ME myalgic encephalomyelitis/CFS chronic fatigue syndrome/SEID systemic exertion intolerance disease
- You have no physical or mental energy to do the things you love, play with the kids/grandkids. Perhaps you can’t work or contribute to the family income.
- Or, every scrap of energy goes into your job, you socialise less and less, use the weekends to try to recover for work again on Monday.
- Maybe you have a partner who you are too tired to support in the evening. You may feel you are sacrificing family life to keep your job.
- You may find that friends and colleagues do not understand, perhaps they run out of sympathy – you look OK, what you have is hidden. They would have more sympathy if you had a broken leg.
- You may feel you have little to offer. Perhaps friends try to help and arrange events that you have to cancel at the last minute as you have an energy dip you cannot predict, so you feel unreliable too. You feel frustrated that you cannot do what you once could, it is hard to accept.
- If you make it to the social event you may take days to recover from the effort. So next time you don’t go. You may start to feel isolated.
- You wonder if you will ever feel well again, in fact it is likely that you are accumulating more symptoms affecting more systems: headaches, IBS, cold hands, dizziness, itchy skin, blocked nose, palpitations, anxiety, asthma getting worse etc. You may have trouble getting a good night’s sleep but even if you sleep long hours you do not wake feeling refreshed.
- You may have tried hard to find a solution, to get better by any means. Perhaps you have had good support from work if you are lucky, with reduced hours or working from home. Perhaps you have a sympathetic GP, you have had a diagnosis of ME/CFS/FM (Myalgic Encephalopathy, or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/fibromyalgia) and have tried what the medical profession has to offer; perhaps pacing, graded exercise therapy (GET), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and you may be one of the lucky ones who got some relief.
- Or perhaps you have seen several specialist consultants at various hospitals; it is quite normal to become a “fat folder” patient as they fail to find a reason for your symptoms. ME/CFS seems to be what they call it if they cannot find anything in the tests to explain your symptoms. You are determined to find something that helps.
- You may have researched complementary therapies, and tried massage, reflexology, cranial osteopathy and more, and perhaps spent a small fortune on supplements, diets and having your mercury amalgam fillings removed. Some of these interventions (especially if they help you to relax) have helped, partially or for a while, but not enough. You are determined to get better and may be considering some of the more outlandish therapies in your desperation.
Several studies have now shown a link between Long COVID and hyperventilation. Breathing retraining may help recovery in long COVID sufferers.
However, you could have overlooked something vital: most people with chronic ill health have a disordered breathing pattern without knowing it. This may be the missing piece of the puzzle for many people. Breathing? It is automatic and takes care of itself right? Wrong! It can get out of whack and inefficient without you realising, and this is not something doctors are usually trained to look for.
So, disordered, inefficient breathing can deplete the body tissues of oxygen and therefore energy. But you do yoga and meditation so you have your breathing sorted? Not necessarily, you need to have a better breathing pattern 24/7, day and night, for good health.
The good news is that a disordered breathing pattern can be retrained and revert to a more normal one, to allow more oxygen to get into the body tissues again. (Perhaps it will surprise you to hear that many sick people over breathe or hyperventilate and have to be taught to breathe LESS to get more oxygen in the tissues). This soon allows better sleep and feeling refreshed on waking.
The energy levels usually start to rise soon after. It makes sense, better breathing leads to better health, breathing is not to be taken for granted. Would you like to feel the relief of your symptoms starting to improve? Would you like to have strategies to deal with stressful times, reduce anxiety and to reduce the chance of relapses?
Better breathing is my business; I have been a qualified Buteyko breathing educator since 2009. Breathing education became my mission when I recovered my own health (ME/CFS migraine, anxiety and more) by retraining my disordered breathing pattern. For me (after trying many different avenues) breathing education worked. Such a simple natural way of health control. After finding the missing piece of my own health puzzle, I want to share it with others and give hope for some recovery from this devastating disease.
I gently guide clients through the basics of good breathing so that speed, volume, route of breath all settle into a more normal range. So no weird techniques are uses, it is more about undoing abnormal, disordered breathing habits and allowing a natural pattern to be unmasked. I advise about diet, how to get a good night’s sleep, and how to breathe while speaking and exercising, which are often challenging activities for people with fatigue. I also teach you breathing exercises that cut right through a panic attack. Clients usually see improvement in some symptoms within a few days.
You can contact me here: