I am forever grateful to my breathing coach Tina Karkuletho who introduced me to this amazing breathing technique. Tina has given me a lot of knowledge during the four evenings we have met to learn about the basis of Conscious Breathing, the Relaxator, taping my mouth at night and doing different exercises with my mouth closed. After a few years where my health just got worse, I was diagnosed with SLE in 2000. SLE is an autoimmune disease, which means that my immune system attacks my own organs like the heart, kidneys, liver, and the central nervous system.
Also the lungs are affected in SLE, which has led to a lot of lung problems during the years. Since 2004 I’ve been on 50% disability pension, and since a year ago I’ve been on full-time disability pension.
I’ve made a turnaround in life
I couldn’t believe that you could improve that fast by just breathing consciously! But one thing is for sure — it works!!! Conscious Breathing is the best tool I’ve come across and it feels like I’ve made a turnaround in life. You can actually work yourself towards better health just by improving the way you breathe. I feel much calmer, happier and more energetic. And my head works much better ?
I use the Relaxator as much as I can, which can amount to several hours per day. I always use the Relaxator when doing chores in my home, except in the shower, ha-ha! An example is when I go to the laundry room, which is a joint service area for all the people living in the same apartment complex. It is located some distance away from my apartment, meaning that I have to carry the laundry back and forth. I have yet to become friends with the tape since I get slight panic attacks, but I try to use it at least every second night.
My cardiologist is very interested in my breathing retraining
Despite the fact that I’ve had health problems for almost 20 years and have had a lot of contact with the health care system, I’ve never been asked about my breathing habits. Normally I meet my cardiologist (heart doctor) once per year. To my great satisfaction, he is very curious and interested in what I am doing, and now he would like to see me every three months to follow my progress.
I take several different medications, and even if I haven’t reduced any medications yet, it will be very interesting to see what the breathing retraining can do. The eleven!! drugs I take are as follows:
- Alendronat 70 mg, 1 tab/week – for osteoporosis
- Plaquenil 200 g, 1 tab/day – for inflammations (anti-malaria drug)
- Folacin 5 mg, 1 tab/day between Saturday-Wednesday – folic acid (b-vitamin)
- Prednisolon 2,5mg, 1tab/day – for inflammations (cortisone)
- Metotab 2,5mg, 8 tab/every Thursday evening – chemotherapy
- Kalcipos-D forte 500mg, 1 tab/day – for osteoporosis
- Bisoprolol 5 mg, 1 tab/morning and evening – to lower the pulse
- Cordarone 200 mg, 1 tab/day – to reduce fibrillation
- Cozaar 50mg, 1 tab/day – for the heart
- Warfarin 2,5 mg, intake according to prescription – anticoagulant
- Euthyrox 50mg, 1tab/day
My dream is to be able to get rid of the cortisone and the medications for my thyroid gland and to lose weight.
Less stress and anxiety
Before, I used to have a lot of panic attacks. Thanks to the breathing retraining I am much calmer and don’t worry as much. Before, I would always imagine the worst-case scenario for every little thing. I was so easily stressed out and got a panic attack just from going to the supermarket.
Since I’ve learned Conscious Breathing, I have more control over my panic and it passes much quicker. “Take it easy and breathe,” I say to myself. I have gained inner peace and harmony in my body.
My mood is also much calmer; something I already notice in the morning when I wake up. When I ride in the car I don’t yell or scream at the other drivers or bikers any longer, ha-ha. I don’t care about them anymore.
Have lost 10 kg (22 pounds) in five weeks
I am severely overweight, and it all started a few years before I was diagnosed with SLE. As I started to feel worse and worse I didn’t have the energy to move as much and I started to gain weight. And all the medications I take, like cortisone, have also contributed to the continuing weight gain.
Before I started my breathing retraining, my weight was 147 kg (324 pounds), and in just five weeks I have lost 10 kg (22 pounds) and now weigh 137 kg (302 pounds). And this weight loss can be attributed solely to my breathing retraining!
When I started to use the Relaxator and train my diaphragm, my stomach started functioning better. I have also understood that fat cannot be burned without oxygen and that the breathing retraining improves oxygenation, which in turn increases my ability to burn fat.
Not as breathless when I engage in physical activity
My fitness has gotten worse and worse, to the point where I almost become breathless just talking. I find it problematic to move around, and for three years I have used a walking aid. But now it is becoming easier and easier to walk and my fitness has improved.
And best of all is that I no longer sound like a whistle or get bubbles in my chest when my activity becomes slightly more grueling. Before, I used to have asthma-like symptoms, but they are all gone now. Absolutely wonderful!
When I’m out walking I easily become breathless. I try to breathe as much as I can with my mouth closed. I have realized that when I move around and start to breathe heavily my breathing is stuck high up in the chest.
Nowadays I stop moving, and start to breathe slowly in and out through my nose, which makes the “huffing-and-puffing” breathing go away. Nose breathing calms me down a lot and my pulse drops quicker.
I am longing to be able to bike when the spring arrives. Then I will also bring the Relaxator with me in order to be able to keep the breathing relaxed.
So many changes in such a short notice and with so little efforts
During the first meeting with Tina we answered the questions in the Breathing Index. I only got 33.5 points out of 100. Since the lowest possible score is 20 it was obvious that my breathing had big room for improvement. After four weeks of breathing retraining my score has more than doubled to 79, amazing! In the evaluation we should grade ten different areas, and as you can see I have experienced a major improvement in most areas.
|Improvement (0=no improvement, 10=very big improvement)|
|Airways (nose, throat, lungs)||8|
|Fear, anxiety, depression||9|
- My skin has become completely different and I have got a totally different luster in my face.
- Atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), which I’ve had problems with since 2010, has diminished. I have not had nearly as many palpitations.
- I have had problems with my thyroid gland for over 5 years, and it was not until I started with Conscious Breathing that things began to happen (improve).
- I no longer get as breathless when I talk, which people around me have noticed.
- I don’t yawn as much in the evenings anymore. I guess it’s because I’m not becoming oxygen deficient any longer.
- My morning mood is much better. I feel more energetic and happy.
- My blocked nose is much better now.
- The temperature in my body has stabilized and I don’t feel as feverish anymore. I used to be very hot and swollen in my joints, but this has improved.
- I have an inhaler — an asthma spray that I’ve been instructed to use morning and evening as long as I live, which I have done for many years. However, I haven’t needed to use this spray at all since I started to do breathing retraining five weeks ago.
I hope to be able to inspire others
That Conscious Breathing can have such a profound effect on my body was not “on the chart.” I don’t regret for a second that I started the 7 Step CBR Program to Better Breathing. Actually, when I read the text above I shudder. I sincerely hope that my story can inspire others. They can have a new life!
I have inspired the neighbor boy, who has asthma, to improve his breathing. Before, he used to take his asthma medication 6-7 times per day, and now he is down to only once per day. He hardly opens his mouth any longer when he plays soccer and handball, and thanks to this he finds it much easier to breathe. I have now acquired a Relaxator that I will give to him on his 10th birthday ?