Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Breathing, Posture And COPD - With Love From Ann On A Monday Morning

A lovely way to begin the week with Ann at EFFORTS

Having COPD and waking up happy on a Monday morning, might sound very far fetched, but the sun was out, there was such a beautiful low lying mist settled over the field that I almost expected Unicorns to emerge, instead of the horses. I felt so good that it was 10.15 am before I realised I hadn't used my Foradil, Spiriva and Flovent.

This great start to the day made me want to share with members ways of improving how we breathe. This doesn't involve yet more drugs but is just the fact of being aware of, and improving our posture. Most of us know how exhausting it can be to pick something off the floor or to try and put our socks and shoes on, and this is because we are folding our bodies, causing various organs and a little chub to be compressed into the lung area.
To a lesser degree this happens when we are standing badly, slouching, and when we are sitting hunched up and slumping. Most of us could probably do with an alarm, set to shrill at 10 minute intervals with a mean voice like the actor Billy Bob Thornton's, to tell us to stand tall/sit up straight, for goodness sake.
It has taken me months to improve my standing posture which used to be excellent prior to COPD diagnosis, putting up with dear Gillies [husband] walking by and saying in passing:'posture darling, posture,'in a critical voice. I know he was trying to help me, but I came close to wanting to bop him on his dear little nose. Anyway, it has almost become a new good habit and I do feel so much better for it.

The other thing that can hamper our breathing, is having our heads at the wrong angle. If we hold our chins down towards the neck or if our heads are tipped backwards, we are shutting off part of the airways. One way to practice having the head in an optimum position, is to pretend there is a thread of strong elastic fastened to the top of it, pulling gently towards the ceiling. :) Here are two links on the subject of improving movement and posture.
The technique has been around for over a hundred years and is recommended by the medical profession to improve movement and alleviate pain.



With love - Ann in England ~