I feel my last couple of posts were heavy. But to be clear, not in an ashamed way, I feel proud of being able to be openly vulnerable. Many mindfulness masters, if you like, will encourage the idea of ‘surrendering’, being open to failure, risk and having an open heart. I really do believe it’s the key to ultimate healing, whatever life circumstances or health conditions are thrown at you. It’s the only way to grow, love and be unapologetically human.
The latter months of 2017 and beginning of 2018 had been tough for me emotionally and on my already ‘weakened’ lungs and immune system. I’d gone through a breakup, lost my grandma and went through an operation. Those have all passed now and each one has been a journey in and of itself, with huge efforts to sustain my condition.
It’s also prudent to check in with oneself, even when life isn’t being volatile, tough to cope with or if you’re generally feeling well. Only because prevention is better than cure 😉
So whilst life goes on these are the following ‘life maintenance’ and keeping-health-in- check hacks.
- Take your medication regularly: sounds obvious but if you don’t, an onset of COPD symptoms can come on quite quickly. Also be aware of your cycles, for example I take the preventative antibiotic Azythromycin, but only seasonally (in the winter months). As I don’t want to be over-reliant on antiobiotics, but I do for example, take my COPD inhalers every day along with Carbocisteine and my nebuliser in the morning and at night. Also educate yourself on being organic- without vilifying western medicine, it is important to not be over-reliant on drugs, especially in a pill-heavy society when the default is to swallow medicine expecting magic. It’s about balance. Western medicine can do wonders for us, but too much of it can also be dangerous.
- Exercise: The last thing you’ll want to do is get more out of breath, but it is important to keep the respiratory muscles strong. Just as muscles can physically grow and get stronger with regular exercise, so can your organs. Energetically, you will also benefit from detoxifying your body of negative vibes ;). It is rewarding too, mentally, to be able to overcome something even with your physical challenges and limitations. Check out my post on exercising and breathing. For COPD sufferers, I really recommend yoga, pilates or tai chi. It’s not as vigorous as cardio programmes but still very challenging and excellent for strength, endurance, fitness and keeping your mind balanced, calm and humble.
- Eating right: Whether you’re over-weight or under-weight, the key is to manage it so that you’re not exerting pressure on your organs to process and detoxify. It should be balanced. And for me, I’m under-weight, and even a 2kg increase would provide functional improvements, so I make a conscious effort to eat nourishing foods (and swear by avacado’s every day!) I try to avoid processed foods/sugar/salt etc. Plenty of greens and fresh fruit, fish, chicken and protein. I also only drink warm water (not cold), ginger tea, green tea and milk (despite the myths around milk being mucus causing). Find whatever works and be good to your body. I also take cod liver supplements, ginger root and ginseng.
- Masks: I live in the north of Scotland, less polluted, but a hell-of-alot windier/colder! And with that, it can be very difficult to go out for walks (especially when we’ve had what has felt like the longest winter this year). That said, you don’t want to be limited, so it’s worth investing it something like a vogmask and buffwear.
- Saltcaves: Consider amplifying your preventative approach or if you’re feeling ill currently, attending regular therapeutic salt sessions. I regularly attend the salt cave clinics and can confidently say it’s helping keep my lungs clear (along with salt inhalers and himalayan lamps!). You can always a try a pilot if you’re unsure but the benefits are endless.