This week, my social media feeds, and the UK press have been full of discussion about the future of our NHS.
Donald Trump’s insistence that the NHS is part of any possible post-Brexit trade discussions with America has sent fear into the hearts of many.
We know that an America style insurance system is the complete antithesis of everything our NHS stands for. Under the NHS, you get the treatment and care you need, regardless of income. In America, everything costs money, and pre-existing conditions aren’t covered. In America, people go bankrupt trying to keep themselves and their loved ones alive. People die because they can’t afford the care they need. Hospitals turn people away because their insurance won’t cover them.
The day after Mr Trump’s comments, I went to my doctor’s to order a repeat ventolin prescription. I was able to do so without worry about what it would cost me. I know it will cost me nothing.
In Wales, all prescriptions are free, thanks to our NHS. I know that in an American style healthcare system, this would not be the case. If, or when, we lose our NHS, I and millions of others will find that the conditions the NHS has been treating and supporting us for are no longer covered. We will still be able to get the treatment we need, but it will come at a massive cost. I will not get cover for pre-existing asthma. Reliance on ventolin become unaffordable for me in my current financial situation. An asthma attack can and does kill. Although I haven’t had an asthma attack for years, this is a terrifying thought.
I have been giving a lot of thought to what I can do to help myself survive this.
I have a powerful resource that can improve my chances of that. And it is something that you can use to help yourself as well.
Breathe to live
When I learned to breathe better, my life, and particularly my health, was transformed.
I was able to heal myself from years of stress, depression, self loathing, insomnia and anxiety. Had I ever sought medical help for these, I would have certainly been on medication.
Instead, I found recovery and healing through breathing.
Learning to breathe helped me to transform my life and my health
Learning to breathe enabled me to give up drinking and smoking. It gave me new coping strategies as well as healing the mental health problems listed above.
An ongoing gynaecological problem I was seeing a consultant about disappeared. It has never returned. The IBS symptoms I suffered for years with are no longer a problem.
The dust allergy that had plagued my whole life retreated and rarely causes me problems. I hardly ever use antihistamines anymore. If I am about to embark on a deeper clean that will involve moving furniture and stirring up lots of dust I will take one. I also need them I am going somewhere I know there are cats. I am allergic to them and have instant reactions to them.
The asthma I was diagnosed with as a child has become far less a problem. I am able to control my breathing when I start to feel that wheeziness. Before I learned to breathe, I would reach for my ventolin many times a day. Better stress management means that I have fewer stress-related asthma incidents. Discovering that I don’t have my ventolin no longer sends me into an immediate asthma attack.
Learning to breathe enabled me to give up smoking. This was possibly the most self destructive thing I ever did in a life littered with self destruction. This helped reduce the symptoms of asthma, but I had asthma for a long time before I started smoking. It was not the cause of the asthma.
I still have asthma, and still do need to have my medication. But I use it far less than I used to, and no longer fear asthma as much as I used to.
As you can see, my learning to breathe properly has saved our NHS a lot of money. As well as helping with the conditions I already had, it has helped reduce many possible harms. An alcoholic who doesn’t stop drinking, and a smoker who can’t stop smoking will need a considerable amount of medical intervention.
How your breath can help your health
Every cell in your body requires feeding. The way we feed our cells is through breathing. When you breathe in, you take in oxygen. The more oxygen you can take in, the more oxygen is available for your cells. It is
Photo by Jenny Hill on Unsplash
possible to live with barely enough oxygen in your lungs and your cells. But it is like living a whole life on a diet of junk food and no fresh vegetables. It is possible, but there will be complications.
When we breathe out, we release carbon dioxide. This is the waste produced by the cells after they process the oxygen they need. Carbon dioxide is toxic to the body, so we need to adequately release it.
When you breathe properly, the cells, and the muscles, organs and systems they contribute to all function better. I have discovered that I can run since learning to breathe. I choose not to most of the time. But when I need to run I can do so without collapsing into a sweaty, breathless heap after a minute!
I once walked the 55 miles of Taff Trail over 3 days. I had done no training whatsoever, apart from breathing practices.
My mental and physical health are all improved thanks to better breathing. Yours can be too.
Breath – a powerful natural stress reliever
Much healing can arise when you are able to control your breath, and breathe well. Many people know that better breathing helps to reduce stress. I can vouch for its power at this.
Stress is a common factor in many health problems. People get sick and die every day because of the impact of stress on wellbeing. Heart problems, stroke, cancer, asthma, IBS, dementia, diabetes, migraines, obesity, depression, and more can be either caused or worsened by stress.
While we can’t always to control the circumstances around us, we can learn to control our response to it. And your breath is a powerful tool to help with this.
Your breath is intimately connected to your central nervous system. When you are relaxed, your breath will be slow, and deep. When you are stressed in any way, your breathing will be shallow, fast and erratic. By slowing down the breath, you take your mind and body out of the stress response. Slow breathing puts you into the relaxation response.
Unfortunately, in the moment of stress, it can be hard to remember this. The stress response puts us into ‘animal mode’, so we react with our emotions rather than our brains. Often, we react out of anger or stress, only to regret our words or actions once we have calmed down. If you are able to take that breath before reacting, you can avoid this. But unless you are used to turning to your breath, it might not occur to you.
This is one of the reasons why taking the time to learn to breathe can be so powerful. It can give you a set of tools that you can turn to when you need it. The more you practice deep, slow, controlled breathing, the more you will naturally turn to it when you need it. A regular breath practice will lower your stress levels in general and give you additional resilience to stress. So you might find you don’t get so stressed out to begin with.
If you can control your breath, you can control your emotions. When you can control your emotions, you control your response to the world, and take control of your life
Invest in your health, learn to breathe
Learning to breathe well might be one of the best investments you can make. When you breathe well, you are giving your body and mind a great gift. I would love to show you just how much you can benefit from learning to breathe better.
Invest in your health today, and book your one to one online breath coaching with me. I will show you some powerful ways you can use and develop your breath. This will help you improve your health and wellbeing, control stress and gift yourself deep relaxation and calm.
Coaching starts at just £97, a small investment for your health and wellbeing, I am sure you will agree.