About James Bombardier (2015)
I am the person who discovered the Letting Go Breath© (LGB) exercise, used it to heal myself, continue to use it and have been encouraged to share this concept with others. This testimonial is being written in April of 2015, not quite 3 years from when the LGB was discovered/innovated by me. I say discovered because I now believe that our ancient ancestors knew this breath exercise but our cognitive “abilities” have seriously clouded our animal instincts.
I am a survivor of a 2006 bicyclist/SUV crash where I took the side mirror off the SUV that sideswiped me at highway speed with the back of my helmeted head. During the first two years after the crash I had tendon tear surgeries on both shoulders, I was initially diagnosed with PTSD which was upgraded to a full TBI 2 years later when a witness was deposed prior to the trial of the person who hit me (which never happened because they died of aging complications two weeks before the trial).
I didn't receive any mental health counseling for over 7 months after the crash because I was high functioning and medical professionals assumed that I had not been seriously injured, mentally. This led to a mental breakdown by me and the development of an anxiety disorder. I have been in Kaiser anxiety groups, have had personal counseling, 12 EMDR sessions, and was in a Cognitive Based Therapy group. And still, after all that therapy, I experienced shock and trauma from a health professional during a pelvic injection treatment.
I was strongly motivated to heal so I continued to explore healing strategies. I had learned Transcendental Meditation (zen type) in the early 70's and could meditate prior to the crash but when I tried to relax to do the meditation after the crash I couldn't because my body would twitch consistently.
So I explored mindful meditations and was able to repurpose the Breath Empowerment exercise by Jeff Primak to my letting go purposes. The exercise by Jeff Primak focuses on the inhale portion of a breath and he encourages users to power through any emotions that may surface.My repurposing of his exercise uses his original pacing but defines an enhanced sigh type of exhale and varies the volume of inhale to allow users to bump up against their fight/flight/play dead breathing mode/point in a safe environment.
I found that if I did this type of breathing laying on my back with my eyes closed in a safe or supported environment, my trauma started releasing itself in the form of what I now call letting go. I cried/sobbed/wept, yelled/screamed/roared and jerked/twitched/shook. Some of the releases were spontaneous but many were prefaced by an emotional welling up prior to the release.
Within 6 weeks of fairly daily use of the LGB, with input from my osteopathic PT Heather Goodell (now Purdin), I was experiencing difficult but very cathartic sessions. Four months after discovering the LGB I broke my leg and was laughing uproariously, when not screaming in pain, before being loaded into the car to go to the hospital because I wasn’t overwhelmed with trauma.
I continued to do the LGB almost daily for about 7 months total and then have continued to use the breath exercise sporadically with myofacial release sessions and by myself as ongoing healing and stress release since. In the past two months the LGB exercise even got me to experiencing forgiveness for all the people who I have felt hurt from in my life. I wasn’t expecting this sort of letting go but embraced it and hope others can experience a similar breath and depth of healing from my concept.
I am not a health professional or healer and I don't aspire to be either. I have used the LGB to heal a lifetime of hurt and want others to feel similar healing. The LGB therapy is being provided through this web site for both individuals and healers/health professionals to use personally or in therapy with others. While I believe the LGB is the Swiss Army knife of mental health therapies and want to see it widely used, my immediate goal is to get the US Veterans Administration to test the efficacy of this approach and provide it to hurting veterans.