Spotlight on Lisa Sisley-Politt working in Cambridge where we plan to run a series of workshops this year.
I thought I would share (with Sabrina’s permission of course) Sabrina’s story with you all. I was asked by a member of Sabrina’s family if I would offer Sabrina breathwork. She had been agoraphobic, anxious and suffering panic attacks for over a year. It was hard for Sabrina to leave the house, every time she tried she had a panic attack that lasted for a long time. Sabrina is only 22 years old and this is not the life she wants to live.
The first step, Sabrina agreeing to try breathwork and allow me to visit her at home. When I met her she was nervous, told me that she hasn’t slept properly for over a year, has night terrors and feels ill most of the time. When I had a look at her breath it was all in her shoulders and chest. To be expected. What was unexpected was the ease that her body slipped into the belly as soon as we started breathwork. Her body was tired, exhausted from all the stress it had been under for so long; it loved the belly breath.
I took things very slowly because I knew her body and mind needed things to change gently. She was frightened and worried about feeling more pain or having a panic attack. The first session she breathed for about 10 minutes, each follow up session we added a little more time until we got up to a 40 minute breathing session on my recent visit.
Sabrina’s words following her first 10 minute breathe say it all “I can’t believe how good I feel after breathing like that. I managed to stop thinking, I never do that. I feel so calm and relaxed. My whole body feels different and I feel lighter and happy. Why doesn’t everyone know about this? They should teach it in schools.”
Sabrina has left her house 3 times now. Her friends and family were delighted that she was able to visit her grandmother on her birthday. She had a panic attack on the way home during one outing but was able to use her breath to calm herself down really quickly. She says that knowing she has a tool to manage and control her breathing is one of the best things in her life now. Sabrina practices a little every day in between my visits and is beginning to see a way out of what seemed like a very dark place with little hope.
During our sessions Sabrina has opened up about her responsibilities as a carer for her two siblings, struggling to get through school with no help or support. She continues to care for her siblings alongside her mother but feels guilty for being so unwell herself. If I had one wish right now it would be that all young carers have access to breathwork to support them in their daily lives. It is hard for a carer to think about themselves let alone take time to look after themselves. Breathwork is so easy to fit into the day, even when doing the washing up you can breathe!
When I told Sabrina I was developing a website she asked to write a review because she wants other young people to know about breathwork. Here’s a little of what she said “Lisa has changed my life with breathwork and given me the support I needed to start to heal. Coming from someone who truly felt like nothing would help, if you are someone suffering with anxiety or depression please seriously consider breathwork. I have never felt such relief, there is nothing like it!”
Lisa Sibley-Pollitt based in Cambridge.
Offering breathwork in East Anglia and London.
My website is www.breathingbliss.co.uk