Holistic Centre for Body, Mind & Spirit

June 2012

Case study – Keith

All of the case studies you will read here are the experiences of real Anam Cara clients. They have asked for their real names not to be used to protect their privacy but all of them wanted others to know that problems can be overcome, whatever they are.


I’ve always led a ridiculously fast-paced life. I need to be doing something and doing it within a fixed timescale - and this approach applies to everything, not just work. I might be mowing the lawn, cooking a meal or driving to the airport but I always need a deadline and a goal.

That’s simply my personality. But it came at the expense of an emotional disconnect. I’ve only ever really been interested in business and in building businesses. From the age of 19, I’ve been running my own businesses and from then it gradually took over my life and I forgot how to switch off. I wasn’t able to relax and enjoy my success. Even when I took holidays, they were all about challenges and goals so I ended up running up and down mountains instead of recharging my batteries.

However, ten years of this frenetic, hard-working lifestyle did a lot of damage – damage I’m only just starting to repair.

I’ve been ill for about two and a half years now. I’ve been experiencing episodes of vertigo and other symptoms like fatigue, stress, anxiety and lack of energy. It stopped me going to work and then stopped me doing almost anything. It got to the stage where I couldn’t even talk to anyone.

Then a former colleague looked me in the eye one day and told me I had to do something about it. He knew Sonia and told me I had to go and see her. He knew me quite well and I trusted him, so I made an appointment.

Not much happened at the first meeting, although I do remember thinking ‘There’s a bit more to this than the doctors say.’ And so it has proved. Each time we speak, it seems there is a new layer to uncover and explore. Being the way I am, though, it seems I still need to go out and make mistakes – often more than once – before I can accept and understand something we’re working on. Not listening and going too fast have been part of the way I am for so long that it’s going to take a long time to change.

Restructuring my life

In the five months since meeting Sonia, I have completely restructured my life. I’ve closed one business, stripped another one right back, restructured another and got staff to take more on so I can find more time for myself. I have joined a health club and a golf club. Even at work I’ve slowed down – and actually this has been good for business too because I’m making more considered decisions, setting sensible targets and treating staff better. Now I’m seeing ideas actually work rather than crumble under the pressure.

Sonia is very astute, very experienced and has a great team with her. She is very skilful in pointing clients towards the right therapists at the right time. As well as speaking with Sonia regularly, I have also worked with a nutritionist, acupuncturist and shiatsu practitioner. With all of these specialists working together, it is helping get my body and mind in better shape.

I know I’m still ill and I still have a lot to learn about relaxing but we’re peeling back the layers and we’re getting there. It may take a while but I’ll come out of this process stronger – and wiser.