Coaching people on how to breathe, really breathe – something I now often do during a Massage Session, a Rossiter Workout, or even during our TLS, Healthy Living Classes.
As an asthmatic, that use to average 3 – 4 stays in the hospital each year ( with each one lasting 3 – 4 days), I was amazed, after one hospital stay about 8 – 10 years ago, that not once, ever, did any doctor or nurse pay attention on how I was breathing. When I came across an article on “How to Breathe” after that stay, I couldn’t believe just how badly my breathing habits were.
In today’s fast paced, eat your way to disease and death, gotta have it today, hurry up and wait world, we tend to breathe so shallow that the bottom of our lungs start to never get the chance to really receive the fresh new oxygen so vital for our health and well-being. This fact was brought to my attention during that above mentioned hospital stay when the nurse came in and said “Well your lung ex-ray was fine this time except for the base of your lungs that have atrophied because of your asthma.” WHAT??? Almost 30 years with asthma and that is the first time someone has even mentioned that type of lasting damage to my lungs? Well yes, I knew that with all of my attacks and such that I had “weaker” lungs, but atrophied?
It made me think. Really think about how I had depended on the doctors and the medical profession in general to keep me well. ( yes,at times kept me alive ) They gave me meds that seemed to help me breathe during an attack, and other meds that really did not seem to help, but I took them anyways. They pumped me full of steroids each time I came into the hospital. In fact for one period of time in the late 80’s (when doctors were still “Gods” meant to be obeyed unconditionally), I stayed on steroids for months at a time. Only after I started having recurring nightmares, was uncontrollably emotional, and quite frankly became paranoid on many levels, did I challenge my doctors and came off the daily dosages. Never, did we talk about how breathing could make a difference.
Back then, the pharmacys would refuse to give you the inserts that came with medications unless you absolutely demanded them. After all the side effects and studies etc, were “really of no concern to you’, the patient.
I got into more than one argument with a pharmacist on whether or not I had a right to that information.
As time went on, I became much more active in making decisions on my asthma care, but still ended up on, as one emergency room doctor put it,”well you are on enough medication to stop a bull in it’s tracks, so I don’t know what else we can do”. Yes, I stayed concerned, challenged doses of daily meds and really challenged the steroid “pushes” that I way to often ended up on, but I took those doses, because even when I avoided the triggers for my attacks, I still managed to end up having the attacks.
Funny, but about five years ago now, I ended up with no health insurance. Got laid off at my job, decided to come back to massage therapy full-time.
Amazingly, I had to be real aware of what was going on with my health. I started getting chiropractic adjustments whenever my asthma started getting out of control. I started really watching the trigger times during the year as well as the emotional and environmental triggers more closely. AND I started paying attention to how I was breathing. Found an article at that time that taught me a couple of breathing exercises that I could not even begin to complete the first few times I tried them. As time went on I found that I could not only complete the breathing exercises, but that I could also prevent or stay off beginning asthma attacks by doing the exercises instead of doing medications!
So during the day-time, I used the breathing exercises as much as possible, was still out of control at night-time, but more on how I got that under control through the TLS Healthy Living Program later.
Could not find the original artical that helped me with my breathing but came across this article on breathing this morning and as an asthmatic, as a health care worker, I appreciate and want to share the information and techniques.
Explore it for yourself: http://optimumsportsperformance.com/blog/?p=988