The post this week is entirely different from the usual material. This time it is wholly practical. Our computers are filled with information about the Virus, but little has been said about how we can improve our performance if we are unlucky enough to catch it. In fact, what I am about to write may save a life or two. It will help others as well if they take it on as a habit.
You will have read that one frequent element is damage to the lungs. While that damage will affect most sufferers, it is at its worst for older people. And I imagine that will include many of the readers of this Blog. I am now going to give you a simple description of how to help your lungs to be more efficient.
Sitting down in a comfortable chair, consider your lungs. See them as having three layers. The top layer if just below your collar bone. Put both your hands on your chest and breathe in – but only at that high level. Once you are conscious of this level, relieve it and move your hands to the centre of your chest, over your ribs: now breathe in at this level – and feel your central chest expand. Relax. Finally put your hands on your tummy (cf tummy button). Breathe in from the bottom of your lungs. You may be surprised at the amount of air you can suck in.
Practise all three at random, until you are able to choose readily whichever part of your lungs you want to use.Now that you can clearly recognize the levels of your lungs, use all three. Fill your tummy level, add to it your chest level, and add to that your high level. Now, perhaps for the first time, you have really filled all your lungs.
But you haven’t really started – you have the equipment, but you have not yet learned to develop it as a constant habit. And that’s demanding. Even now, after several years, I spend a few minutes every evening extending my lungs this way. I get an extra advantage: practising my lungs for a few minutes, brings me quietness and calm. The anxieties of the day float away – and I am ready for bed.
You may say “What does Quentin know about this – he’s not a doctor or a psychologist.” True, although as a marriage counsellor I used it successfully dealing with moments of distress, and occasionally with friends of mine. But, if you think about it, you may agree that it’s common sense – and well worth trying –particularly at a time when we may need our lungs in their best form.