One day, Tsjimme was browsing through books in the urban library and my book, “The Life-Changing Power of Sophrology” caught her eye. Tsjimme is a singer who suffers from Blepharospasm so she has been such an inspiration throughout her quest to trust her body again and be more connected to her breath, body, and mind. Thank you, Tsjimme, for sharing so much of yourself with us in this conversation.
D: What is the main struggle you experience on a daily basis?
T: The main struggle is to open my eyes in the morning and at night, or when I am out of energy so I’ve had to live a quiet life. Since 2005, I’ve been prescribed botulinum toxin injections by a neurologist, which helped a lot in the beginning but are very painful. I’ve stopped taking them now for 7 months so I really need to connect with my body. This means that my body, mind, soul and breath have to function as one whole. I am still learning to deal with this disorder but I am making progress. It seems very technical what I’m doing and trying.
D: How did you hear of Sophrology?
T: I learned of Sophrology when I looked at new books in the urban library and the book of Dominique Antiglio caught my attention. I am a singer so I look at books about breath and ways of breathing. Breathing for a singer is like the bow for a violin or cello player. I started reading and soon I bought the book for myself to do the exercises, to connect my breath with my whole being in body, mind and soul. I then started with the online Sophrology course Relax, Reset and Overcome Stress led by Dominique in her warm and trusting voice.
D: When you practised Sophrology for the first time, how did you feel?
T: Exercises from Sophrology felt very natural from the beginning. I liked that I didn’t have to put pressure on myself and to do more than is healthy for me. Because it is partly physical, I get to develop my body-awareness more through Sophrology. It helps me to stay within my possibilities and abilities.
Breath is energy and by doing these exercises, I am getting more aware of what I need to do to function in the best possible way. The exercises with the visualisations are (for me) the most difficult ones, but it is a positive approach so practising and rehearsing is paying off!
D: How long have you been practising Sophrology and what are the benefits you have experienced?
T: I have been doing the exercises for 1 year now. I live a more quiet life now and I am better connected to my body. It is necessary for me to practice Sophrology every day, but in a very friendly way.
D: Do you think Sophrology can help other people suffering from dystonia?
T: I think that many diseases benefit from Sophrology and especially with these forms of Dystonia, you are forced to take care of yourself as much as possible. In the beginning it was a tough battle with muscles, and to find out what is wrong and what causes your type of dystonia, what doctor to see, where to find someone who knows enough about this movement disorder. Dystonia causes fear because your body is failing you and the muscles react unexpectedly but you are forced to listen to yourself to try to get back as many functions as possible. This takes a lot of time, so you have to be patient and in these busy times where many people have to do everything, this also has an impact on your health and life so staying relaxed is not easy.
Sophrology helps to get to know yourself better and learn to trust your body again with the possibilities you have! At the point I came into contact with Sophrology through the book, I wish it had come my way sooner. Sophrology opens ways for me to believe in my quest and what makes my condition better. Sophrology makes you aware of body functions in a relaxed and friendly way and the exercises are not difficult to do. For me it is very much about this sentence of Dominique: “There is nothing to achieve” It is even a way to be in harmony with yourself by carefully listening to your own body, soul and mind.
Please don’t hesitate to share your experience of the practice through BeSophro’s social media, I am always happy to hear from my readers!