It’s interesting how things sneak up on you isn’t it? For several years now I’ve been dealing with anxiety. But I never admitted it to anyone, not even myself. So when I moved into a new neighborhood in Georgetown, I found I could no longer ride comfortably on the underground transportation system due to anxiety – I absolutely could not get on the Metro. Anxiety was keeping me above ground – Since everyone at work rode the Metro, it was a simple little symptom that I could point to when asked why I didn’t ride it. So I did. For three years until I’d finally had enough.
Last spring I went to visit Dr. Kogan at the Center for Integrative Medicine. He had been referred to me by a mutual friend who was also a Physician. Later I found out that she had spoken to Dr. Kogan about me in terms of “slight agoraphobia.” This was much more to the point.
The first time I met with Dr. Kogan we spent hardly any time at all talking about the Metro. Instead he asked lots of questions about my childhood, my day to day life and the number of times a day I felt anxiety – any kind of anxiety. Slowly, as I answered his inquiries I realized the truth. Anxiety was (and had been) affecting me for some time. In fact, it had snuck up on me and taken over my daily routine.
He introduced me to the emWave system and several techniques including Quick Coherence®. I should admit that I was skeptical at first. I mean really, how was this tiny machine going to help? But Dr. Kogan was kind and patient. He explained that what he hoped to do was retrain my brain and my thought patterns through meditation and concentration. I promised to practice – but didn’t hold out much hope.
Every day I’d practice the techniques that Dr. Kogan taught me. At first I met with him every few weeks and we’d practice in his office as well. Then the appointments stretched out into monthly visits. Almost without warning, a funny thing began to happen. I suddenly began to catch myself NOT worrying. If you’ve never suffered from anxiety this won’t seem like a big deal to you. But trust me when I tell you, it’s a very big deal. Here’s an example. As I walked to work (or walked anywhere really) I used to mentally rehearse what I’d do if I stopped breathing or had a panic attack. Who would I call? Where was the nearest hospital? It was just as exhausting as it sounds. But after a few months with the emWave, this happened less and less. And then one day – it stopped.
One day I tried to explain it to Dr. Kogan – it was as if my brain was pointedly choosing NOT to worry. Like anxiety and panic were knocking on the doors of my mind and instead of flinging them open, they stayed shut. Dr. Kogan smiled when I finished. It was working.
And so we continued – I got better and better with the emWave and eventually level one and two became too easy and I concentrated on three and four. I was feeling stronger and stronger. Soon things (crowded buses, bad traffic) that had always caused anxiety before began to seem . . . well . . . not that bad.
After about six months Dr. Kogan made a dramatic pronouncement – he thought I was ready for the Metro. I seriously doubted this, but I also trusted him. So I picked a day, brought along my human support system (someone had to hold my hand after all!) and tried it. I rode twice, stopping at two stations each time. After three long years, I was back on the Metro. When we got off I smiled wide and half expected applause from the other passengers – I hadn’t felt that proud or that brave in a long time.
When I returned to Dr. Kogan’s office the next week he actually jumped out of his chair at the news. We were both happy and came to the quick conclusion that while I needed to continue my practices, I had come to the end of my time with him. He made me promise to check in and sent me on my way with a smile and a hug.
Now, almost a year from that first visit – I am a different person. Life is not perfect mind you. Anxiety is still an occasional visitor to my world – but (and this is the kicker) it’s not a daily one. And even more importantly, when it does show up, I am prepared. Dr. Kogan, HearthMath and emWave have given me relief from anxiety. But more than that – they gave me my life back.