I'm not standing on ceremony with this coronavirus.
Although I started practicing the Buteyko Breathing Technique about 10 years ago and "beat" my lifelong asthma, I know the reprieve is only as long as my respiratory strength is stronger than the trigger.
Smoke from fires that have engulfed Northern California these past couple years, didn't affect my breathing, although I made an effort to stay relaxed.
Historically, most of my triggers have been emotional. I had my first asthma attack when I was 4, after my father disappeared.
I can still become breathless when I'm over-the-top frustrated with my rebellious teen-age daughter.
When I've considered what might completely discombobulate me and get me wheezing in the future, the unexpected death of a loved one has come to mind.
Now it's clear that this coronavirus and COVID-19 are a clear threat.
Last week I called my doctor's office to get a prescription for some inhalers...just in case. It seemed wise to have them around.
We've been "sheltering in place" for more than 10 days now. I'm living in a damp-basement studio and never planned or expected to be here 24/7! I used to run the dehumidifier when I was out of the house long hours most days. Now I'm here feeling the cold draft it produces, or I shut it off.
Yesterday I was feeling antsy. I was trying to figure out my new video-editing software and get something done. I also needed to prepare for a difficult, important call today. My chest felt tight.
I taped my mouth to make sure I was nose-breathing all the time. I was surprised to find I was breathing heavy and set my intention to chill. My breathing-retraining mentors have always advised to just sit or lie down very quietly and breathe gently, or do consistent breath-holds, if you're not feeling well.
This has happened to me before when I'm worked up. A couple years ago I was a party in a lawsuit and every time I was served with new papers I would think I was coping well, but within 24 hours I'd get short of breath. This is the effect of chronic hidden hyperventilation where a person doesn't realize their breathing volume has increased.
So here I am again, consciously relaxing and making sure to breathe with my nose, stop breathing with my mouth and breathe less.
My intention in writing this is to share that breathing retraining is a process.Luckily, I haven't had the stress or need to put great attention on doing the foundational exercises for years, but now an occasion has arisen that requires more rigorousness, more relaxation, more determination. It's come around again.
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Breathing Retraining Center LLC’s educational products, courses and coaching are designed to improve breathing skills for people whose issues may be related to habits that have the potential to be improved, as a self-care/wellness activity. Breathing difficulty may be a warning sign of a life-threatening heart or lung condition, infection or other illness. Always check with your doctor about your own situation.The Buteyko Breathing Technique and other breathing-retraining strategies we teach are an alternative approach and are not the practice of medicine, psychology or a form of psychotherapy, nor are they a substitute for seeking medical or psychological advice from an appropriate professional health-care provider. We want to make the important distinction between using the Buteyko Breathing Technique and other breathing-retraining strategies for health and well-being and the practice of medicine, psychology or any other licensed health-care profession.Breathing classes, coaching and other services from Breathing Retraining Center LLC are offered by teachers who are not licensed by the State of California as physicians or other healing-arts practitioners unless so noted. We offer alternative non-medical/non-psychological techniques and our services are considered to be alternative or complementary to the healing arts that are licensed by the State of California.
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