Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Learning how to breathe again

I have had an epiphany. And I definitely had to look up how to spell epiphany.

Everyone and their brother who knows me knows I have all these stomach issues. And GERD is still butting it's ugly head into my life. I realize I'm going to have to control my diet the rest of my life BUT what I didn't realize was that I would have to learn how to breathe again.

Last week, on my "eat, pray, love" tour of SW Virginia, I took a drive down to Kingsport, TN to visit my dear friend Allison to do some energy work & massage on me. I asked her to focus on my stomach.

Have you ever had anyone massage your stomach? It's a little weird at first but it also feels very comforting to have someone work on your belly. It's an area of your body that holds so much energy and emotions. Allison told me that she could tell I wasn't taking full deep breathes and that she could tell my stomach was a little irritated from my diaphragm.

So afterwards, I went home feeling very relaxed but still the same. I ended up having a....let's just call it a "discussion" with someone really close to me, and it brought up a ton of old memories, some not so bright, & there was just this flood of negative emotions that came out of me. I felt drained. I felt completely drained.

I drove back to the farm with a lot on my mind. Everything was resolved as much as it was going to be, but it was a very exhausting experience. And I noticed that my stomach was really sore. Not inside sore like I am used to, but sore on the outside. I figured it was from the massage and went on with life.

A few nights later I still had a sore stomach. I could actually see that my stomach was a little swollen. I sat there in bed and studied myself. I studied my breath and my stomach and their connection. It almost scared me when I realized what Allison was talking about. I could literally feel myself taking a breath, holding it and grinding it into my stomach. I don't know if that makes sense but that's the way it feels. Then I observed myself the next day. It happened all of the time. I would catch myself just holding my breath and putting that pressure on my stomach. This especially happened when I felt any slight anxiety or anger. I would push it into my stomach.

I called Allison in a panic. "My stomach is sore, I can SEE IT from the outside, and I'm not breathing right...and I just figured it out...and it's freaking me me back?"

Allison gave me the reassuring call that I knew she would and told me to continue to work on it. Work on observing breathe & correcting it by taking a few full, deep breathes to correct.

So, that's where I am starting. Learning to breathe again. Take a minute and observe yourself. Even if you do your yoga/pilates twice a day & you think you've got this breathing thing down, sit with yourself and learn how to breathe again.

I've been feeling like I'm starting over in alot of ways lately, so this is pretty fitting. Just breathe.



Amy said...

Oh, no! Gerd girl is back??? I am so sorry. I miss hearing the awesome details of this while we were eating Thai food (which didn't make things worse at all). Love.

Brittany said...

i was just researching a company thats developing a minimally invasive treatment for GERD and thought of you :)

(its still in testing- but ill keep you posted!)


Brittany said...

ps heres the video about it! kinda neat

valerie said...

Thanks Brittany! My doctor had actually told me something about that.....but it scares me too much! I'm hoping to not have to go that route....we'll see! Thanks for passing info to your GERD friend.

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