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Waiting To Exhale: Breathing and ME/CFS

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by Cort, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    Good to hear Cort!

    Interesting thread, I am 1 of these weird breathers also. I can bike for about an hour with no issue but get winded by climbing a couple to 3 flights of stairs!
     
  2. floydguy

    floydguy Senior Member

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    I found this thread really interesting. I always bring this symptom up but nobody ever really comments on it. This issue became apparent to me when I was in physical therapy and the therapist kept telling me to remember to breathe. At first, it was a joke and then we realized that I was not breathing normally even during physical exercise. I found qi gong helps a lot. Many of the exercises focus on breathing. It's very helpful. I've wondered for a while how much this contributes to poor sleep. CPAP did not help me at all and as noted earlier made it worse.
     
  3. paddygirl

    paddygirl Senior Member

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    irregular breathing

    I've had this problem for years and did yoga to help. I was a pretty anxious person so I know that contributed.

    I went to an Australian Naturopath while in India (the only place I can afford to indulge in lots of treatments.) After telling him about the ME/FM he said he didn't believe in it.

    He was pretty forceful about it and said the problem was my breathing. While I know it's very bad for my health I don't think it's the whole story.

    When Dr Mikovits was interviewed a few times, I heard her mention the autonomic system. Please correct me if I'm wrong on the name. It's the system that regulates the automatic or unconscious body functions and when Dr M talked about it she mentioned breathing, along with temp control and other systems.

    I hope to get to the U.S. to attend a lecture by Dr M in the Autumn. if I get a chance I'll ask her about it. Who knows how the twists and turns of this illness will evolve by then.

    Just my two cents worth,

    Paddy
     
  4. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    The problem with breathing--I have it too!--is part of Disautonomia: problems in the Autonomic Nervous System which is supposed to automatically regulate a lot of organ functions. Look up Disautonomia! This category of problems is part of the Canadian Consensus Definition of ME/CFS.

    Sing
     
  5. paddygirl

    paddygirl Senior Member

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    Thanks Sing, I have taken in so much information since October last that I can't keep track of it all. Having only two functioning brain cells most of the time doesn't help.

    What really gets me is the thought of all those people out there who have our condition and who don't know all this stuff. I tell anyone I can get hold of with it, but many more are so isolated.

    Paddy x
     
  6. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    Reviving an old thread...I'm going to learn how to breathe anew!

    I'm overwhelmed with supplements and meds at the moment and bummed about the sorry state of my adrenals. I feel like if I could just get some control over my nervous system, all of those things might improve that I want to improve like hormonal function, mitochondrial function etc etc.

    So I've bought this Wild Divine package for a 30 day trial to see if it will hold my attention. I suck at meditation but I generally like games. Hope this is a nice mixture of the two.

    If not, it's going back!! :)
     
  7. manna

    manna Senior Member

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    i like the yoga quote - "breathing with your mouth is like eating with your nose". a litttle extreme but it delivers a good point.

    i had asthma before i had mecfs so had looked into breathing before i got ill (98). butyeko claimed that mouth/chest breathing causes "hidden hyperventilation". after a few months of using my nose, together with abdominal breathing, it became my natural way to breathe again - so retraining and prompting the autonomic system perhaps.i cured the asthma with breathing, dietary changes and acupuncture...a week later i got mecfs after a dental appointment but sooo glad i was off the high strength, 4 times a day, meds/inhaler- which i think would have negatively affected the mecfs.

    when im resting i also practise some abdominal breathing. i generally breath in slowly through my nose whilst my abdomen rises first and then my chest rises for a full use of lung capacity (important and opens and activates the navel, sloar plexus and heart centre.) and then a slow exhale through the nose - exhale is slightly longer than the inhale. sometimes i hum as im exhaling as this vibrates the cells in your body, in particular upper chest and throat, and so relaxes and even detoxes a little i think. sometimes i hum the mantra lam (base chakra) vam (navel) ram (solar plexus) yam (heart centre) ham (throat) om (brow) silent om (crown) with my outbreath. its also good to exercise your voice box like this, especially if you live alone and don't talk much.

    also i find alternate nostril breathing, a yoga technique/exercise, to be noticably relaxing and cleansing -hmmm should get back into that.

    in chin. med. the lung meridian (hi-phase 3 a.m. to 5 a.m.) follows after the liver meridian (1-3 a.m.) and is followed by the colon (5-7 a.m.)...hence why breath work, and the general state of the lungs, helps to activate the liver and colon. and also, conversely, why the state of the liver and colon meridians affects breathing/lungs. important, i think, is the role of diet as what "sits", for extended periods in the colon, directly affects breathing/lungs- if you imagine that what enters the blood stream from the outer surface of the colon will come into contact with the surface of the lungs. and from the other perspective, the air you breath can affect the colon, i.e. air fresheners, deodorants, etc sitting on the surface of the lungs and charging them up.

    i came across salt pipes after suffering pleurisy a couple of years back, which knocked me for a six- took my personality with it, whats left. the heart chakra is supposedly of the most powerfull out of all the chakras/energy centres/glands. within 2 weeks, following feeling reallllly ill, triggered by the inhaler, my lungs were 95% better. probably one of the most powerfull healing experiences since being ill- incidentally they're used by one doc for "lyme patient"s, probably due to their immune enhancing affects. the salt inhalers showed me a couple of things; how much of your immediate anxiety is held in your lungs. my bro, whom i bought one for his asthma, reported the same immediate relaxation following as little as 3-4 inhales on a pipe; also the inhalers initiate immediate bowel movement- which i relate to fact that a soothed lung (meridian) more easily flows into the colon meridian, thus activating it. i do find they can be over-used, with no real bad affects, but you need something in the bowel to create a ground.

    breathwork is certainly helpfull in my experience.

    edit: also breathing through the nose is more apt to warming the air you breath, cleaning it via the 1000's of little hairs creating vortices and there is more suction required. so you're breathing like nature which uses indirect implosion energy as opposed to direct explosive energy- think bellows, and how they suck air in for blowing on a fire. abdominal breathing implodes and sucks energy into the form...chest breathing is explosive and sends energy away. to remain slightly alkaline, you should implode slightly more than explode, generally speaking, system wide. tai chi, quigong and yoga are implosive forms of exercise.
    this reminded me of the film about the cornflake inventor, who ran a health farm apparently, and one of the things the patients would do was to be put in a bed outside for, i assumed, a thorough intake of oxygen...anthony hopkins in "the road to wellville" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111001/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_48
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
  8. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    Hilarious, @manna, because I am actually from Battle Creek MI and spent quite a bit of time on the grounds of the sanitarium cross country skiing etc. The Kellogg family is very familiar to me.

    Anyway, I've spent about 1.5 hours screwing around with the Wild Divine computer program this morning and am about ready to throw it out the window. Their sensor thingy doesn't seem to be working with my computer and the instructions are pretty woeful.

    I sent an email to their tech support but we'll see...so far no bueno.
     
  9. manna

    manna Senior Member

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    ah cool. it was a good film i thought and much of what they were doing, lymph cleasing etc seemed quite current. the wild divine sounds interesting...bio-feedback i imagine, or summat like that. i don't like using pc's anymore than i have to unfortunately.
     
  10. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    @Ema, did the Wild Divine get sent home?
     
  11. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    Yes, yes, it did. :)

    I have a feeling it might work better on a PC than it did on my Mac though. She said it wasn't optimized for the touchpad instead of a regular mouse yet but they were working on it.

    Overall it was just about 3x more expensive than I thought it should be for what it was.

    Now I'm working on meditation using the LifeFlow program which I am still not convinced isn't a big pile of marketing BS either but we'll see. There is a year guarantee!
     
    Little Bluestem likes this.
  12. sueami

    sueami Senior Member

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    I have to chime in on this thread. I was going to start one, but I wanted to wait another couple weeks for good measure.

    On Monday, my physician suggested to me that I might be overbreathing when I told him that I was dismayed that my exercise intolerance was getting worse and worse and I couldn't walk around the block without getting breathless and heart palpitations and anxiety about it.

    I wasn't sure he was right but I went home and looked up the term, found Buteyko's protocol and an Irish practitioner. Bought his book on my Kindle after I did his initial "control pause" test and was shocked at how hard it was for me to control my yawning/sighing/gasping for breath. I had to fight with myself to not overbreath and my control pause (the amount of time I could go at the end of an exhalation without strongly needing to inhale) was five or six seconds, really low according to this protocol.

    I'm not a shallow breather but I now realize I was amplifying my hyperventilation by a meditation practice I'd recently started doing. I was spending 40 minutes to an hour a day "breathing" prana to different parts of my body, deep breath after deep breath, and this was on top of habitual sighing that I was doing, and sniffling from allergies, and yawning from fatigue.

    I've been working on two things for the last four days:

    1) not letting myself overbreath by keeping my mouth closed (and even taping it closed at night, as recommended) and by fighting the yawns and sighs and only breathing through my nose during the day, and

    2) resetting my brain's carbon-dioxide sensor by deliberately underbreathing and letting carbon dioxide build up in my lungs and blood several times a day. There's an exercise program, four minutes of underbreathing, two minutes of normal breathing, and a control pause test, then repeat four times, doing all this 3 times a day.

    My control pause is now 11 seconds. My lungs went through an initial phase for a day or so of feeling unhappy, similar to the inflamed feeling I used to get exercising in smog in SoCal, but that's nearly completely gone, and I walked with my daughter today with no heart palpitations and much less windedness. I'm actually shocked at how well I'm responding to this. I think my fatigue is lightening also, and some neurochemical "brightening" is going on too.

    I can't wait to see how I'm doing after three weeks, which seems to be a good length of time to reset breathing patterns and restore CO2/O2 ratios.

    This has to be the cheapest intervention I've tried yet, and easy to do, as I'm tired and needing to lie down anyway, I might as well be doing the breathing exercises. I'll post more definitive results in another couple weeks.

    Sue
     
    ggingues and Little Bluestem like this.
  13. JAM

    JAM Jill

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    I didn't read all the comments in this thread, but had to share. I have taught meditation and breathing exercises since 2001, and practice regularly, but... I had never taken a full breath in my life until I had a high dose bit C treatment. The relief only lasts for 5 days at a time. :( My point is that not being able to breath is a symptom, not the problem. I still do the breathing exercises and meditation, just with the knowledge that it isn't going to really cure anything.
     
    metalnun likes this.
  14. metalnun

    metalnun

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    Ujjayi breath along with simple, gentle arm movements is very beneficial although as JAM said, not a "cure" per se. My teacher, Mark Whitwell, recommends doing this yoga for at least 7 minutes every morning and it really does wonders for physical as well as mental/emotional stress. Here he is demonstrating the technique.
     

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