One and a half years after the Palucki Method, video-feedback.
What was the situation for which you were seeking help
It had all started quite early. I had not acknowledged it at that time. At the age of 25, however it began to limit my life. So, we are talking about mild panic attacks, anxiety attacks, I didn’t like to drive a car anymore, I didn’t like to leave the house anymore, I didn’t like to meet people anymore, I continued to limit myself more and more so much that eventually I didn’t leave the house anymore at all, lost friends, lost my work …and I never knew where this came from.
Had you already done treatments before?
I tried many things. I tried classic talk therapy, behavioral therapy… all that during the time when I was still sometimes leaving the house. But nobody did… well, I don’t want to say ‘not take me seriously’ – but you were quickly out of the office or out of the practice again… the typical experience: you go there, you have those 45 minutes, you talk about yourself, and then the other person looks at you and asks: “So, how are you feeling now?” So that you think: “Hm, yeah, you could tell me perhaps, how I could possibly feel!” But well then this was only bearing short-term fruits. Then I started with hypnosis therapy, very for a very long time, almost… I had the people come here in regular intervals, because I had already stopped to go outside and… well, these were always only like short-term effects, helping only short term… basically, just hanging in until the next appointment and then it continued.
How long did you get treatment?
If you look at it all together… of course, I had some breaks in between, where it was a little better and then it got worse again… it was an up-and-down for me, half a year it went well, another year it didn’t. So, overall, about 10 years before I met Ilona Palucki.
Did you know what was the source of these symptoms?
Yes and no. I had a suspicion once – I had to deal with a lot of loss, but that there was a direct connection there and that this was also a very big core of it… and especially also in interpersonal relationships and also in partnerships… that that where the decisive points… I was not aware of to that extent, no. I was always looking for the ‘why’, but you can’t find that. I tell you honestly, you can’t find that. I have always been looking for the ‘one’ reason, but it is the mass of experience that had made this out of me.
Had you been diagnosed with trauma?
No, I was just always told you have fears of loss… and you just have to live with that… and that It would be normal that people are ceasing from life. I mean we are not talking about – well there is not enough time today to get into it – we are not talking about one event of death here, like that only grandma had died. I had lost 14 beloved human beings! Among that my best friend. She has died in an absolutely severe traffic accident and I have found her in the early morning. I have seen her just five minutes before and had waved at her. She was in the car while I was waiting at the bus stop for my ride share and 10 minutes later, she was dead. And I have taken all of that with me. Again, there is not really the time to get into details here, but a lot has happened. In the therapies and the following years, they always let me talk about it, that’s right, but there was no one who told me, how I can get rid of that.
How did it continue?
Then I started to inform myself how I could get rid of this. I have read many books, but this has never helped… and then incidentally, I stumbled upon Ilona Palucki’s website in the internet. But I have looked at that website for one or two years, to be honest, because I could never imagine that those success stories – the accounts of people’s experiences, which where on that site at that point… that this could be true. So, I have looked at that until eventually my condition has gotten so bad – I had also lost a lot of weight and couldn’t leave the house anymore at all, not for shopping, not even for the mailbox – so that one day I took all my courage and wrote an email.
How did the treatment go?
I had to take a lot of courage that day (when we started) and approached her and then it (anxiety) evaporated within two minutes, because I thought there is a haven of tranquility where I can lean on and then we went into the work. The first session was glaring (smiles), was really glaring, because you don’t know what to expect. So, then she explained it and we went into the breathing, very slowly and very gently also, not like stress-stress and certainly no glances at the clock, like as if we have to get it all done in 10 minutes. And yeah, after the first time there was already a different feeling. Yes, it was different, it was really different.
How long did the treatment go altogether?
Ms. Palucki was here for eight days.* We have worked every day twice. We met regularly. When we went into the breathing, I still had a bit of respect each time, but it got better each time and what I have experienced there… is difficult to describe. Perhaps I can explain briefly… when we went into the story with my mother it was like as if things were coming out from my belly and leaving. Interestingly, since then I have no more stomach-aches. It’s just gone! The funniest thing that we found was about my hair. I had always knots in my hair. I could do whatever, but nothing helped …expensive conditioner etc. I was downstairs showering and then I went back to her that evening and told her: “You won’t believe it, I was able to comb my hair just now!” It’s incredible, it’s stayed like that eversince, it’s incredible! No more knots!
* Note from the editor: After the time together on site, each client receives 2 months of post-treatment coaching calls by phone/skype.
How many traumas or themes were there?
There were seven traumas that we uncovered bit by bit. We started with the one that was the easiest for me and then I increased. One was covered underneath it all which I didn’t know at all. I thought about it for a while: “Shall I mention this theme or not?” Ms. Palucki has seen that and asked me: “Something is still on your mind, isn’t it?” I said: “Yes, there is a very special theme, a relationship-theme which I hadn’t seen as a trauma.” I hadn’t seen that as so severe that it could have had such consequences for my life. I didn’t know that. So, we took it on and it was also incredible, I must say.
When we were through… I used to always have a lot of strength in my body… in my legs, not in my arms, but in my legs… previously, I was in athletics, gymnastics, I was in the pre-selection for the Olympics… and suddenly the strength came back to my legs. It started to tingle… the muscles… and since then I have tilting stability once again! I stand with both legs in my life again! It sounds so silly, but it is true! And I would have never thought that this trauma has put a lid on all this! … and since then… well… happy! It’s the only thing I can say. I have really gotten rid of all this for good! I can talk about it now without tearing up, without feeling unwell… amazing! Yes.
It is now 1 1/2 years since your treatment. In what way have your strains changed?
The treatment is uncovering many layers in you and in addition is continuing to work inside of you, meanwhile you are not fully aware of that. I mean honestly, I wasn’t telling myself every day for one and a half years: “Now you have to exercises this!” It just continues to process by itself, somewhere, I don’t know where, in the brain, wherever. And the effect is that I have just gotten calmer inside, my whole body has calmed down. I can do things like… just eating something, what I feel like eating, I don’t overthink that anymore.
I just go out and about, go for a walk, and I don’t think about it: “Is an attack coming? Is no attack coming? Are you able to make it back home?” One sleeps differently, one eats differently, one walks differently, one is calmer. You know, through this method, through this breathing, through this purging that goes through the entire body… this really does a lot for you. I can only say things have gotten more relaxed, even though not everything may work out perfectly just yet, but that is also my own process, of course. But the traumas are completely gone!
How do you exemplify that the traumas are gone?
Because I can talk about it without breaking down. I remember the first time talking to Ilona Palucki on Skype. I was very motivated in the beginning, very tough. I told myself: “We’ll just make an appointment. All good.” It didn’t take me two minutes until I couldn’t speak anymore out of crying, out of anger, out of fears of loss, all I touched upon briefly with her. Now, we could discuss the entire list that she noted down that filled several pages without me walking with a stick afterwards. That is my experience. That does a lot. That really does a lot! I can move around in my family easier and more freely. In case we talk about these things sometime I don’t break down inside. I don’t look for the escape door for flight. Before, when I got triggered – how I used to call it – I just took on the flight. I just said I would have to go shopping or do something important, because I just wanted to get away from the subject.
How did your symptoms change?
They have really decreased to a minimum. I didn’t have one single severe panic attacks since then. Sometimes, I step on the brakes, but this is just purely me, it’s not about the method, because sometimes I cannot realize that it’s over. That I could just go visit Ilona by car for example (2000 km distance; note of the editor). There I sometimes limit myself a bit, but I do that myself. But it’s just that you have your feeling of freedom back. When I go shopping it’s just not present anymore. You don’t think about whether you are getting another attack at the cashier. Or “look, the cashier looks at me so weirdly, they all probably see what’s going with me.” – All of that is over.
Also, the interaction in my relationship has become completely different. We are meeting on level playing field. We can talk to each other in a different way, because I am not as anxious anymore.
Are you a different person now?
I can’t really say that. I believe I’m still in the finding process and I believe I am now becoming that what I perhaps always wanted to be, but have never been able to live because of traumas, because of my education, which was like it was, and because I have always limited myself in life, because I thought: “It’s all so important! Only family! You must, you must, you must be there for everybody and do everything and give everything!” …and… No! I was taught better in those eight days! And only in eight days, I want to point out here once again. You know. (laughs)