bottled up anger, obesity and diabetes.

“I really believe the whole learning to breathe idea has helped me to take time for myself. My family can’t believe the change in my attitude about everything and I owe it to you CS.”

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* Reducing hypertension

One patient of my daughter Padma Sripada said today when she came for a visit ” A young woman at my work was having hypertension. I downloaded and printed the ‘Focusing on breathing’ technique from the web site countingbreaths.com and gave to her. She reported after some time, that her hypertension numbers were coming down.”

* Feedback from the seminar at the East Greenbush Community Library

The fourth introductory seminar at the East Greenbush Community library was on May 4, 2011. 26 persons registered and 19 turned up.

Scanned images of the completed feedback forms  PDF

Their feedback is summarized below.

The seminar was …

  • Excellent –    15
  • Very Good – 4
  • Good –             –
  • Not useful –   –

I will use this technique to relieve my (concern)

  • Stress –                  11
  • Insomnia –             6
  • Anxiety-                 5
  • Quality of sleep – 2
  • Tension-                  1
  • Muscle aches due to Fibromyalgia – 1
  • Heart disease –     1
  • Road rage –            1
  • Impatience –         1
  • Hypertension –    1

Comments/ Suggestions (if any)

  • Relaxing
  • I really like it – 2
  • Stress
  • Would like to take another class
  • Very informative and effective
  • You did a super job in explaining the techniques
  • Thank you!  Very helpful
  • Great! Please come again
  • Very good
  • Very pleasant and enjoyable

***
E-mail message from the Library

“Dear CS,

I wanted to thank you for bringing your ‘Focusing on Breathing’ program to our library.  The excellent comments from those who attended show how valuable this technique is.  Thank you for sharing your knowledge and your enthusiasm with our library patrons.

Sincerely,”
Lois Papp
Head of Adult Services
East Greenbush Community Library

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