Participants' reports on the effects on physical problems

 

Many of those with physical health problems have claimed physical, as well as psychological, benefits (eg see Munyard et al 2002;  Cloverleaf et al 2002; Rakusen 2000; Dossier).  Examples of psychological benefits for people with chronic physical conditions are included elsewhere.  Conditions where physical benefits have been claimed by participants include:-

  • Blood Pressure
  • MS
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fybromyalgia
  • ME
  • Untreatable back pain

Some examples follow.

“Again, GV was a fantastic resource for me to use during labour” (dossier)

“[GV] gives power and strength when physically I am ill and spent”

      “When I come to the
GV
      group
,
      my back pain disappears.  Nothing else cures it!” Writing after one
GV
      day, this man continued, “I have been able to swim, pain free, three times this week.  This is incredible, as I have been unable to swim for months because of my back pain.  Thanks!”  After another day, he wrote, “I felt I had been opened inside and given a generous oiling all over.”

[this man had long-standing severe back pain for many years, and said he had ‘tried everything’ – allopathy, osteopathy, chiropractic, physiotherapy, acupuncture, etc etc. Despite being told that the pain relief was not being given to him, but that it was something he was doing, and that he could develop awareness of what it was, so that he could do it without the facilitation of the teacher (JR), he tended to laugh disbelievingly.  He steadfastly resisted choosing to learn to do it for himself, knowing full well the absurdity of his apparent choice.

I myself am personally aware of how easily we can avoid taking responsibility for our health – and even our pain:  once I was beside myself with chronic pain; through putting myself in the hands of a song at the most profound level, I became utterly pain-free for about 3 days.  I’ve had a lot of pain on many occasions since, and have never been able to replicate this astonishing experience.  For some unconscious reason, I haven’t been able to find the willingness and the trust that I found then.  Maybe it just hasn’t been as bad, but I suspect that my need to experience lack of trust has been greater than my belief that I could be pain-free.  I’m working on it though! [JR]

[Manchester GV 1990's]

Blood pressure

“I’ve halved my blood pressure tablets. I think there must be a connection with Giving Voice, since a lot of my b/p has been through stress, and I’ve been using GV to alleviate this ... am also taking much more responsibility for my general well-being.”  (Rakusen 2000)

 

 

 

MS

 

Someone with MS attending a day believed that the session helped her with her ability to walk and stand.  (Manchester GV)

 

 

 

 

 

Osteoarthritis

 

“I keep hitting my head on the kitchen cupboards!”

Someone with severe, long-standing fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis, reported an extraordinary development whereby one particular song

“has connected with the pain and it’s eased”.  She went on:  “This is the first time I’ve had [relief] like this.  Gardening, I’ve been surprised how less bad my back’s been.  And I’m standing taller because I’m less hunched up with pain, and it’s since my experience with this song! It means I keep hitting my head on the kitchen cupboards – the first time ever (I’ve had them 15 years!)”  (Cloverleaf et al 2002)

Physical weakness

"When I started to sing, it made me cry.  Tears of joy and recognition - as if I'd found a way.  Joy at singing with someone else [she was singing with the tape].  Joy at singing wholeheartedly.  It's resonating in my whole body - my feet are vibrating.  It's a release of creativity - this is wonderful for me because I'm so limited by physical weakness in using my arms - I can’t do things like drawing, painting, or writing.  I get really irritated.  Today I feel I've really worked.  I've really enjoyed it." (participant in Distance Participation Day, Healey 2004)