I Stopped Breathing

    Posted on Friday, Jun 22, 2018
    Statistics has it that a good number of people hold their breath in front of a computer. Holding the breath is an unconscious act, some call it a subconscious act. It may be due to too much concentration or an act to blank out surrounding sounds. Apnea is known as the cessation of breathing especially during sleeping. There is also something known as email apnea where people hold their breath in the office. This is more dangerous than sedentary lifestyle caused by too much sitting.In fact, Belisa Vranich, Ph.D., says that in nearly every office setting that she has encountered, three out of every 10 people are breath-holders. 

    For me I had no idea when I changed from a normally breathing individual to a person prone to apnea. A bout of sinusitis at the end of 2017 revealed this habit. As fall proceeded to winter, my breathing went from bad to worse. I remember a sharp pain in my head and painkillers could not kill this pain. I went to an  emergency unit twice in the middle of the night. The third time I was diagnosed with sinusitis and the scan showed things blocking my sinuses. It was a very painful experience which I do not wish for even an enemy.

    Six months later I am still carrying out breath exercises. An app that helped me practice is Calm. I did a lot of browsing and learnt that we have horizontal and vertical breathers. Vertical breathers tend to go vertical as they breathe stretching upwards. Horizontal breathers breathe with their stomachs expanding and contracting. From studies the best way to breathe is starting from the hips. I have been practicing it and it takes the pressure off my neck. I feel my nerves expanding and I realize that they have been lying unused for a long time.

     Air has to go in and out of the nostrils. Conscious breathing is necessary to maintain good health. Studies show it bad breathing starts with stress so reduce the stress around you and listen to your body. Previously, when I was concentrating I stopped breathing. It is changing. I urge you to check your breath pattern. Is air really going in and out of your nostrils?

    Patricia Kio
    Patricia is a Ph.D. student in the College of Architecture

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