A positive mindset, self-empowerment, drinking plenty of water and determinedly doing what I could to move lymph (please see previous posts) were important parts of my daily routine which I put together in order to regain my health. However, I became very aware that I had to improve my breathing in order to experience any real improvement. Pulmonary fibrosis, as a result of constant inflammation, was the diagnosis. Online information sources weren’t exactly encouraging about the prognosis. But then I had been there before, right at the outset, so I wasn’t going to get bogged down in the dismal predictions. If I were to become more mobile, move lymph and ensure adequate oxygenation of cells and organs ( remember cancer cannot survive in oxygen) then improving my breathing had to be pretty much at the top of my list.
The adjustable bed did help me breathe more easily through the night. I also had a spray to use, if in dire need and the pulmonary specialist made a point of letting me know that it would be possible to have oxygen at home if/when the need arose. Not exactly the most upbeat situation but I felt sure there had to be a way to improve things.
Number one, I obtained a salt pipe (not a nasty plastic one btw. but a traditional ceramic pipe). Yes, I did notice a difference. I used it for about twenty minutes daily and soon became aware that it was certainly clearing my airways. Having scoured the internet and Youtube I was excited to discover the Buteyko method and was impressed with presentations by Dr Artour Rakhimov. I am unable to find the exact video and article at this point but note that he has an informative blog: http://normalbreathing.blogspot.com/2013_08_01_archive.html. I began using a home-made device (constructed according to his explanations) and once I had recovered from the initial horror of my poor result on the self-assessment test I used the device for about 15 minutes daily. Again, the progress was noticeable. At the outset I emailed Dr Rakhimov to enquire whether this would be of help for me and he assured me that it could help me improve many of my health issues and suggested I contact him again if I needed further advice. At last – some positive news! And a kind and helpful doctor.
In addition to this I began practising Qi Gong again. At first, I managed only one of each stance or posture. But this form of exercise (claimed to massage the organs) also began to show benefits for me and I was soon back into my routine of doing three of each posture, and feeling so much better for the gentle exercise. In my experience I have found that If practised correctly, this ancient Chinese system of exercise has so many positives for general well-being and therefore has to be a part of my day, every day. I also include a short form of Wu style Tai Chi in my practice. I have found meditation to be very helpful in regulating breathing and helping calm breathing and also introduced this into my daily routine.
The result? Prognosis supposedly five years if not controlled. That was more than ten years ago and things have definitely changed for the better. No medication, no cortisone spray and no adjustable bed!
I came across this video, by chance, yesterday and it makes a lot of sense to me. If your breathing is weak through illness then exercising to open the lungs makes perfect sense. The exercises are done in a sitting position. Personally, if I was still very weak I would only do one or two of each to start with and gradually build up to the desired amount. However, in my present condition I completed all the exercises.
As always, I reiterate my personal disclaimer: I am not a doctor and cannot advise you on health issues. The above is simply a description of some of the many tactics I used to improve my health, ditch the docs and and dump the drugs.
Much more to follow in the coming months. :). If you are looking for a quick fix, then go to the doctor and get some prescription pharmaceuticals with all the associated and listed possible side effects and interactions.I was in it for the long haul. I am aware of so many chronically sick people who are not prepared to make lifestyle changes and continue to swallow the prescription drugs, eat junk food and smoke.And then look for the next quick fix. That is their choice. I am grateful that the situation with the medics led me to seek alternatives. I have seen the results of drug dependency and I can only be thankful that I didn’t pursue that path any further.