Tag-Archive for » insomnia «

Seminar – East Greenbush Library

I offered the 17th seminar at East Greenbush Community Library (1) on June 14, 2017 from 6.30 to 8.30 pm. Attended by 7 women. A folder containing my key handouts  and sample testimonials was given to each participant (2), (3). 

Summary of the Feedback

I will practice this technique for my (concern) 

  • Insomnia and dizziness
  • Difficulty in falling asleep
  • Insomnia, Cancer depression with rumination
  • Sleep issues
  • Relaxation
  • Helping me to think less

My ‘Take home’ points

  • 911 breathing, sleeping breathing
  • How to become calm
  • Breathing counting with fingers
  • All ideas, great presentation
  • The sleep techniques, I will definitely try at home

Evaluation of the seminar 

  • Very satisfied – 3
  • Satisfied – 4

Comments

  • Very thorough
  • Helpful techniques for meditation – Thanks!
  • This will be helpful with my basic Yoga and walking to keep my mind focused
  • Very informative. Thank you!
  • Excellent program. Very good teacher.

I wish to 

  • Receive ‘Annual update’ on this technique – 1
  • Interested in ‘follow up classes’ on today’s techniques – 3
  • Interested in joining a support group for meditation – 2

(1) East Greenbush Community Library
(2) Documents for download – All handouts
(3) Sample testimonials – 16

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Public Seminars

+ Journaling for Mind, Body benefits – Guest post by Gemma Philips

How Journaling reduces stress
Recent scientific studies have backed what has long been known in Eastern philosophy since ancient times: holistic practices such as yoga and mindfulness meditation lower stress hormone levels, lift our mood, and boost our academic and work performance. If you are already well versed with the many benefits that meditation can bring to your life, you might consider adopting a complementary activity, which will only enhance the relaxing effects of meditation. It’s called journaling, and it is currently a therapy that is encouraged in a variety of settings – including centers for rehabilitation for drug abuse, for eating disorder recovery and for the treatment of stress-related conditions such as depression and anxiety. Journaling is also used for patients which chronic health conditions, including cancer, asthma, chronic pain, insomnia, etc.

How does Journaling differ from diary writing?
Far from merely recording the events of the day, as is the case with diary writing, journaling goes a step beyond, in that it involves writing down our thoughts and feelings which are our reactions to the day’s events. In this way, we can get to know ourselves better – find out what triggers stress or anxiety, note down the way we tend to react to conflict or difficult issues, and jot down alternative, more positive reactions the next time we encounter a similar situation.

What benefits does journaling bring?
Some of the many benefits of journaling include:

  • Helping us deal with stress
  • Increasing self-awareness
  • Helping us deal with challenging events and circumstances
  • Helping us ‘metabolize’ our experience – when we do not journal, we can simply block any unpleasant thoughts or emotions, which are transformed into a muddled memory we obtain little value from. Journaling helps us process the day’s events, so that we are not plagued by distressing thoughts and feelings. In this way, journaling very much resembles mindfulness.
  • Helping us track our progress – we can use our journal to create strategies to deal with difficult situations, and take note of how we are progressing in our goals.
  • Identifying triggers – journaling regularly enables us to identify the situations or people that tend to make us anxious or upset. We can analyse how they manage to have this effect on us, and either make a conscious decision to process their words and actions in a different manner, or take more drastic measures if necessary (such as limiting the amount of time we spend in these types of situations, especially if they are toxic or bring no good to our lives).

What Types of Journal are there?
Ultimately, each of us defines and creates our own type of journal. Some people find success from keeping a gratitude journal – in which they regularly list down the things, people and events they are thankful for. Others (such as those in recovery from substance abuse, for instance) keep a recovery journal, to help track their progress, triggers and setbacks. Still others keep a journal to note their progress towards a defined goal. Another popular journal is the evening reflection journal, which enables the writer to reflect on their reactions to a specific event.

How to Journal?
Journaling ultimately only works if we are truly committed to it. The aim should be to write daily, or every couple of days, for a set amount of time (between 20 minutes and around half an hour at least). If you are considering starting a journal, find a comfy, quiet spot in your home, where you won’t be bothered by noise. Make this area as personal as you can – fill it with lights, put on relaxing music or decorate it so that just the idea of journaling seems immensely appealing. Every few days, go back over previous entries to reflect on them. During the day, use your phone or keep a small notebook, jotting down any important thoughts or feelings you may otherwise forget. Remember that journaling is a reflective exercise; use your journal to become more self-aware and to make the necessary changes you need for a better quality of life.

Further Reading:
Journaling as an Aid to Recovery, Recovery.org
Mindfulness meditation may ease anxiety, mental stress, Health.Harvard.edu
Yoga, Umm.edu
Journaling for Mental Health, Urmc.Rochester.edu
The Benefits of Journaling, UWhealth.org

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Seminar – East Greenbush Library

I offered the 16th seminar at East Greenbush Community Library (1) on January 11, 2017 from 6.30 to 8.30 pm. Attended by 12 adults. A folder containing my key handouts  and sample testimonials was given to each participant (2), (3). It was interesting to hear from a participant that she attended the seminar a few years back and the technique helped her sleep. She came this time along with her husband. They both met me at the end and her husband commented “she falls asleep so quickly”. She said she brought him along because he does not sleep well.  

Summary of the Feedback

I will practice this technique for my (concern) 

  • Anxiety and Insomnia
  • Insomnia and to turn my brain “Off” when I want to sleep.
  • Sleep
  • Anxiety and Panic attacks
  • Stress
  • Relax when feeling stressed
  • Increased peace

My ‘Take home’ points

  • 3 Steps/ ways to fall asleep
  • Breathing at bedtime and awakening
  • Practice breathing, Try morning routine
  • Waking up with stretches and breathing, Chanting, Picking something that speaks to my heart
  • I like the ideas of breathing techniques before sleep and after waking
  • Stretching techniques before starting the day
  • Counting while breathing

Evaluation of the seminar 

  • Very satisfied – 9 (only 9 people returned the forms. Two people left early as they had an appointment)

Comments

  • I took this class a few years ago & the breathing techniques definitely help with my sleep.
  • Very useful ideas to use going forward.
  • Too short! I loved every minute. I want to learn more.
  • Counting, Feeling, folding – I will use tonight to relax and sleep.
  • Very passionate about topic, obviously a major part of his life
  • Thank you for sharing from your learning.
  • Great!
  • Thank you!
  • Counting, feeling and folding modes – I will use tonight to relax and sleep. Thank you so much!

I wish to 

  • Receive ‘Annual update’ on this technique – 4
  • Interested in ‘follow up classes’ on today’s techniques – 2

(1) East Greenbush Community Library
(2) Documents for download – All handouts
(3) Sample testimonials – 16

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Public Seminars

Seminar for the father of a client

A young software Engineer has been coming to the classes for the last 18 months. He brought his father 60+ visiting from India, to be introduced to the techniques as they helped him come out of his severe stress (1). His feedback after the introductory session.

I want to use this technique for my …

Spondylitis pain, Insomnia, Anxiety, Stress from thinking about garbage thoughts, Mental peace lacking inpite of strong will power

My Take home points …

I can cope with mental stress using the breathing techniques by diverting the mind

(1) Focusing on breathing

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Yoga and Meditation – Nov 14 Class

The sixth monthly class at Venture Inward was done on Nov 14, 2016 from 6.30 to 8.00 pm (1). Three women and two men attended. Four were new comers and 1 continuer. Summary of feedback  is shown below.

Scanned images of the feedback forms

Newcomers

I came to know about this seminar from 

A friend
A flier in the doctor’s office
Venture Inward newsletter  – 2

I will practice this technique for my (concern)

Anxiety and to focus
Anxiety
Anxiety and Insomnia

My ‘Take home’ points

Counting the breaths using the fingers
Breathe
Tongue behind the teeth technique
Breathe and relax

Seminar evaluation

Very satisfied – 4

Comments

Very helpful
Looking forward to attending another session

I recommend this seminar to (specify the group with contact details if possible)

Receive Annual Updates?

Yes – 3

Enroll  for ‘Follow up classes’ on this technique?

Yes – 3

Join a ‘Support group for Meditation’?       

Yes – 1

Continuers
Meditation on breathing

When did I practice? 

Falling asleep: A few times -2
During the day: When I feel I have too much to do

How did it help me? 

Made me feel relaxed

Gentle Yoga

I practiced

Frequently

Future classes

I want to continue: Yes

(1) ‘Venture Inward’ Call #477-6566 to register.

Related pages: Public Seminars

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Meditation workshop at Church

The second seminar at the First United Methodist Church of East Greenbush was set up by Patricia Chartrand, the mom of one of my long standing clients. Attended by 14 women as part of a periodic women’s group retreat. Three of the women attended my first seminar in March 2015. It was so nice on their part to share their experiences on how it helped them and family members. 

Summary of the Feedback

I will use this technique for my …

  • Improve my sleeping
  • Sleep, Pain
  • Insomnia, COPD attacks, Breathing
  • Getting better sleep
  • High blood pressure, Pain
  • Blood pressure
  • Grieving process, Regaining my normalcy and daily function (after the recent death of my husband)
  • Anxiety- children

My take home points…

  • Counting and breathing
  • Like the counting much
  • Counted breathing
  • Breathing one-two-three
  • Use this technique
  • To keep breathing
  • Making meditation a priority, Doing it during any moment of the day.

My evaluation of the seminar…

  • Very satisfied – 9
  • Satisfied – 5

Comments

  • I have tried this here today. It calmed me down.
  • Looking for more info. on this once I have the basics.
  • I am reminded to reclaim these teachings for my “Now” reality as a new widow.
  • Wish it was longer.
  • Thank you.
  • Great ideas. Very helpful ideas.
  • I have attended several meditation groups and found each one very good and lasting in long duration (when disciplined to do it).
  • Only drawback was inability understanding due to your accent.
  • Thanks for coming after a long night of travelling.

I recommend this seminar to (name the group)…

  • Youth group at First United Methodist Church.
  • Schodack senior center
  • Complementary Care Officer (Sharon Wheeler) at Albany Medical Center (who organizes stress reduction classes for AMCH employees.)
  • I will recommend this to others.

(1) First United Methodist Church of East Greenbush

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+ Emotional abuse by mother relieved

Kaitlin (name changed) aged around 60, a single software Engineer, attended 6 of my classes. She was emotionally abused by her mom for more than 47 years. And it continued even when her mother was 80+ and dependent on her help for daily living. Kaitlin attended therapy but it did not help her get over this root cause of her stress. The following changes were reported by her during the classes. 

Before the classes 
  • Emotionally abused by mom ever since she turned 13. Mom used to fill her plate with food and force her to empty it. When she emptied it, she would fill it again. She gained weight. Then mom taunted her for being fat. She was always criticizing and controlling.
  • Mother’s taunts: She agitatedly spoke about her distress from her mother’s taunting words. She did not know how to handle her.
  • Insomnia: Not able to sleep without TV. Leaving TV on, reading, difficulty falling asleep, waking up 2 to 3 times, Not able to get back to sleep.
  • Anxiety in the morning about the work.
  • Eating unhealthy
  • Diabetic – 10 years
  • Stress at work – Losing patience.
  • Anger
  • Obesity
  • Stress about job relocation.
  • Diet: Comfort foods like candies,cookies, overeating throughout the day.
  • No physical exercise.
  • Brother’s behavior was a big source of stress. Felt helpless against his cheating and irresponsible behavior.
Her ‘Focusing on breathing’ Practices and more 
  • Tip mode (1)
  • Segment mode (1)
  • Counting mode (1)
  • Waking up (2)
  • Driving (3)
  • I repeatedly introduced the concepts of my articles on ‘Relationships’ and discussed them during the classes to help her internalize them and use them in her interactions with her mother (4).
Now
  • Mother’s abusive behavior: From the fourth class onwards, she did not speak a word about her mom. Instead she started focusing on her own goals like her obesity, stress at work etc.
  • Episodes of anger at work less by 70%. “If someone upsets me I let it pass. Only one episode in the last 3 weeks. Anger less by 70%.”
  • Anxiety about relocation of job is less by 70%. “I put things  out of my mind.”
  • Focus – Better
  • Patience – better
  • More relaxed
  • Overeating at night.
  • Not procrastinating.
  • Confidence improved. 
  • Assertiveness improved.
  • In general more active.
  • Accomplishing more.
  • Overeating in general: Less by 20%. Cut down on cookies and candies.
  • Practicing Yoga nidra.
  • Exercise: Started again after one year, on weekends. Stationary bike 20 min, walking 10 min.
  • Less body stiffness.
  • Doing ‘Albany peace project’ meditation at night.

(1) How can I ‘Focusing on breathing’
(2) Waking up ‘focusing on breathing’
(3) ‘Focusing on breathing’ during driving
(4) My articles – Relationship related

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Seminar – Columbia Internal Medicine

The seminar was the first of 3 classes for which two young people registered: a Software Engineer to relieve his anxiety and headaches and his sister-in-law for insomnia. They were supplied with a set of my handouts and sample testimonials (1). Their feedback summary –

  • I will use this technique for my
    • Anxiety, Headache
    • Sleeping problem
  • My take home points
    • Very helpful to relax and stay calm. These techniques (Finger modes, counting or 911) can be practiced anywhere. I can choose any of these techniques according to the situation.
    • Concentrate on your breathing anywhere, any place.
  • Evaluation of the seminar
    • Very satisfied – 2
  • Comments
    • Very nice teaching, Good for a better life.
    • Thank you very much for helping me as otherwise I was losing my control from myself.
  • I recommend this technique to
    • My friends
    • My husband

(1) Documents for download – All handouts

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+ Got off 15 year old depression

Ryan’s case is proof of the spiritual saying “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” (Name changed)

“It all started with a handout CS was printing in the store I worked in. At first, I didn’t give it much thought. However, after yet another bout with insomnia, I decided to give the ‘Counting mode’ and ‘Segment mode’  a try (1). What could it hurt?. After a few nights of doing this technique, I found to my astonishment and relief, that my insomnia was gone.

After I told CS and thanked him, we got to talking and eventually I found that he taught classes in this technique and others. We set up a time that worked for both of us and we met weekly for a long time. After that first class, I was still not entirely convinced but I checked out his web site countingbreaths.com and began incorporating other simple techniques into my day.

Now, a few years later, I drink way less then I did before, quit smoking, working on my weight and climbing out of the deep dark depressive hole that I’ve been in, since I was 15. With the help of this technique, I can deal with people and situations better then I have, in the past, as well as have some peace of mind. For the first time in a long time, I can look forward to today instead of dreading it.”

Update Aug 2016: Ryan got off the Antidepressant medication totally, per the advice of his primary care doctor. My primary goal in working with him has come true.  

(1) Counting mode         Segment mode

Related pages
His previous feedback: I am building a ‘New Me’!

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* I am building a ‘New Me’!

Feedback from a client who achieved life changing benefits by practicing the ‘Focusing on breathing’ (8) initially on his own from my handouts and then attended 10 of my classes so far over last 6 months (3) . His previous reports are at (9).

“As someone who has fought the proverbial battle of the bulge most of his life, I know how hard it can be to make life changes. I have been through the crash diets, to doctors and so on with varying degrees of success. However the weight would always come back. I had pretty much given up.

Then one day, I picked up a handout on breathing mostly because it said it could help with my insomnia (1). To my surprise, it did help a lot and with more then just my lack of sleep (2).

Eventually, I was convinced to try taking the classes. Through the classes I have been keeping a food diary and trying new changes in my diet (4). I was even watching a subliminal video (5). This isn’t like the crash diets I’ve been on and its not pills.

In keeping the food diary, I am able to keep track of what I’m putting in my body (when you fist start, you may be shocked) (6). I started my changes gradually and in a way that I didn’t feel deprived. The changes I have made so far are

  • Drink water at least a half hr before food (7).
  • More whole unprocessed foods like vegetables and whole grains like brown rice and rye bread.
  • I added beans and salad to at least one meal a day.
  • And the real hard part – I cut down on my drinking beer and my meat (didn’t eliminate just cut down).

As I implemented these changes, I found my tastes have changed as well as my waistline from 46 to 44. I now only feel deprived if I miss my daily salad.

I have lost about ten ponds, in a sustainable way (300 lbs to 286 lbs in 5 months). I no-longer fear going back to the way I was.

I am building a ‘new me’.”

(1) How to enjoy quality sleep and conquer Inso

mnia PDF
How to enjoy quality sleep and conquer Insomnia Webpage
Relief from Insomnia – Success stories
(2) His first feedback on Insomnia and Stress
(3) Seminars and Classes
(4) His diet ‘before’ did not contain any significant vegetables, fruits or whole grains. Daily calorie count was above 3000 calories. He was drinking 20 measures of beer a week.
His ‘after’  classes  diet has regular salad, fruits, whole grains and beans. Beer cut down to 3 measures a week.  Daily calorie count gradually came down to around 14oo. He is steadily losing weight, coming down from 300 lbs to 286 in 5 months. Waist girth came down from 46 inches to 44. Best part is he developed taste for the healthier diet items and confident of keeping it up.
(5) I shared with him the free Subliminal video referred by another a person who came to my seminar and became a practitioner.
(6) I opened one google spread sheet for one week and shared with him. It is pre formatted so he can just post items and calories consumed through the day and instantly see the calorie count, daily and weekly. Just seeing the calorie count tremendously motivated him to control high calorie foods and empty calorie items like  like beer. I have been suggesting small changes periodically and motivating him to sustain the changes during the classes and on-line.
(7) Drinking water right quantity at the right time<
(8) How can I ‘focus on breathing’? 
(9) His previous reports
Relief from Depression, Addictions, Anger and Disturbing thoughts
Anger, Anxiety and Disturbed thoughts relieved
I cut back my mental health medicines
Insomnia and stress relieved

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