I was in the kitchen doing kitchen stuff and all of a sudden I realized that I tend to take small, shallow breaths. If I am doing meditation, stress relief or trying to calm down an asthma attack I focus on deep breathing but I think the rest of the time I take really shallow breaths. Perhaps even smaller then most people, maybe because it just seems like more of an effort to get the air into the lungs. So I started focusing on what I was taught in Pilates and expanding the rib cage. You can put your hands on the side of your rib cage and feel them expand. It automatically makes me breathe deeper as I focus on the rib cage. Then, I can “carry on” so to speak and bring the breathe into the belly. However, for purposes of the asthma I am more focused on the rib cage. Maybe, after all these years of having constricted airways my lungs (and by my lungs I mean me) have gotten lazy with how I breathe. Perhaps I need to retrain my healthy lungs to actually work properly. And surprisingly it helps. And it feels really good, like stretching when your muscles are tight. It won’t reduce the inflammation and mucous in the airways, but it does help get oxygen into what space there is available. For those who aren’t familiar with asthma the image below shows what happens to the airways:
I also believe that sometimes I go to the inhaler when I don’t need to. I get a bit panicked and think I need the inhaler when what I really need is to focus and bring some oxygen into the lungs.
I have started taking Turmeric Supreme Allergy by Gaia to help with the inflammation that comes with asthma (or causes the asthma, who knows). Turmeric has curcumin which is great at reducing inflammation. After my turmeric shot debacle (see day 11) I thought perhaps pill form might be useful until my body forgets the heaving incident. It also contains quercitin, a plant pigment that gives food their colour, and it is great for allergies. It works as an antihistamine and reduces inflammation as well. I gave it to my son when he was young to help with hay fever and it worked quite well. Before trying it I had asked an allergist about it and he said that it wouldn’t work, but also that he had never heard of it. So based on zero research and knowledge he was able to just sense that it wouldn’t work. Impressive.
To help deal with the excess mucous that asthma creates I have been drinking water with lemon and juicing apples and lemons. I leave the rind on as long as it is organic. Citrus in general helps with mucous and also helps to alkalinize the body. Even though citrus fruits are acidic, they are alkaline forming in the body. Kind of weird but that’s chemistry for you. As mentioned turmeric also helps as does ginger. I will also take a herbal tonic called RespirActin when I am done the cleanse Rosemary is a main ingredient and it tastes wonderful.
Rosemary as an essential oil is supposed to be helpful as well but I haven’t tried it yet. Another essential oil I would like to try is eucalyptus. Saje has a roll-on eucalyptus that I think wold be helpful, kind of a modern day Vicks VapoRub. Anyone remember VapoRub? It has been around since 1890! The one in the right was from my era, I still remember the pretty cobalt blue jar:
Eucalyptus was an ingredient in this goop that was rubbed on the chest of many children before bed. However, it has a base of petroleum jelly (petrolatum) which has been classified as a carcinogen by the EU (not in Canada). Petroleum jelly can also be a skin irritant which is interesting because parent’s used to, or maybe still do, use it as a moisture barrier for diaper rash. Anyway, VapoRub has some good ingredients in it that would be helpful for asthma and I think rubbing it on the chest was pure genius. However, I think a non-petroleum base would be better.