Case Studies


Conducted under the guidance of Dr. Farokh Udwadia (Head of the Intensive Respiratory Care) and Dr. Khyati Mehta (Clinical Research Officer), Breach Candy hospital in Mumbai, India.


A first of its kind in India, this extensive in-depth pilot study evaluated the usefulness of Movement Therapy (MT) for 15 patients with low lung capacity, through 12, 90-minute Movement Therapy sessions. The project flagged off a large-scale medical mission to harness MT for patient populations in India. Aged 40-60 years, each patient had unique reasons for attending, and individual goals were addressed throughout the group sessions.


Aim : To evaluate the effects of a 6 week Movement Therapy Program in patients having Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).


Treatment Goals:


a) To address the emotional triggers that induces asthmatic symptoms.
b) Help the patient cope with anxiety and fear of getting an attack.
c) Stress management, developing a better sense of self, coping with the disease.


Associated Tests:


a) Health-Related Quality of Life
b) Perceived Stress Levels (Before and after study)
c) Pulmonary Function Test (Before and after study)
d) 6 Minute Walk Test (Before and after study)


Re-evaluation after the initial 6 weeks of treatment:

  •     Improvements in posture and expression
  •     Improvements in perceiving illness, feeling better equipped to deal with asthma and anxiety
  •     Improvements in inter- personal relationships within the group
  •     Positive changes in attitude to life
  •     Increase in energy levels
  •     Improvements in the 6 minute walk test, the quality-of-life test compiled by hospital authorities, as well as Perceived Stress Scale
  •     2 patients showed mild to moderate improvements in the Pulmonary Function Test (PFT)*

* Note: The PFT could not be accurately measured or taken into account due to other influences that determine results. For example if a patient had a cold on the day the PFT was taken, results could not be taken into account. There has to be marked improvements in the PFT test for accurate change to be noted.


Potential risks:


It’s important for patients to consult their physician before beginning any movement based program—especially if they have a chronic condition such as COPD. Their physician can evaluate their ability to participate in MT sessions and advise the therapist of any limitations or recommendations related to a particular health status. Their participation in this research project was completely voluntary in conjunction with doctors and the Chief Research Officer at the hospital.


Progress Notes:


Each of the patients reported having a positive experience during Movement Therapy sessions. E.g. – felt stronger, more equipped to cope with asthma, experienced a positive impact on personal and social life.


Ms. J reported that sessions helped her care for herself by eating healthy, and she had more energy. Before the sessions she woke up every morning with a stiff neck, rubbing Pyrox gel for relief. After a month of attending the sessions, her neck pain wasn’t as intense.


S reported that there was a day she skipped her medication by mistake and didn’t anticipate an attack which inevitably occurred at around five pm in the evenings.   And one dose during the day was sufficient. (As therapists we do not interfere with administration of medication, however the effects of coping with anxiety of an oncoming asthma attack were noted).


P mentioned that although her ear ache still persisted, her pain had reduced significantly and she felt energetic post the sessions.
There was marked improvement in M’s emotional state.




“One thing I have observed is that I have become free and enjoying life as it comes."


-Mrs. R, Asthama Patient, Breach Candy Hospital.

“I have been able to control my wheezing after a month of Movement Therapy sessions.”


-Mrs. M, Asthama Patient, Breach Candy Hospital.


A 56 year old lady suffering from psoriasis attended MT sessions as she read about it in a newspaper. She joined because she believed MT had a holistic healing approach. She had tried allopathic therapy and after hearing there was no cure for psoriasis decided to try another form of therapy. She enrolled for MT sessions for a 3 month period.


Treatment Goals:


a) To help the client de-stress
b) Enhance emotional, physical as well as cardio vascular strength
c) Boost immune system


Progress Notes:


The client started to feel a positive change in her state of mind, she felt uplifted, happy and energized. Her skin which was scaly, red and oozing started to dry up.


Although there is no known cure for psoriasis, the emotional release and constant motion along with medication helped her in healing and managing her condition. There was also a noticeable improvement in her moods and stamina.




“My experience with Movement Therapy is beyond words. One has to experience it to really gain access to the brilliance and the ‘power of now’ that you receive.”


-Mrs K.P., Psoriasis patient.



Dr. P joined Movement Therapy sessions to solve an existing back problem and wanted to lose some weight. She was recovering from a slipped disc in her lumbar spine and was afraid to bend or sit on the floor. She attended MT sessions for a year and a half.


Treatment Goals:


a) To lose weight and recover from the injury
b) Gain overall physical strength
c) Relieve stress
d) Address fears associated with pain perception during an injury
e) Improve self confidence
f)  Let go of her fear of sitting on the floor and bending

Progress Notes:


The patient realized that apart from gaining physical strength, she was getting more confident, and her communication skills improved. She mentioned that she was too caught up with social norms and fear, and this prevented her from being comfortable with herself.


Without any pressure of moving in a right or wrong way during sessions, she regained a sense of freedom and the sessions gave her the platform to act and express herself in any way that she wanted.


She reported improvements in self-esteem and felt more comfortable in dealing with life situations. She was able to bend as well as sit on the floor after a few months of MT sessions.




“I had a slipped disc in the lumbar spine and was trying to lose weight. I called for Movement Therapy because I loved the concept of moving to heal my condition. Little did I know that it would actually help me in changing my thoughts and releasing my unknown fears.


It was a wonderful experience to tone the body, become more self confident and allow a change of mindset. I became less conscious of what people would say and started doing things for myself. Movement Therapy has helped me to change my life!! Thanks.”


-Dr.P.S., patient recovering from slipped disc.



A 57 year old with heart problems, cervical spondylitis, and weight trouble also complained of a stiff neck. Her day couldn’t begin without her husband rubbing anti-inflammatory pain relief ointment over her neck.


She suffered from overall body ache – on some days her knees, heels and back would cause her pain. She underwent cervical spondylitis surgery two years before joining MT sessions. She joined MT sessions for a period of 3 months after reading about it in the newspaper. She had tried several medicines and alternative therapies so decided to give Movement Therapy a try.


Observations: wrong eating habits, heaviness in chest and breathing difficulties.


Treatment Goals:


a) Improve health related quality of life
b) Lose weight and gain physical and cardiovascular strength
c) Improve self concept and enhance overall health


Progress Notes:


The client noticed drastic changes in the overall perception of her body, her neck stopped hurting, her posture improved and her body started shaping up.
She mistakenly missed her evening dosage of Pan 40, Covance 50, Celomax 50/5 and Neutralin B Plus without experiencing physical symptoms.


She reported improvements in self-esteem and felt more comfortable in dealing with life situations. She was able to bend as well as sit on the floor after a few months of MT sessions.




“Besides changes in my body, Movement Therapy has brought about several transformations in me as an individual. I am now more confident and ever so energetic. My attitude towards life has changed. I have become a calmer and more positive person. These days I don’t say ‘I will try’, I say, ‘I can!’ Everyone is surprised at the new me and it feels good. One thing’s for sure, till you have experienced the therapeutic effects of movement you will not understand how it can work for your body.”


-Mrs. MB, patient with heart problems, cervical spondylitis, and weight trouble.


A 63 year old lady attended MT sessions five years after undergoing treatment post Breast Cancer surgery. She was working with children having cancer and felt that she needed to work on her own personal physical and emotional healing process to better equip her in dealing with cancer survivors. Patient complained of sudden dizziness and lethargy. She often experienced pain in the wrists and numbness in toes. She attended Movement Therapy sessions for a period of 3 years.


Treatment Goals:


a) Addressing issues of gaining back her strength in the mind and body, feeling whole again.
b) Being able to cope with internal and external stressors
c) Getting physically fit
d) Losing the excess fat around the arm where breast was removed
e) Strengthening the abdominal muscles
f)  Emotional centring


Progress Notes:


There were significant improvements in self concept and body attitude; the patient mentioned that she started to become conscious of her breathing due to the breath work that was practiced during the Movement Therapy sessions.


Improvements in pain perception and emotional stability were noted. The client felt energetic, focused and happy. She also felt the need to work on abdominal and mind sluggishness.




“ It's  the  other  exercises and drawing,  talking  all  focusing  on  issues  in  the  mind,  drawing  out  the  imbalances  of  one's  reality, perceptions  and  imagination  that  have  made  the  difference  towards  keeping  one's  mind  more  focused. A  stronger  body  also  gives  more  focused  signals  to  the  mind  like  when  instinctively  knows  one  is  thirsty. With  a  stronger  mind  to  implement  or  act  without  fear,  taking  fear  away  is  important when  it  comes  to  life  threatening  diseases. All these issues are being   beautifully, delicately addressed through the sessions. Thank you.”


-Mrs. U.J., Cancer Victor


As part of the Anger Management Project for female under trial prisoners at Byculla Prison, there were 40 women in a given session. Sessions were held once a week for a period of 2 months. These women were from the age groups of 18-70 years and were in prison for a number of reasons: prostitution, attempt to murder, stealing and substance abuse to name a few. However, this being an under-trial prison, continuity was a deterrent and hence there was very little progress to be noted.


Treatment Goals:


a) To introduce coping mechanisms and creative ways to control anger that was predominantly seen in women prisoners.
b) To equip them in being socially conscious citizens after being released from prison.
c) Using Movement Therapy as a tool for anger management and rehabilitation.
d) Empowering and rehabilitating the women to face realities and responsibilities of life once they are released from prison.

Progress Notes:


The response from the staff as well as the prisoners was favorable. Although the sessions were short-lived, improved relationships with peers and improved personal hygiene were noted. The women looked forward to the sessions and urged other inmates to join. The prisoners realized the importance of daily exercise as part of their lives, in order to manage stressful situations.


A 52 year old lawyer faced a number of health issues. Patient was severely depressed as she had to deal with losing her father as well as her brother to a heart attack in a span of two hours on the auspicious occasion of Diwali. Her body was overweight. She complained of having a stiff body and feeling stuck. Patient found it hard to cope with life after this incident and mentioned that it had taken a toll on her overall health and emotional stability.


Treatment Goals:


a) To feel light, unstuck and lose weight
b) Cope and heal from emotional trauma and feelings of loss
c) Gain overall physical, emotional and social well-being


Progress Notes:


Her body started to show signs of improvement. She started to take better care of herself and positive changes in her emotional states were noted. She was better equipped in coping with her depression.




“I feel better to some extent. The therapy is mind-relaxing and when the music starts I forget my sorrows and the tension eases by itself.”


-Ms.M.C., patient with weight issues, breathing difficulties and depression.



Mrs P, a lady in her early 60s, suffered from Type 2 diabetes and joined the sessions after hearing about MT from her friend. She often skipped meals and didn’t eat at regular intervals and her irregular eating pattern was the primary contributor to her illness.


She complained of breathlessness and got tired easily. She attended MT sessions for 6 weeks. The patient was on diabetes medication, and was undernourished, she was not particularly aware of her body and posture.


Her movements were light and carefree. She mentioned that this was part of her personality, to take life as it comes and be a carefree person. She always gravitated downwards and we consciously worked on moving upwards to engage her body differently. 

Treatment Goals:


a) Building self concept and  self awareness
b) Improve health by appropriate food intake
c) Intense appropriate movement based program
d) Control blood sugar levels


Progress Notes:


There were marked improvements in her blood sugar levels at the end of the 6 week program. She started to pay closer attention to her exercise and eating habits. Patient mentioned that she felt less tired than she did before starting MT sessions.




“I am able to do much more than I could before joining the sessions. My blood sugar levels have improved.”


- Mrs. P, Diabetes patient.