That is okay. Take a couple of deep breaths and realize that there is another simple way to separate out the information. You can write out each category on separate sheets of paper. Colored paper works just fine if you already have it close by. Remember to Breathe Breath is essential to life. It's one of the first things you did when you were born, and it's one of the last things you'll do before you pass. In this article, you will explore a variety of techniques designed to decrease stress and minimize pain. Learning to breathe with conscious awareness can be a valuable tool in helping you restore balance to your mind and body. Meet Richie Richie, a 32-year-old patient, was referred from a neurologist who knew I specialized in patients with complex pain. As a result of a brain-stem injury when Richie was three months old, his cognitive skills were those of an eight-year-old, and he was suffering from severe migraine headaches four to five times a week. But when I met with Richie and his mom, I discovered that his migraine headaches actually went away when he read the Bible. He was devoutly religious, felt very connected to God, and believed that this was a time in which God relieved his headaches. The importance of having this choice his own can hardly be overestimated. The advantage of this whole procedure would be that the primary locus of responsibility would be kept with the patient throughout, which, as the Peckham experiment has shown, is important even in dealing with organic ills. Furthermore, such a mode of approach keeps the physician thinking with the patient at all times rather than primarily about or for the patient. This has many advantages in the area of psychogenic problems. Another highly tentative suggestion reverses the usual order of procedure in dealing with patients. If a patient presents symptoms which appear to have a considerable probability of being psychosomatic or psychological, the usual procedure is to rule out the possibility of organic illness first, leaving to the last the psychological possibilities.

This procedure is very understandable from an historical point of view. Yet if we consider it from a logical point of view, and keep in mind the great preponderance of psychogenic ills in many of the medical specialties, it would make equally good sense to reverse the approach. Psychotherapy might be started at once, provided the patient was willing; These two possibilities are suggested for consideration only. Action Step Begin with pondering the following questions. In some way, you already know some of this information, you just can't always see it in front of you in a form that allows you to make decisions that support your creative dreams. Where does your money go? How much of it goes there and how often? Do you enjoy this category? Do you wish it to continue? Is it necessary for your career or your lifestyle? What if you played with releasing some spending patterns? What if you shifted how and where you sent money out into the universe? I was excited that he had found a way to get rid of his migraines. The problem was that as soon as he stopped reading the Bible, the migraine came back. Though he couldn't spend the whole day reading, he had tapped into something that helped him overcome the physiological effects of a migraine headache. Anyone who has had migraines knows that this type of headache is hard to treat. I decided to use a technique that would eventually get Richie comfortable with using his breath to help relieve his migraines: a process of biofeedback called heart rate variability (HRV). This technique measures your autonomic nervous system and teaches you how to control both the sympathetic and parasympathetic activities.

I look at it as a balancing type of exercise that is controlled by the breath. My favorite way to use HRV is HeartMath, a type of biofeedback to help people reframe their breathing. It's based on research that shows how feelings of love, care, appreciation, or pride can trigger cells in the brain to produce neurochemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. Using this specific technique allowed me to make the connection between reading the Bible and heart breathing, because that's how Richie created pain relief for himself. The experience of the author in the psychosomatic field is by no means extensive, and the only justification for putting forth these rather radical proposals is to indicate that client-centered therapy does have at least a theoretical rationale for approaching problems of psychosomatic illness. It is also clearly recognized that many physicians would consider the procedures suggested so antagonistic to all the conventions of medical training as to be wholly repugnant. It is to the few who might find the procedures congenial that the suggestions are addressed. THE LIMITS OF APPLICABILITY OF CLIENT-CENTERED THERAPY The third question which this article will explore is a question very frequently raised by those interested in therapy: What are the types of situations in which client-centered therapy is applicable? The answer can be relatively brief, though it will not satisfy all the questioners. In Counseling and Psychotherapy the author gave certain tentative criteria which, if met, indicated that counseling was advisable. It is not so much that it is entirely incorrect (though points 5 and 8 are disproved continually) as that it engenders in the counselor-in-training an evaluative, diagnostic frame of mind which has not been profitable. Present opinion on applicability must take into account our experience. A client-centered approach has been used with two-year-old children and adults of sixty-five; Would you be willing to experience gratitude and be in alignment with your heart's longings? Set a timer for fifty minutes and go through your check register, credit card statements, and Counting Dance notes, noting your inflow and the money spent on food; Some categories will be easy. If your rent or mortgage is the same each month, then that dollar amount times twelve could go on one sheet. The goal is to know what your monthly averages are and the yearly total. Utilities will vary, so note each month, add them up for the yearly total, and then divide that amount by twelve for the average for the year that has past.

You will have some categories that are not listed here. Just keep track of where you actually spend money. The ideal is to accumulate the totals and the monthly average on one sheet of paper so you can see the overall pattern. List the categories in a preset order, with the largest amounts first, the smaller amounts first, or the ones you do not want to change first. I used a visual biofeedback system that showed a green light when Richie's breath was balanced and coherent. When his breath was out of sync, the light turned red. Richie would place his hand on his heart and read the Bible while breathing in for six counts and out for six counts, and watching that the monitor stayed green. He was able to notice that his shoulders became relaxed, his breath was calmer, and his headaches began to leave. Eventually Richie was able to perform heart breathing as soon as he felt his migraines begin. Richie still loves to read the Bible for his personal joy, but he is able to reduce and eliminate his migraines just by using heart breathing techniques. He was able to reframe the situation around his migraine and understand that he had control over his body by breathing in a way that balanced his nervous system. I was so impressed that he had figured out his own way to stop his migraines in their tracks with his reading. My job was to help him understand that he already had full control over his pain. By using biofeedback and external devices, he was able to see what he was doing and sustain that feeling of relaxation and joy. Only two of the many types of customary classifications have not been appreciably sampled -- the mental defective and the delinquent. It is unfortunate that thus far circumstances have not led to much work with this therapeutic approach in these fields. On the basis of the foregoing experience it would be correct to say that, in each of the groupings in which we have worked, client-centered therapy has achieved noteworthy success with some individuals; Certain trends appear to be evident, such as the lesser likelihood of deep personal reorganization in the older individual. The Haimowitz study (78), already cited, indicates tentatively that intra-punitive males may make better use of the experience of client-centered therapy than others. But on the whole, our experience does not lead us to say that client-centered therapy is applicable to certain groups and not to others.

It is felt that there is no advantage to be gained by trying to set dogmatic limits to the use of such therapy. If there are certain types of individuals who do not respond, or for whom client-centered therapy is contra-indicated, then accumulating experience and additional research will indicate what these groups are. In the meantime, the lack of definite knowledge about the groups for whom client-centered therapy is more or less successful is not a matter for serious concern, since our clinical experience would indicate that such therapy does not seem to do harm to the individual. Where a client-centered approach is consistently utilized, it is our judgment that very rarely would the client leave the experience more disturbed than when he came in. It is up to you. What to do when the timer goes off? Set it for ten minutes, get up and stretch, go to the bathroom, get yourself some water or tea. All the while do a little dance. Then put on some more music, set your timer for another fifty minutes, and continue on. If three hours pass and you are not done collecting information, decide if you want to continue for another hour or set the project aside and refocus later that day, the next day, or next weekend. For the best results, complete this project as a unit. Yes, you may feel overwhelmed, or angry or afraid. Just breathe into all aspects of your experience and lightly ride your emotional wave. And let go of judging yourself! When I followed up with his mom several months later, she said he was able to move out to a group home because his migraines were under control and he had less fear about living away from her. In all the years of working with the chronic pain population, I have found breathwork to be the most potent and sustainable exercise for reducing pain and calming the nervous system. The way you breathe sends signals to your brain, which can either ramp up or calm down your limbic system. If you have persistent pain, it's common to try to distance yourself from your body. It hurts, and you want out. Breathing helps you connect with your body, in order to help you harness your innate ability to heal yourself.