If my client has a tendency to get breathless or feel the breath knocked out of her chest every time someone says “breathe”, how do I induce or relax her? Is it ok to remove the breathing parts from the induction and relaxation scripts and just focus on ‘relax(ation)’?
Thanks for sharing this Dear Anand,
Based on the information provided I would first address the pathological cause. 1. May be seek medical advice and get some immediate relief.
2. Change the posture to something more relatively convenient.
- I encounter this difficulty even with ladies who are in the last term of their pregnancy, based on that experience I can say that it is difficult for the client when they cannot breath deeply as the regression would have to be done without the analgesic effect of breath.
I feel that we shouldn’t play god as PLR therapists and it is not a silver bullet for all illnesses.
All the best to her.
Re: The Breathlessness
Pathological reasons are ruled out. All tests show there are no airway blockages. The client felt asthmatic for a few years but asthma was ruled out.
The client feels a strong sense of danger while driving in rain, driving in the dark and driving in the dark and rain. She feels the breathlessness during such drives.
She also feels the breathlessness in small cars with rolled up windows. She does not feel the same in larger SUVs.
She feels the compulsion to keep windows open in her house even when there is a greater threat of pollution due to ongoing construction work around her home.
Re: change of posture
Changing the posture to a slightly upright position alleviated the breathlessness momentarily. However, soon after the usage of the words breathe and breathe deeply and other variations of that phraseology, she not only lost all sense of relaxation, but sat up feeling breathless. It took a while to calm her down and get her breathing normally.
Given this situation, how do we handle the induction or relaxation?
Check whether it is claustrophobia, a type of anxiety disorder.
When anxiety levels reach a certain level, the person may start to experience:
- sweating and chills
- accelerated heart rate and [high blood pressure]
- dizziness, fainting, and lightheadedness
- dry mouth
- hyperventilation, or “over breathing”
- hot flashes
- shaking or trembling and a sense of “butterflies” in the stomach
- a choking sensation
- tightness in the chest, chest pain, and difficulty breathing
- an urge to use the bathroom
- confusion or disorientation
- fear of harm or illness
It is not necessarily the small spaces that trigger the anxiety, but the fear of what can happen to the person if confined to that area.
This is why the person fears running out of oxygen.
Visualisation and relaxation for few days and then entering for regressing may be of some help.
Hi Anand in case there are no Medical reasons and tests show normal, this client may be suffering from Claustrophobia, which can be cured through PLR, I have had clients who cant sit in a closed room and feel suffocating. Ideally we should do more relaxation and when you are taking her to the past from where she will surely get answers tell her she is doing well, and tell her to witness from above and that we are experiencing this to remove the fear that she is struggling. she will take more time and will feel suffocating initially but I am sure after 3-5 sessions she would be able to clear this forever. Anyway all the very best, continue the good work you are doing.
it is possible to do the progressive relaxation, without using the word breathe. You can try using words like… “as you feel yourself completely relax your shoulders… you are going deeper and deeper…”
I have been doing progressive relaxation for school kids for almost 4 years now. I have not used the word ‘breath’ and yet, most of them go really deep and get startled when I ask them to open their eyes and their friends nudge them awake.
Hi Anand, I have done PLRT with a client who suffered from severe asthma. I gave her some medicated oil to apply and massage between her collar bones, and in order to prepare her for the journey, I used hypnosis by starting with “positive words” like you are going to feel absolutely calm and comfortable as you experience your journey… (directive rather than suggestive).
Thank you so much for the valuable insights, appreciate it :).
Yes, Bhavani. I surmised as much. Through Time Into Healing has a beautiful script with very few instances of “breathe” and its variations. I think I will re-write a variant of the script. Thanks Bhavani.
Thanks, Dr. Nandini. Since my client is not asthmatic, I’m sure relaxation may be not so difficult after-all. I will update my experience later in this thread. Thanks for bolstering my confidence.
In this context we shall go abide with Venu’s suggestions,
Having an inhaler prescribed by the physician is good.
The induction and deepening could be lengthy.
I’ve one client having acute bronchitis and could really see the results amidst interrupted be bouts of coughing.
I have just posted a reply for this.
I suspect through the details you have given, the client may be suffering
with Claustrophobia which is a type of anxiety disorder.
Further details to it I have posted there.
Verify if the client have ever visited a psychologist or psychiatrist.
There is a questionnaire to assess the level of the issue too.
If you need I will get it for you.
Hope it helps you.
A very happy new year to you.
Any Therapy should be started with prayers to almighty asking help to have
a troublefree session.
If we come know about the condition of client having such a trouble during
history taking itself, we can seek a medical advice
If it is faced during session, then changing the reclining posture, may be
making the client to slide to the sidewards may be helpful.
Hope this is helpful to you.
If you get any other better suggestion feel free to share with me too.
With warm regards
Thank you all, for such good advice.
I will update what happens when I try Regression with her again.
How about using the word ‘inhale’ in the place of breathe? Inhale deeply…