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4 Steps to Breathe Easier
Written by Dr. Romie on Apr 27, 2015
Mind-body Medicine Tags: breatheHealthHolistic HealthIntegrative Nutrition

Do you just wish you could escape from your desk today?

I was in the middle of morning clients and was literally having difficulty breathing.  Over the last two weeks, I have been battling chemical pneumonitis- inflammation in the lungs from getting exposed to chemicals.  How ironic right?  My TEDx talk teaches the powerful secret of our breath, but somehow I lost the ability to breathe. 

My clients in the last week were no different.  Allergies, asthma, and anxiety were all causing difficulty breathing.  What is the integrative medicine approach to healing breathing difficulties?  We not only get to the root cause of the illness, but also treat the mind, body & spirit.

Please understand that integrative medicine does not mean giving up on prescription medicines.  Integrative medicine incorporates holistic therapies to help healing.  What do I mean?  When I felt like my throat was constricted thus not welcoming in air into my lungs, I was thankful for the Benadryl and inhaler my physician prescribed.  I helped the healing process by also adding additional important holistic therapies.
 
1. Get to the root cause of the illness
 
Many people write off the asthma or asthma-like symptoms to seasonal allergies.  Do you feel like anti-histamines are not cutting it? It may be a sign that there are additional factors brewing to disrupt breathing.  Some of these factors are to consider food sensitivities, mold or other types of chronic infections.  Having an in-depth history and physical exam by an integrative medicine physician can be useful.  Common food sensitivities leading to respiratory imbalances are dairy, soy and nuts.  Do you also have difficulty sleeping? Coupled with difficulty breathing, this could be a sign of mold infection (common in Florida and other humid climates).
 
2. Connect to Belly Breathing
 
You can train your lungs, by consciously breathing using many different pranayama techniques.  One of my favorites is re-named diaphragmatic or belly breathing.  As you inhale push your belly button outwards.  With exhale collapse the belly towards the spine.  Inhale to the count of three, hold the breath for one second, and then exhale.
 
3. Have you ever heard of a "Salt Room"?

If you are not able to escape to the ocean to breathe the fresh salty air, salt rooms are an alternative therapy popping up all over the country.  Salt helps respiratory conditions by drawing water into airways, thinning mucus and improving the function of cilia, or small hairs that help move mucus out of the lungs.  In salt rooms, also known as halotherapy chambers, the walls are made from Himalayan salt crystals. Relaxing in the local salt room with my new assistant this afternoon helped me not only to breathe, but also to calm down.  Not only did the potent anti-inflammatory action of the Himalayan salts allow me to deepen my pranayama breathing exercises, it also relaxed my mind that is stuck in overdrive.   
 
4. Essential Oils
 
I was skeptical given how bad my dry cough was (it turned off a cute guy on a second date), but when I was gifted a combination oil product that contains Eucalyptus Radiata I was hooked.  While there isn't enough scientific literature to prove it's benefits, it is still widely used for symptomatic relief for coughs, bronchitis, and sinusitis
 
What natural and holistic therapies have helped you to breathe easier this spring season?

Just Breathe,
Dr. Romie 

Would you like to escape to the ocean and learn how to breathe easier with Dr. Romie?  
Join Dr. Romie May 29-31, 2015 in beautiful Hilton Head Island, SC to learn to conquer stress, breathe easier, and feel whole again.

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