Tag-Archive for » panic attacks «

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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Related pages
Public Seminars

+ Anxiety medication stopped & more

Nicole (name changed), a patient of my daughter Padma Sripada in her low forties had severe anxiety, sleep disturbances, chronic pains, obesity, grief, panic attacks, smoking addiction and acute fear of upcoming hip surgery (1). She attended her first class at our office (2). After 2 weeks of practicing focusing on breathing, she reported what and when practiced and the benefits (3).

“The breathing meditation is going good. I use it each day, first time in the morning, after work and before bed.

  • I feel less depressed.
  • Sleeping for 6 hours since starting the breathing meditation. I am feeling better being able to sleep longer than 3 hours (4).
  • I am less stressed at my job.
  • No anxiety medication since I started the breathing meditation (5).

My health insurance company approved my hip surgery. I am reluctant to schedule a date because I am scared of being in severe pain after surgery.

I would like to schedule a time to meet with you soon. Any advice and instruction you can teach me, I appreciate.”

(1) Padma Sripada MD
(2) Classes at my office
(3) Focusing on breathing
(4) Relief from sleep problems
(5) Relief from Anxiety
(6) Before and after surgery

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+ No more ‘Legendary Panic Attacks’

Remarkable feedback from a woman undergoing 6 monthly chemotherapy and CT scans for Lymphoma. She attended 4 of my classes (1).  She was so terrified of the CT scan testing that she had to take sedatives for a few days before the scan date. She was in great distress even when seeing her Oncologist. The breathing techniques relieved both her ‘legendary panic attacks’ (her words) and distress. 

“Something so simple but yet so powerful…Thank you CS for giving me such a great tool.

Previous to working with you, I had ‘legendary panic attacks’ when getting a CT Scan and even when just seeing my oncologist. In the past, I was prescribed a sedative that I would take up to three days in a row before the visit.

This time around, instead of taking the sedatives, I used the ‘Segment mode’ usually in the afternoon and every night before I went to bed, for several weeks (2).

The week before the recent test which I usually label as my “Hell” week, I used the ‘Tip mode’ and ‘911 mode’ when I started to feel a panic attack coming on (3). It really did a great job of defusing the situation and helped me make it through the day.

The day of the CT, while sitting in the waiting room, I was using the ‘Feeling mode’ to keep the panic away (4). I actually remember using the ‘Tip mode’ in the CT scan machine (3).

I couldn’t hold back every tear but my boyfriend who comes with me said he could definitely see a difference. I was in a much better state of mind when I saw the doctor and I didn’t have my usual ‘after visit cries’.

Now for my next visit, I already have less anxiety because I saw such a change in the short time we had been working together. So I know now that I have more time to practice, the results will only get better.

I feel very fortunate to have meet someone like you who is willing to teach me. Thanks for all your help.”

(1) Seminars and classes
(2) Segment mode
(3) Tip Mode     911 mode
(4) Feeling mode

Related page
Helping before and after Surgery and Medical procedures

 

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* Anxiety and Panic attacks reduced

Feedback from a client around 50 years, a patient of my daughter Padma Sripada MD. He attended 3 of my classes.

His main concerns were ‘Acute anxiety’, ‘Panic attacks’, ‘Stress’. He was concerned about the recent diagnosis of pre-diabetes. He lost 20 pounds after the diagnosis with diet changes and exercise but the sugar level was still high. He felt it may be due to stress. His acute anxiety and panic attacks persisted in spite of his being on Klonopin (1) medication.

” My practice is going well. I am not practicing as much as I was at first because my anxiety has been better in general. Some things about which I was worried before, I am less worried now. I use the breathing techniques all the time (2). I practice when going to sleep, waking up, various times during the day etc (3). Thanks CS!”

In the last class, he said that his attitude towards his chronic business and legal problems changed remarkably. He was now able to face the same old problems without panic and acute anxiety. He was able to keep his cool and even calming down his wife!  This is a sort of new life for him.

His experience shows the amazing power of  these simple techniques (2). Even though he was on anti-anxiety medication for a long time, he continued to suffer from anxiety and panic attacks to a paralyzing extent. He was looking for something beyond the medication.

(1) Klonopin
(2) How Can I Focus On Breathing?
(3) Daytime practice

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@ Seminar at ‘Venture Inward’

I offered the first seminar at ‘Venture Inward’ (2) on October 21, 2013 from 7 to 8.30 pm. This was set up by Margaret Kaufman owner of this business and a Hypnotherapist. Attended by total 9 adults, 7 female and 2 male. A set of my key handouts (1) was distributed to every participant. 

Scanned images of the Feedback forms

Summary of the Feedback

I knew about this seminar from 

  • E-mail from ‘Venture Inward’ – 7
  • ‘Meet up’ website (See (3)
  • A friend

This seminar is …

  • Extremely useful
  • Very useful – 8

I will use this technique for my (concern) 

  • Stress management/ reduction – 3
  • Anxiety
  • Making life more simple
  • Panic attacks
  • Relaxation and sleeping
  • Anxiety, Panic attacks and Stress
  • No Comment

Comments about the seminar 

  • Very calming, easy to follow. C S made it seem so easy yet so worthwhile
  • It was very good
  • Very useful
  • Moronically simple yet works liker a charm
  • Fun, interesting
  • Will use with patients I work with
  • Very well done, interesting
  • Very good, thank you
Nov 1, 2013: Received this mail from Margaret Kaufmnan who organized this seminar “Last Friday evening, Emily (name changed) attended our meditation circle and commented on how wonderful your “Focus on Breathing” program was and how impressed she was with your knowledge, instruction, patience and  gentle and encouraging interest in everyone.”

(1) Documents for download – All handouts
(2) ‘Venture Inward’ at 568 Columbia Turnpike East Greenbush NY 12061
(3) Meetup.com

Related pages
Public Seminars

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@ Stress-relief, as easy as 1,2,3

This is a reproduction of the blog post in the Times Union Newspaper by Anna McMahon (1) who is a practitioner of this technique and also its great supporter. She was instrumental in organizing my seminar at the Bethlehem Central Middle School on May 15, 2013. I am grateful to her for the wonderful encouragement.

____________________________________________________________________

Stress-relief, as easy as 1,2,3
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 by: Anna McMahon

Free presentation: Focusing on Breathing, at Bethlehem Central Middle School (Library Media Center)
Wednesday May 15, 2013 7-8 pm

Presented by Suryanarayana Chennapragada (“C.S.”), at the invitation of Bethlehem Healthy Kids Committee.

We all know that modern life is stressful. Work pressures, school pressures, family and relationship pressures…everyone suffers stresses of one kind or another, and too much stress can lead to health issues such as headaches, insomnia, anxiety or panic attacks.

Relief may be at hand – literally. With the Focusing on Breathing technique (2), instructor Suryanarayana Chennapragada (“C.S” for short), demonstrates how stressful thoughts and feelings can be brought under control through a simple process of focused breathing, using the fingers as counters. No pills, no special equipment, no mystical concepts. If it sounds ridiculously simple, well, it is! Even young children can learn it, and people of any age can practice it.

My personal experience includes using the technique successfully to get to sleep, and to calm myself in anxious situations. A good friend of mine has found relief from debilitating chronic insomnia. On C.S.’s website you will find testimonials from people who have used the technique to overcome numerous problems, including quitting smoking, improving blood pressure, building self-confidence and increasing focus for work or study.

Everyone is welcome to attend the one-hour seminar hosted by Bethlehem Healthy Kids Committee. Come and try the technique, and see if it works for you. You have nothing to lose but your stress!

____________________________________________________________________

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(1) Blog link
(2) How to be calm Anywhere, Anytime (24)
(3) Testimonials 2012 (24)

* Seminar at Russell Sage College Troy

The introductory seminar of an hour was held on 9/26/12 for graduates and seniors of Nutrition at Russell Sage College Troy NY . There were 16 students and 2 faculty members. The seminar was suggested and coordinated by Teri Hutson Mulligan, Certified Diabetes Educator at Albany Medical Center.  Patty Delmonico was the coteacher for the class. I am thankful to both of them for letting me share this technique with their college students. The class is “Nutritional counseling through the life cycle”.  The  feedback from the participants is summarized below. The PDF document showing the scanned images of their feedback forms is presented after the summary. With this seminar, my dream of sharing this technique with college students was fulfilled.

Summary of  their feedback

The seminar was …

  • Very useful – 15
  • Useful – 3

I will use this technique for my (concern)………

  • To relax before sleep and while studying
  • Sleeping, Waking up, When stressed about an exam
  • Sleep, Stress and Anxiety
  • Sleeping and Stress
  • Insomnia and Anxiety
  • Helping to calm my mind before sleep, + When I am feeling overwhelmed about school
  • Anxiety  and Insomnia
  • Sleep and Stress
  • Stress and to help me sleep
  • Insomnia, specially trouble falling asleep
  • Anxiety and Insomnia
  • Sleep better (more soundly, wake up refreshed)
  • Stress reduction, Sleep aid and to recommend to others when I am a dietitian
  • To help me sleep and relax
  • Anxiety, Stress + Related issues
  • Panic attacks
  • Panic attacks

This technique can help improve sleep and reduce stress for ….

  • Everyone/ Anyone  – 10
  • Out-patients – 6
  • Inpatients – 5
  • Students
  • My work with kids
  • Friends
  • Family
  • Significant other

Comments/ Suggestions about the seminar

  • Wonderful
  • I liked practicing the technique in class, would be better if it was quieter
  • This was very simple and straight forward, I would not change anything
  • I love the fact that it is such a simple technique
  • I enjoyed listening to you. It was the most relaxed I have been during a seminar
  • Great! Relaxing and Informational
  • Thank you. It was very helpful and I will try to use the techniques
  • Include demonstration of deep breathing with stretching the body
  • Great job, Very useful information and interactive
  • The information and techniques shared were really helpful and I greatly enjoyed being able to hear where the techniques are applicable
  • Very  helpful and practical
  • Very interesting. Eager to try this out!
  • Interesting
  • Very interesting. I will try to put it into practice in my life

Scanned images of the feedback forms  PDF

Related pages
How can I focus on breathing?
Seminars and Follow up classes
Past seminars

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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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* I rebuilt my broken spirit

This is a testimonial from Eva (not her real name) who attended 8 of my classes over 5 months (6). It illustrates many lessons in getting out of the grip of a verbal or emotional abuser, not a physical abuser.

  • It is a dramatic model on how a person can break the spell of the abuser  and lead a stress free life. Daily contact with that person may be unavoidable. The abuser may be abusing verbally or emotionally.  The abuser may be a boss, spouse, parent, friend or any other.
  • It proves the saying  “You can’t change others. You can only change your response to their behavior.” and the related one “When I change myself, the World changes.”
  • It proves the spiritual saying “When the student is ready the teacher appears”
  • And surprise! The abuser may turn around!

See more of my comments at the end.

The report
“I suppose it was the end of May 2011 because the 10 foot high snow banks at the end of the parking lot had finally melted. I think it was a Monday or a Tuesday. Back then, I didn’t really focus on real- time. I simply prayed to get through each day. Each and every new morning presented itself with tremendous anxiety, demanding self-preparedness to battle with my verbally and emotionally abusive boss. I had been dealing with his relentlessly abusive behavior over the last two years. I was daily confronted with humiliation, degrading, argumentative, embarrassing control tactics, accusations, and lies. Me responding with anxiety, fear, tears, withdrawal, disgust and frustration. I was losing sleep, and it felt like I was constantly spinning.

I was treated by my physician for severe panic attacks and sleeplessness. My dermatologist was treating me for the red blotches, itching and welts on my face. Rock bottom came when a coworker made an unkind comment to me, back on that Monday or Tuesday. It broke my spirit to the core. I went out of the office, to the end of the long unused hallway, sat on the floor with my arms wrapped around my knees. I soaked from my tears. What was happening to me? How do I stop this monster of a boss from making me feel like this?

I figured I had two choices – fight or flight. I pulled myself together and went back to the office. I prayed to the angels to please give me some kind of a sign.

A few days before, I planned to attend the seminar by C S (Suryanarayana Chennapragada) on ‘Focusing on breathing’  at the local library, but I couldn’t make it. On coming to know about my interest from my coworker, CS offered the classes at his office. I saw CS that day.

He patiently let me unload everything that was making my life miserable. He taught me the different breathing methods to control stress and help with relaxation (5). He made me practice the techniques briefly sitting in his office.

I experienced a sense of calmness almost immediately. I could feel my tense shoulders drop. In his weekly classes he shared with me his own life experiences and some healing thoughts (1). I began to understand things in a whole different way. I knew I was 100 feet under water but after a few sessions with CS, I knew I had crawled up by 10 feet, inch by inch.

I had a long way to go but I knew I was on the right path. I practiced the techniques every day and several times a day when things got bad. I could thus create my own calmness to some degree. I created sanity in my work space by including things I love and a few ‘props’ from C S, to insulate me from further emotional trauma (2).

After several months and many visits later. I can honestly say that I am ‘riding the waves’ instead of drowning underneath them (3). I have learned so much from the relaxation techniques and guidance from C S,  that now I recognize the bad behavior before it comes to me. I learned how to respond to it in appropriate ways, to throw “IT” (the ‘bug’, meaning the abusive behavior) back and put the fire out before it burns me (4).

I had a revelation not too long ago inspired by the experiences C S shared with me. It became clear to me, that I was causing my own frustration because I was expecting my boss to change into someone he could never be. I realized that I could only change myself. I had to only keep my mind clear without confusion and my heart clean without any negative intention or attitude. I am now stronger, more confident and more aware of my own being. I am a better person now. When confronted with difficulties and bad behavior at work, I know I am going to get even better. I have eliminated all expectations about him! I feel can do this! I keep a small sign on my desk with a chant that CS introduced to me. It reminds me frequently that my boss’s abusive behavior is not because something is wrong with me. The sign has the letters “koerauoyavE”. It does not make sense to any other person. I am the only one who knows that reading it backwards, it gives me the healing message “Eva you are OK” (I am OK, it is my boss who is suffering from the ‘blame bug’).”

The report ends happily here!

Some unexpected developments
My boss realized that I was not cowering anymore when he behaved intimidatingly. On the other hand, he saw me replying to his accusations calmly, boldly and factually, looking into his eyes, all the time. He then changed his behavior dramatically. He started behaving like an immature child and making jokes, trying to make up with me! Unbelievable!” “A few days back, at the end of the day, I asked him “Doc! are we closing the office?”. He replied “You tell me.” I said “You are the boss. You are the one to decide.” He said “No. You are the boss!”. Imagine this one coming from the micromanaging and intimidating boss who used to say in all petty matters of the office “I am the boss. You have to follow whatever I say.” What a transformation!”

***

My comments

Eva is an unique personality, unlike any others with whom I worked so far. In her past career she always had kind and caring bosses. This abusive boss was a great shock to her.

She instantly grasped the concepts and techniques I shared with her, internalized them and used them right away, to manage the situation on hand. She benefited remarkably from the stories and articles that I shared with her in the classes.

After a few weeks of practicing the breathing and the new thought processes, she discarded her previous practice of wearing the green smock to the office, like a medial staff. She wore the normal office dress like a receptionist, with pride. This small step boosted her morale, one notch.

(1) She quickly absorbed the messages of these stories/articles and ideas and practiced them in real life.

  • “He insulted me” on how we can refuse to receive the insult being thrown at us or internalize it.
  • “The walker who laughed at A, B and C” on how we think we have some problem, instead of the abusive person.
  • “The blamer is hit with the blame bug” due to which he can’t help displaying the symptoms of blaming disease.
  • “My brother Ramu dies at the age of 10” describing how my unrealistic expectation was the cause for my suffering.
  • “We do not see the first parts of people’s lives” making  judgments of other people, based on their current behavior, without knowing the experiences they were subjected to till that point of time.
  • “To speak or not, to act or not” illustrating that as long I have a clear mind without confusion and a clean heart without negative emotions, I can speak and act appropriately without being afraid of any one, including GOD.
  • Unrealistic expectations sap our motivation and abort our attempts at making small forward moving changes in our routine. The president of an African country was asked by a journalist to describe the achievements of his government. He said ”My dear friend, I am not in the happy position of seeing what heights I have reached. I only see from what depths I am coming up!”. The personal change process is such that we may not experience any waves of happiness even after many many years of practice. The few daring people that attempt this process have to sustain their efforts and draw deep inspiration from the tiny reductions in their daily suffering.

(2) I helped Eva in creating reassuring and calming props, right in front of her, while sitting in her chair, in spite of any objections by her boss. This was also to break the spell of controlling and being controlled, under which both her boss and she lived, for more than two years. She also had to demonstrate her right to arrange her undisputed physical zone as she liked, without being challenged by her boss.

  • I described the story “He insulted me” using my pen for practical demonstration and at the end, gave her the same pen to take with her and place it right in front of her on the desk. This pen would remind her of the message of this story during the abusive interactions of the day, thus protecting her from distress.
  • I used a piece of crumpled paper to represent the bug in the story “The blamer is hit with the blame bug” and asked her to keep it on her desk, to remind her that her boss could not help behaving abusively because he was having the blame bug in his head.
  • I made a card in the shape of an inverted V (like a name sign used in meetings) and wrote “koerauoyawE” on it with a colored sketch pen. This was the message “Eva you are ok” written backwards as one word, so that only she could decipher the hidden message. Whenever her boss made a statement putting her down, she looked at this card lying on her desk, reminding her she was OK and it was her boss who had the bug (problem). Looking at this message helped her shake off the negative messages about her that her boss was trying to inject into her mind. Her coworkers saw the card and asked what was the meaning of that word. She quietly smiled in reply.
  • I asked her if she had any plants or flowers on her desk or around her, to look at and care for, as her own. She said her boss did not like any such things. I said this is a very good chance to assert her right by bringing some flowers from her garden or buy a small plant in a pot and keep it on her desk. She followed these suggestions.
  • She heard western classical music being played in our office when she came to the classes. She remarked that it was very calming whereas the music channel in her office radio blared hard drum sounds and disturbed her as well as the patients sitting in the waiting room. I asked her to change the station to classical music. She was not sure he would allow it but she made the change anyway without his noticing it, to her great relief. Listening to this soothing music all the time also contributed to reducing her stress.

(3) A spiritual teacher said that the meditative techniques like ‘Focusing on breathing’ do not eliminate the problems which are a part of life. But they help us manage them without getting distressed. He said  “You can’t avoid the big waves coming at you. But you can use the meditative techniques as a surf board and ride over the waves”.

(4) Her boss was throwing the blame (bug) at her and she now learned how to throw it back at him, instead of getting infected by that bug. She protected herself from being infected by the blaming disease that her boss was suffering from.

(5) Six different modes of ‘Focusing on breathing’

(6) Seminars and classes 

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