The Effects of Breath work Therapy on Possible Neurological Damage
While I have done several studies on Breathwork therapy and its potential uses in various medical fields –
this story in particular stands out in my memory both as an attestment to the power of our bodies to heal themselves, and a lesson in the powers of our mindset.
It was early 2011 and I was conducting studies at a substance abuse facility in East Los Angeles. The age range of those who were inpatients fluctuated between 18 and 65.
This specific study focused on a man in his early 60’s who had been “diagnosed” with alcoholism and was on watch for his repeated request to be D.W.D.C (discharged without doctor’s consent).
The buzz behind closed doors was that this gentleman just needed a drink and that he may have developed Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, which is, believe to be a deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1).
The syndrome is treatable in its early stages but with continued exposure to alcohol, if left unaddressed, large amounts of glucose introduced to an already thiamin-deficient brain can cause psychosis and cause irreversible brain damage.
Some refer to Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome as “Wet Brain” some symptoms of which might be lack of muscle coordination or shaking, memory loss, hallucinations, false memories, impaired vision and more.
Upon entering his initial session the Wernicke cases, affect appeared to be disoriented and that he was subtly impaired. His posture was slumped and there was listlessness in his step. One of the most immediate behaviors that was of concern was a consistent tremor throughout most of the body that made me question if “Vital Force Acceleration” would benefit the central nervous system or possibly create more challenge post session. I reviewed the most current notes from the clinical staff verifying that he had completed his detox process and came to the conclusion that the tremors were not due to a physical need for alcohol.
Following a quick verbal check in to access his cognitive state, the gentleman agreed to lie on the table facing upwards and gently began the three-part breath. It took a good part of the first 7-minute period for him to settle in.
During the second cycle, there was a notable decrease in the physical tremors that were present upon his arrival and following the final active portion of the breath the tremors had ceased completely.
During the 20-minute resting period following the active breath, there were no visible tremors. He did begin to snore gently following a deep trance as can be expected from those who may be recovering from physical illness or lack of REM.
Post session, he verbalized his appreciation and shared that he was “relaxed” and that his stress was “alleviated.”
With a clearer understanding of the calm state that he had regained, I would have thanked him and sent him to his next scheduled session. Instead, new to this experience, I asked him if he noticed any differences in his body. He replied he did not. I then pointed out that his tremors had been resolved at which point he looked down at his hands and began shaking again.