Breathe Right, Now
At the age of 2 I was hospitalized with pneumonia. I grew up with parents that smoked. I had chronic bronchitis until my mid 30’s, breathing issues for decades, and pneumonia at 2, in my teens and 20’s. At times it was painful to breath and I know my breathing was impaired. I went to the doctors/hospitals on numerous occasions because I couldn’t get enough air. I had a puffer for a while but I really didn’t like the idea of using it. I was offered medication but didn’t take it. I had grown up on antibiotics, cough syrup, medication and I didn’t want to continue on this path.
When I breathed it hurt, like I couldn’t get enough air. This would cause anxiety because I always felt like I was gasping and struggling to live.
No one ever told me about breathing exercises. No one ever mentioned my diet. No one ever mentioned an energetic connection to what the pain in my lungs represented. Now this was in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, so the options & knowledge we have now was not available back then – or at least not presented to me.
When I got married, my husband or I (usually me) would have to go to another room because I was coughing all night – my lungs were so raw – they hurt. Then I had children and this continued and I was exhausted. Coughing all night and then being with small children all day wore me out and I knew I had to change something.
I had become a Pilates Instructor in the late 90’s (after already being a Personal Trainer/Fitness Instructor for years) but hadn’t connected properly with my breath because I was always rushing. I was always too busy to do something so simple as breath. I had to work out hard, play hard and who had time to breath…how boring.
I was also consuming a high sugar diet (yes, homemade goodies but also bread, pasta, cereal, alcohol -you know – it was the low fat/no fat craze) and no one ever mentioned to me that this was affecting my health. You can read more about that here (Releasing My Sugar Shame and How to Get off Sugar) because these steps are an important part of my healing process.
Back to the breathing…
“Getting oxygen into your cells is every bit as important as eating the right foods and drinking fresh, pure water. But usually we take breathing for granted, in spite of it being our most fundamental need.”, says Dr. Mercola.
It’s fabulous that our lives are more comfortable now with modern conveniences but we are also more susceptible to the damage caused by consumption of processed foods, stress and reduced physical exercise, so we need to be smarter about what we are doing.
All these factors negatively influenced my breathing and maybe yours too (I deal with a lot of clients who have shortness of breath). You may not realize it, but carbon dioxide plays an essential role in utilizing the oxygen within your body. When your carbon dioxide level is too low, changes in your blood pH make your red blood cells (hemoglobin) less able to release oxygen in your cells. This is a problem because oxygen is the fuel for your cells. Without enough oxygen, your cells can’t perform their duties optimally, they become more susceptible to viruses, and they can’t create as much energy. So, no wonder I was tired all the time and that my muscles were so sore after working out.
- Notice your breath during different times of the day. Do you breathe through your nose? Do you breathe deeply into your belly? When do you experience shortness of breath – when you are anxious, frustrated, angry etc.? For me, paying attention was the first step and it also put me in the present moment.
- Consciously begin to breathe through your nose. When I first started I would have to gasp through my mouth for air, but over time, this changed. Don’t give up but work within your limits. Breathing through your nose will radically improve your breathing and thus your levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen. Your respiratory system is not designed for you to breathe constantly through your mouth. Mouth breathing results in many common complaints and health issues such as difficulty sleeping, low energy, weight gain, headaches, dehydration and even low libido.
Check out the Buteyko Breathing Method here to help you to breathe through your nose.
- I also discovered that your lungs are connected to grief, depression – and yes, I had been holding on to a lot of grief about my parent’s divorce when I was a teenager and had attached to the belief that I felt I wasn’t worthy of attention or love…and boy – I held onto this belief for far too long – but it was keeping me safe but stuck (see Cookie Dough in the Dark)!!! I started to include Louise Hay’s mantra of “I have the capacity to take in the fullness of life. I lovingly live life to the fullest.” Did I believe that at first…NO. But I kept saying it, as I often tell my clients, sometimes you have to fake it, till you make it. This has freed so many of my clients (but that’s another blog).
- Simple Shifts to your diet. I slowly but surely cleaned up my diet. I surrounded myself with people that lived the healthy life I wanted and asked them what they did. Read Getting Off Sugar
- This is a toughy…but I let go of my story….arrggh . I was getting a payoff. I was getting attention for being sick & I was sabotaging myself (keeping me stuck)…did I say that out loud – it hurts to say that. It’s true though. We get more attention being sick than being healthy. I grew up and I let that little hurt girl go and now with all the steps I’ve taken, I’m breathing like a CHAMP. It’s a distant memory of what it felt like to breathe with pain, or to cough until I thought my lungs would fly out of me. But I made a choice and you can too!!! Information without action, is just information…what’s your action!
Tanya Morrison has been in the Health/Wellness and Fitness Field for over two decades and has coached and trained many clients during this time. She is a certified Personal Trainer, Precision Nutrition Coach, Pilates/Aerobics/Yoga Instructor and more. She is the creator of the Busy Mama Reboot 28 day program, 10 Day Body Reset Detox, 30 Days to a New You, Holistic Weight Management System and many more on-line programs. To find out more about these life changing programs check out the testimonials and information at www.moveyourbody.ca
Tanya has created FREE Healthy Living Challenges that you can sign up for HERE, because even though we know all this “healthy stuff” it’s good to be reminded to keep it in our awareness. Tanya created the Busy Mama Healthy Mama Facebook page so that like-minded mama’s could get great healthy information and recipes in a fun and light-hearted way.
Tanya also teaches many different classes at Move Your Body Studio in Bobcaygeon, www.moveyourbody.ca and has written Healthy Snacks for Kids, Get the Skinny on Skinny Jeans & Living Vibrantly with Raw Goodness – Your Guide to Juicing & Blending, the 21 Laws of Irrefutable Fat Loss, How to Get Rid of Cellulite and more. Her blog, www.tanyamorrison.ca has lots of great articles to help you navigate your way to the healthy life you want, tons of recipes and great tips!
Tanya presents High Performance Nutrition for Kids and Teens, How to Become an Efficient Fat Burner, hosts Raw Smoothie Parties and many more presentations. Please contact her to set up your presentation.
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