Yesterday I went to see a Breathing Disorders specialist at Breathing Works and I had a thorough consultation on my breathing techniques and asthma and bronchiectasis.It was such an interesting experience.
I’ve had my asthma since I was 7 (at least, that was when I was first diagnosed) and it’s been managed through medication since then. I’ve been on so many medications at different times and I’ve almost accepted that I have mild-severe asthma and will have it all my life. I’ve been told by many people that the optimum environment for me is a dry environment and that I should either move to Adelaide or Arizona. Considering I want to move to neither of them and I now live in a humid country, I figured I’d just have to deal with broken lungs forever.
Well, that may be so but I now have a new technique and I’m wondering why on earth nobody else recommended this to me all this time. Last week I went to a respiratory specialist who, although with a recommending a new medical regime, prioritized learning to breathe better. Learning to breath you say? Don’t we all know how to breath? I mean, it’s inhale, exhale and repeat. How difficult could that be?
According to the doctor I saw yesterday, it’s not quite as simple. Within 5 minutes of me sitting down, she had me pegged – high-energy, high-adrenalin, lots of sighing and yawning and over-saturation of oxygen. In short, I over breath. She asked me if I’d experienced any of the following symptoms:
- Frequent sighing and yawning,
- Breathing discomfort*
- Disturbed sleep
- Erratic heartbeats*
- Feeling anxious and uptight
- Pins and needles
- Upset gut/nausea
- Chest Pains*
- Shattered confidence
- Tired all the time
- Achy muscles and joints
- Dizzy spells* or feeling spaced out
- Irritability or hypervigilance
- Feelings of ‘air hunger’
I could identify with 8 of them. Which is weird. All connected to over breathing. Apparently, your oxygen saturation should be between 95-97% and mine is constantly at 100%, even when I’m at rest. Because, really, I’m not ever at rest. I’m constantly on edge – should be doing something, thinking about something, going to do something. I walk fast, I eat fast, I speak fast.
My tasks for this week are to SLOW DOWN. I have some breathing exercises to do to get me to breathe less believe it or not, and work on SLOWING DOWN. More meditation. More rest time. More calm.
Even if you don’t over breathe, I think we can all benefit from slowing down, even if it’s only for 15 minutes a day. I know we’re entering or are currently in a crazy period of the year but I think this is something that is important. I have to learn to slow down, to be mindful, to breathe less and stress less. Anyone in with me?