Tag-Archive for » stressed «

+ 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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+ Stress reduced

Feedback from Joanne (not real name) who attended my classes along with her husband. Her husband could not come after the first class. She was referred to me by Rani Gandham MD (Pediatrics) for her husband’s sleep problem. He was recovering from major neck surgery. Her responses to my questions is here.

(A) How is your husband doing?

He is doing much better.

(B) What were the problems you had before doing the classes and the stress level at that time?

  • Stressed out thinking about health of husband (his suffering from pains after surgery) was 8 out of 10.
  • My work related stress was 5 out of 10.

(C) The practices that you learned from the classes which worked for you.

  • Realizing from your counseling that in spite of my great love for him and desire to ease his suffering, I can’t share his pains. He alone has to bear them. This thinking eased my stress remarkably.
  • Breathing reduced my overall stress (1).
  • Listening to my networking friend was a recurring source of stress for me. As suggested, I stopped picking up her calls, allowing her to leave a message. This helped.
  • I also practiced the ‘Tongue tip positioning’ suggested at the two times that created lot of stress for me: when listening to my hyper friend and also listening to  the attorneys arguing for their clients as part of my office work. This practice has made a huge difference (2).

(D) Where did you practice?

  • At home
  • At work

(E) The benefits or improvements you felt

I am much calmer.

(1) ‘Focusing on breathing’
(2) Tongue tip positioning (Releasing tension in the jaws) 

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@ 9th Grader with ADHD improves

Prakash (not his real name), a 9th grader with ADHD attended 8 of my classes over 5 months (1) . He has been attending special classes at school. His class performance was reported to be very good. His mom was averse to medication and wanted to try ‘focusing on breathing’ and related techniques to help improve his symptoms (2). He is my first client with ADHD. 

Prakash, his mom and younger brother in 6th grade jointly attended first 5 classes. Then he continued with solo classes.

What were his problems?
Anxiety, Anger, Impatience, Stress, Lack of focus, Nervousness, Frustration, Uncontrolled laughter and Lack of eye contact.

What modes did he practice?
First I introduced the regular modes of ‘focusing on breathing’. He liked them but the restless movement of his body and uncontrolled laughter ware not showing much reduction. On a hunch, I introduced the ‘Dynamic modes of ”focusing on breathing’ as an experiment (3). He liked these techniques a lot and practiced them on his own with very little prompting from his mom.

When did he practice?
Bedtime, Waking up, waiting, Stressed, Walking, Tired

His mom’s assessment of his improvements.

Anxiety: Reduced by 60%

Impatience: Reduced by 50%

Focus: Improved by 70%

His younger brother in 6th grade wrote his own impressions with the permission of his mother during the evaluation session.  

Anxiety: Decreased a little   

Patience
Before: He couldn’t wait
Now: He entertains himself doing the 911 mode and enjoys it.

Focus
Before: He couldn’t make eye contact. His head always faced the window.
Now: This is slowly decreasing.

Frustration
Before: When he was mad, he was yelling and out of control.
Now: This is slowly decreasing.

He does some chanting/ prayers taught to him by his grandma. He has been taking 1000 mg of EPA+DHA per day in the form of Fish oil on my suggestion.

I added waking up  routine and simple stretching and moving based on Yoga to his daily routines (4).

(1) ADHD – Page from National Institute of Mental Health 
(2) How can I focus on breathing?
(3) Dynamic modes
(4) Waking up routine    Loosening exercises – Yoga

Updates:
Feb 9, 2014: His mom said that in he recent PTA meeting with Prakash’s maths teacher, she said his focus improved and he could be put in regular class instead of the special class next year.

April 19, 2014: During the class 2 weeks back, his mom said his behavior was sometimes out of control at home. He was in the habit of pinching her and his younger brother and apologizing soon after. But he did nothing of that kind at school or outside. I told her privately his out of home behavior showed he had enough self awareness and self control with other people. I advised her that if he pinched her next time she should immediately tell him firmly “I don’t like to be pinched”. She should not get angry or blame him or comment on him at all.

Today when I called her to know how this new response to his pinching was working she said it had drastically reduced and she was happy for this improvement.

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@ Simple techniques can help transform lives – Says a Doctor

Report from Padma Sripada MD (1). My comments are at (2).

“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 (My daughter)
(2) I keep copies of my handouts in each exam room and waiting hall of Dr. Padma as I work in the same office as manager. Interested patients pick them up on their own. The doctor gives directly to some patients like this one, when she thinks they may be receptive to such techniques.
(3) My key Handouts – How can I enjoy quality sleep? (PDF) and Relax anywhere, any time by ‘Focusing on breathing’ (PDF)
(4) Counting mode
(5) Feeling mode

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@ I finally had a good night’s sleep

Feedback from a young Engineer who just completed his masters and looking for a job. Seeing the great distress he was in, his friend, a patient of my daughter Padma Sripada (1) asked me to help him.  He did three classes at frequent intervals, as he was to leave Albany shortly. He learned the basic techniques – ‘Waiting for sleep’ (2) , ‘Waking up routine’ (3),  ‘Stretching for beginners’ (4) ‘Loosening exercises of Yoga’ (5). After he left Albany, I am continuing to work with him by periodic phone and e-mail contacts.

“Using ‘Focusing on breathing’ techniques helped me handle insomnia and anxiety in a better way. For a long time, I always got anxious during those situations where I had to deliver my best, to achieve success. Unknowingly, I was getting anxious, failed to control my anxiety and over stressed myself. Due to chronic high stress level, I lost my daily routine and had very poor sleep. I became restless, could not focus and concentrate on anything and failed to perform even minor tasks which were easily handled by me, during stress free times. I figured out that I had to get back to good sleep routine to help my mind and body. Even after knowing this fact, no matter what I did, I could not help myself to get sleep, for more than an hour or two at night.

I was advised by my friend, to meet Mr. Suryanarayana Chennapragada (C S). He carefully listened my problem and analyzed my situation with great patience. Later the same day, he walked me through his ‘focusing on breathing’ techniques, one by one. His breathing techniques are “very simple to learn and adapt”. That night I practiced the techniques lying on the bed. After a week of sleeplessness nights, I finally had a good night sleep. During three more sessions, Mr. C.S taught me how to use the breathing techniques in various combinations. As per his strong advice, I consulted a Doctor who  prescribed a medication to bring my anxiety under control quickly. I am continuing both medication and breathing practices. My long term goal is to completely depend on breathing practices, rather than medication.  I totally believe it is possible.  I thank Mr. C S for his “patience and dedication”.

(1) Padma Sripada M.D
(2) Waiting for sleep
(3) Waking up routine
(4) Stretching for beginners
(5) Loosening exercises from Yoga

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* Feedback from Grade 3-5 Students

The school counselor of a local school searched on-line for Yoga classes to help the students reduce stress before and during the state tests. She found my website and requested me to train the students in grade 3 to 5 in the ‘Focusing on breathing’ technique (1) as an optional after school activity. I conducted two classes on April 17 and 24, 2013 for 9 students.

In the first class I demonstrated different modes of the technique and we all practiced each of the modes on one hand. In the  second class I asked for their verbal feedback on how they practiced the technique after the first class. I asked each of them to demonstrate any one mode and corrected the wrong demos. Several of them said they liked the ‘Staring mode’ (3) or the  ‘911 mode’ (4).

At the end of the first class, I collected feedback from them in a simple form with 3 open ended questions. The scanned images of the completed feedback forms are presented at (2). A summary of their responses is presented below.

When I practiced the breathing in today’s class, I felt … 

  • Calm and relaxed – 3 responses
  • Calm/ Really calm – 3
  • Good and happy
  • Relaxed
  • Relaxed, Calm, Focused

I want to try this technique when I …

  • Go to sleep – 2
  • Am mad – 2
  • Mad or tired
  • Stressed with school
  • Mad at my sister or stressed
  • Mad, angry and stressed
  • Am taking a  test

I think this practice will help me for ….

  • NYS test/ Tomorrow before the state tests – 2
  • Calming down, Stop being stressed, angry and mad
  • After being bullied
  • Getting up in the morning
  • When my sister is mad at me
  • Settling down
  • Falling asleep and calming down
  • A lot of things

The principal also participated in the class and gave the following feedback in the same form –
During the class she felt relaxed, calm, focused and stress free. She wanted to try this technique when she needed to refocus, before running a race and after a stressful day. She felt that this practice will help her in refocusing and training.

Feedback from the school counselor after the first class: “I heard great things about your class from the principal and the students.  You will be here again next week for the conclusion. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to provide a stress free learning opportunity for our students!”

Honorarium: Before doing the classes the counselor inquired about my charges. I said I loved teaching the simple technique to children and if the school was happy with the classes, they could offer me whatever they like. I am thankful to the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) of the school for the generous compensation they offered me. My plan is to follow up this group of students till they adopt the technique as their own, practicing it whenever they needed to  calm themselves or maintain their focus.

(1) How to be Calm and Focused? – Handout for children
(2) Scanned images of the feedback forms
(3) Staring mode
(4) 911 mode

Related page
Training children

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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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* I feel so much more at peace now

Feedback from a client who attended 17 of my classes (1) over the last one year.

“I want to thank you for everything you’ve done for me. I could have never done any of it without your help.
I’ve been to a million doctors and psychs and they have not even come close to doing what you have done for me, by taking the time to listen and really care about me.

It is amazing how all I want to do now is better myself anyway I can about which I never really cared before. I also want to help other people anyway I can, whereas I used to be so selfish. I feel so much more at peace now, instead of being stressed out all the time. I don’t ever want to lose you for a friend to be able to talk to. I truly feel God sent you to me for healing. God Bless you.”

(1) Seminars and classes

Her previous reports
I lost 30 pounds in last 9 months
My family life changed dramatically

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* I lost 30 pounds in last 9 months and gained many other benefits

Feedback from one of my clients who attended 16 of my classes over last one year.

” I have been seeing C.S.(Suryanarayana Chennapragada) for all my health problems, since last one year. So far, I have seen the benefits such as:

  • I lost 30lbs. since last September (in nine months).
  • I have been eating a lot more healthy food than ever before, with a no red meat, a lot of fruits and vegetables.
  • My self-esteem has gotten much better and my marriage benefited from the counseling C.S. has given me.
  • I suffer from mixed connective tissue disease (Lupus) due to which I have a lot of problems when the weather changes. Due the diet changes I have made, I seem to have less pain in my muscles than I did before, on rainy days.
  • Practicing the breathing technique has enabled me to calm myself down whenever I get stressed out. I deal with problems better now than before.

I started seeing C.S. originally to quit smoking but had to tackle all these problems first before I could take on that problem. I plan to also try and quit smoking in the next year as one of my goals with C.S.

I would recommend counseling with C.S., to anyone, with weight, stress or health problems.”

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Please send your comments through the ‘ABOUT – Contact’ page.

Related pages
How can I focus on breathing?
Books on nutrition

* Fibromyalgia pains mostly come down

Here is a remarkable report from a woman who suffered from Fibromyalgia pains for about 10 years and got mostly relieved from them by practicing the breathing and other techniques of this web site. She also experienced significant behavioral change. She attended only my introductory session and then practiced on her own, using the content of this web site.

“I am a very hyperactive person and have been fighting Fibromyalgia pains for about 10 years. For my fibromyalgia, my doctors suggested medication and advised me to be active. I do not like taking medications, hence I ruled out that option. I heard from friends that Yoga would help. I tried it but I kept spraining myself. I also tried meditation but couldn’t control the brain activity.

We live in New Jersey. Our family visited Albany NY in March2012. When our friend there heard about my Fibromyalgia pains, he suggested to talk to Suryanarayana Chennapragada (C S) about the technique called “Focusing on Breathing” that he was teaching. I had not heard of this technique before. When I called C S, he readily offered to teach this technique to me and my husband. During his two hour session, we were taught different ways of concentrating on our breathing.

I have been practicing the breathing technique every day, for the past 3 months. I practice it when I feel like I am getting stressed out. I always practice before going to bed. I use it during work, on my way to work, while driving kids around and when I go to bed. I also practice the ‘Level III – Meditation’ technique described in C S’s web site countingbreaths.com.

I gained these benefits in the last three months:
I have seen a tremendous change in me. It has helped me to be calm. Most of my fibromyalgia pains have come down. My family and friends have also commented about the change they saw in me. What I like most about the technique is that by using it, I can now calm myself on my own and take the stress away.

Even though I was at first apprehensive about trying this unknown technique, I am a big fan of it now. It gives me the independence from pain. It has also taught me to rely on myself. My husband also uses the technique and he says it has helped him as well.

I thank C S for teaching me this technique and having the patience to follow up with me.”

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Related pages
Relief from chronic pains – Success stories 
How to relieve chronic pains by ‘Focusing on breathing’ PDF