Bonnie’s Sleep Improves with Breathing Practices

Bonnie’s Challenges

Bonnie had cancer and suffers with Fibromyalgia.  She is active, but struggles with chronic pain and sleep disturbance.  When I worked with Bonnie, we focused on a variety of breathing practices to help lesson her symptoms and improve her sleep.


What Worked

Bonnie states:

"As someone who has dealt with cancer, I am always looking for ways to minimize my stress level and to try to stay in a more relaxed state of mind. My times with Ellen have been very beneficial for me.  The power of breath is something I knew little about, and through her instruction, I have learned what a valuable tool it is during times of stress.  I have found myself doing the breathing techniques while waiting in a doctor's office. When I used to wake up during the night and couldn't get back to sleep, it meant being exhausted the next day.  Now, I simply do a couple of breathing exercises and am able to go right back to sleep.  Ellen's expertise and soothing manner enabled her to help me find a sense of inner calm that I had been missing in recent years."

What you can learn from Bonnie's Experience

There are simple techniques that sustain you in times of stress and discomfort.  Much of our problems with sleep stem from the busy mind and when you can effectively quite your thoughts, you will enhance your ability to sleep.  Custom Calm techniques work and are accessible to everyone.

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Unravel the Moods from Stress



In her book on yoga and depression, Amy Weintraub makes this statement, and I agree with her:

Managing your breath equals managing your mood. 

We are now inundated with the importance of breathing.  The yoga community and now the medical community are all supporting breath as a key to optimal health.  What is the big deal?

The January 24, 2012 Wall Street Journal article looked at the positive influences that non-harmful stress can have.  It is that feeling of being pumped up a bit, excited in a positive way that can increase blood flow to the brain and limbs.  However, we are unable to turn it off.  Stress envelops us producing harmful consequences to our health. 

Martin Rossman, a clinical instructor at the University of California Medical School explains:  People under harmful stress lose the ability to re-engage the parasympathetic nervous system, which drives the body's day-to-day natural functions, including digestion and sleep. While individuals vary in how long they can tolerate chronic stress, research shows it sharply increases the risk of insomnia, chronic disease and early death.

What this is telling us is that the moods swings propelled by stress can be controlled and we are the ones that have that power.  The sad thing is that many of us would prefer to simply take some medication to take care of the problem.  Yes, we need help with symptoms produced by stress but even the best medicine will not help if we are not proactive. 

There are many simple techniques that are effective and they do not cost a dime or take much time.  This is why I began Custom Calm-to make it attainable and easy to learn how to live with the ups and downs of stress, because stress is a fact of life. 

Why not give it a try?

Let me know in the comments below how you deal with stress?  What kind of impact do your moods have on your life?

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Too Ill to Chill on Vacation

 The Atlanta Journal Constitution ran an article linking stress to a diminished immune system.   The focus was stress that precedes the long awaited vacation which sets up an illness to begin at the start of vacation..

 This happens because stress deregulates our immune system.

Studies from Ohio State University College of Medicine focused on the relationship of stress and the immune systems of college students.  They found that before taking a scheduled test the students would sleep less, eat poorly and wear themselves down.  Their blood work showed their immune systems were not functioning at a normal level. 

The same type of stress occurs before a planned trip.  The days are filled with frenzied activities and less sleep which sets up a compromised immune system.

The answer is simple, but not easy.

Sleep, exercise and eat a balanced diet.  In other words, learn how to calm down and center yourself when you are not on vacation

The article spoke about the consequences of  ignoring the scratchy throat, chronic headache or slight sniffle, because we are too busy.

There is an important message here:   When things are beginning to get out of whack in our bodies the body lets us know with these small symptoms.  If we ignore them, it will be too late to do anything about them when we get ill. 

Through  simple Custom Calm centering techniques you can  help relax the mind and body, giving the immune system time to balance out.

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Leukemia Survivor Improves her Life

Jan is a Leukemia Survivor

Jan’s Challenges

I was diagnosed with leukemia in May of 2008 and not given very high odds to continue to live. After many chemo treatments, many transfusions, surgery, radiation and a stem cell transplant, I was mentally and physically exhausted. Medications that I had taken caused my muscles to be weak and my bones to be stiff. Before all of this happened to me, I considered myself to be physically fit. Now, I couldn't even touch my toes.

What Jan Tried

At that time I was still taking medication to suppress my immune system. This meant I could not be in a class, or go to public places. I called Custom Calm and began private basic yoga lessons with Ellen. During these lessons I learned moves that I could later do on my own. I was so excited because at the time I started the classes I had already been very isolated for 2 years.

What Worked for Jan

The yoga made me feel stronger and I immediately noticed that I started sleeping better at night. The practices helped me with my right shoulder stiffness. The yoga was a wonderful practice to do before preparing to center myself and pray. I love the stretches that yoga gives my war torn body. Finally, the yoga is known for strengthening the immune system and that is important to keep me alive.

I especially like the warrior pose because it brings to mind past, present and future. It gives me hope that I have come this far, focusing on the present moment, and hoping for better times in the future.

I wish I had tried yoga before I got sick. It is a wonderful way to center and calm myself down. I could have used it so much as a de-stressor before.  I definitely plan to use it to de-stress myself in the future. 🙂

The "Loving Kindness Meditation" that Ellen also taught me seemed to open the gates of tears that I had held back over the course of my treatments.

What you can learn from Jan’s Experiences

Even in very challenging circumstances, there are always practices you can do to help yourself.  Custom Calm tools for the mind are as  important to our overall well-being as tools for the body.  Jan embraced the practices and has empowered herself to live in the moment, feeling better and with hope for the future.

*Last name has been left off for anonymity

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