We spend about
15-20 minutes just talking. How was your week, what issues did you run into? Through these conversations she's determined that
1. I'm not CLINICALLY depressed
2. I've got acute chronic anxiety that needs treatment (no sh!t Sherlock)
3. I've got a control problem, always feel I need to be in control (including of things I have n control over)
Then she hooks a belt around my waist and a band that wraps around my thumb, that is hooked up to a machine. This machine measures my muscle tension, heart rate variability and how in synch it is with my breathing rhythm, and my activity in my mind (calm vs mind racing)
With this machine she does a baseline measurement, and then 3 or 4 two minute breathing sessions, where she tries to get me to stay focused on my breathing, and measures the results.
It sounds weird, but I was shocked . Whenever my mind started to wander and I started thinking, while breathing, she could tell, and reminded me to get back In focus. She also was able to see on the monitor, and show me, how, as I was breathing, my muscles started to relax.
The most important part is after I leave, doing the breathing exercise for 20 minutes two times a day every day. I use an app called Breath Pacer, that she had me download onto my phone and iPad. I have it set for 4 second inhale and 6 second exhale. Which she told me is customized to my breathing habits, based on her findings in ten first session. I log my dail exercises, with how I feel at the beginning and end of each session, this gives her feedback on how I am progressing.
She's explained to me that the way it eventually helps me, is the exercises, done repetitively, trains my body and mind to control my heart rate and anxiety level. The heart and brain are like any other muscle in the body and can be trained with exercise, to be controlled.
I think the 20 minutes of conversation is helping me too. She is very good. Biofeedback can't be done by any psychologist, they have to be specially trained, and I beleive certified, at least in NY. I looked it up and it looks like there are 85-90 psychologists certified in biofeedback in all of NY state.
This is the person I am seeing for this...www.drleahlagos.com
I highly recommend giving this a shot if you have high anxiety about
health issues like I do, to the point where it interferes with your quality of life.
Dx Age 64 Nov 2014, 4.3
BX 3 of 12 cores positive original pathologyG6, G6, G8 (3+5)
downgraded to 3+3=6 by Dr Epstein, JH
RALP with Dr Ash Tewari Jan 6, 2015
Post surgical pathology – G7 (3+4), ECE, Margins, LN, SV all negative
PSA @ 6 weeks 2/15, .<02, 4/15 <.02 7/15 <.02, 10/15 0.00 (new lab) , 1/16, 0.00
My Story: tinyurl.com/oo9x4aq