Here are four entries about my brother Nigel that I’d like to share with you. They highlight the connection between mental, emotional and physical health and are written from my perspective, as a sister, carer and healing practitioner.
Diagnosed as autistic at the late age of 56 in 2012, Nigel’s ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ are marked as his mood can change instantly. I observe his behaviour closely and the impact physical therapy has.
These journal entries evolved over a three week period this summer. They involve everyday situations, which you may relate to. You may be autistic or you have a family member who is.
I’d like to show how a treatment can be helpful, in managing and preventing stress and outbursts, that may currently be making your life or your family’s life difficult.
Please note that Nigel receives treatments as part of a care programme that includes a balanced diet, healthy sleep routine and so on.
He is verbal and enjoys being touched. It is appreciated that if you or your loved one do not like this contact, physical therapy would not be appropriate.
However, if you do and you’re comfortable being on a couch for 45 minutes, a treatment or a series of regular treatments could be of value in releasing pain and tightness and in helping improve your overall wellbeing.
Nigel understands complexity but so often confuses fact with his own fiction. The nature of his thinking is key, for example, he has a vivid imagination and when it takes a dark turn the outcome is emotional and physical stress.
This feeds (and is probably fed by) his low self-belief. His condition deteriorates, particularly balance and mobility (he uses a four-wheel walker), which results in him requiring more care support.
Anxiety can become stress instantly such as with arm flapping and shouting or is deeply internalized only becoming apparent a few hours or days later. Physical symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, sleeplessness may be the first sign something is amiss.
Nigel finds himself in colour. Creating pictures helps him to be calm, present, and most importantly, gives him a sense of achievement. One of these is shown here and is taken from the Garden of Eden Art Therapy book.
Restoring wellbeing after a new joyful experience turns into a fearful one
It was exciting for my brother and me. Inspired by a visit to the local West London Art Factory...
Releasing tension in the body relieves TV triggered trauma
‘Eight to ten years after coming home Almost 800,000 men Are still fighting the Vietnam War...
Unshakeable beliefs are shifted
I’m evil’ says my brother. Just to be clear, he isn’t….he has a beautiful heart, Trouble is, he’s had this belief for years...
Relieving the drama of being a sibling of autism
The glass pane was smashed. One of Nigel’s pictures got knocked off the wall. This was the beginning of my drama...