|Pacing the Breath
Friends and relatives often feel helpless when faced with a loved one
who is in coma. They want to support and relate; pacing the breath can
enhance these things and can be taught in a few minutes. Pacing the
breath communicates: I'm with you; I'm here at your side, at your pace.
Most care givers and family see or feel a response to this technique.
Six steps for introducing yourself and pacing the breath:
Step 1: Knock on the door, even when open, and introduce yourself,
"Hello, I'm so and so, and I'm going to sit with you for awhile if
'that's all right." Notice feedback, any change whatsoever, or lack of
change from the patient.
Step 2: Sit quietly and observe your client's cues and your own feeling
reactions. Pace their breath first by breathing at the same rate and
into the same place in your own chest or stomach that they are
breathing into. Breathe with them for a few breaths. Continue pacing by
speaking only on their out breath.
Step 3: Then say, "In two breaths I'm going to put my hand on your
right/left forearm. . . Here comes my hand. . . There." Notice any
reactions: eyelids flickering, sounds, changes in breathing rate or
location, twitches, small or large movements, etc. These reactions
indicate you are in the right track.
Step 4: Then say, "In two breaths, I am going to gently squeeze your
arm at the top of each breath." Proceed to very gently squeeze at the
top of each inhalation and let off as the patient exhales. Notice any
reactions, especially upon the very first squeeze. You will now be
communicating with your client on the body sensation channel.
Step 5: Again check for cues such as sounds, limb movements, eyelid
movements, changes in breathing: rhythm; depth; or placement. Support
reactions with blank access techniques. Cheer the person on by
exclaiming immediately after their cues, "Mmm!" "Great!" "Fantastic!"
or similar encouragement. You can also say something more channel
specific such as: "See what you are seeing and believe in your
experiences." "Hear what you are hearing, and know this will show you
the way." "Feel what you are feeling. . ." "Move how you are moving. .
." When you get positive feedback, a reaction of any kind, however
minimal, a slight change in breathing, a flutter of the eyelids, a skin
flush, a groan, a swallow, a muscle twitch, etc., continue encouraging
that channel. "Yes, that's it, keep seeing/hearing/feeling/moving,
knowing that your experience is for you, showing you the way."
Step 6: When you feel complete, or tired, or have not gotten any
positive feedback for awhile, or need to leave; end your visit with
something like, "I've got to leave in a moment, if there is anything
else you wish to communicate, please do so now (pause for reactions).
I'll be back ________. Keep experiencing what you are experiencing.
Goodbye." If the patient's condition allows and you feel comfortable
enough, give them, a hug, or a light touch on the arm at this time.
We are available as keynote speakers, workshop facilitators, and for
private training sessions. For more information contact:
Stan Tomandl, MA, PWD & Ann Jacob, BA Ed
COMA COMMUNICATION ~ PROCESS ORIENTED FACILITATION
#502--620 View Street, Victoria, BC, Canada V8W 1J6
Phone+1.250.383.5677 Emailemail@example.com* URL*www.comacommunication.com*