Brian writes about his experience of recovering from Long Covid and as an expert in Transformational Breath® offers tips to help support your recovery.
What is Long Covid?
Long Covid Syndrome, or Post Covid Syndrome as it is also known, can affect an individual after they have contracted the Covid-19 virus. Long Covid is a chronic condition with common symptoms including but not limited to:
- Post covid cough
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain / tightness
- Heart palpitations
- Dizziness / pins and needles
- Tiredness / fatigue
- Changes to taste / smell
- Difficulty concentrating
- Anxiety / low mood
Symptoms of Long Covid share similarities with chronic fatigue syndrome. How long does Long Covid last? Length of recovery differs from person to person and as this is still a relatively new condition its duration is still not completely clear. However sufferers have reported it lasting 3 – 6 months, and in some cases up to 9 months. This poses a real day-to-day challenge as sufferers struggle to keep up with work, parenting and their other responsibilities. It also makes it hard, sometimes impossible, to exercise and maintain a basic level of fitness.
My personal experience
When I contracted Covid-19 I recall my lungs filling uncomfortably with fluid, an alarming experience which made it very hard to trust and feel safe in my body. I found great comfort in practicing conscious connected breathing, in and out without any pauses, with the inhale coming from my diaphragm to create a nice deep breath. Breathing in this way led me to realise that I did in fact still have plenty of lung capacity, even in the throes of Covid-19, which reassured me and enabled me to relax and fall asleep. On one occasion I woke up nine hours later, still breathing in the conscious connected style!
It took my body approximately ten weeks to heal, to fully regain my sense of smell and taste and recover from the exhaustion I experienced every day. The most difficult thing about this period was that I had no idea when it would end. Breathing exercises were a great tool to help me deal with this uncertainty, to activate my parasympathetic nervous system and find inner calm.
Transformational Breath® for Long Covid
Transformational Breath® is a powerful kind of conscious connected breathing which is safe and gentle. It starts with diaphragmatic breath. This is the type of breath that starts from deep within, achieved by activating your diaphragm, a sheet of muscle underneath your rib cage that expands down and out to open up and fill your lungs with air.
In Transformational Breath® we focus our effort and intention on the inhale, allowing the exhale to simply fall out without any additional force. We also breathe in a continuous cycle without any gaps between our in and out breath. Finally, we breathe with our mouth open, in a room that’s fresh and clean. With Covid-19 it can be more difficult to breathe with the mouth open, in which case breathing through the nostrils is an option. Whichever you choose, be consistent. Breathe entirely using your mouth or nose rather than a combination of the two. Let’s recap:
- Breathe without pausing
- Focus your intention on the inhale (allow your exhale to be effortless)
- Breathe entirely through your mouth (or nose if you prefer)
Breathe in this way for 100 breaths each day. That equates to around two pieces of music, so put on some uplifting tunes and make a ritual of it. You can also breathe this way any time you feel uneasy, allowing any feelings of worry or frustration to rise and eventually pass.
Benefits of Transformational Breath®
There are many physical and emotional benefits to this therapeutic practice. You can check out the full list here on my website, meanwhile here are a selection which relate specifically to managing Long Covid:
- Breathe using more of your lung capacity and take in more nourishing air
- Generate more energy and overcome fatigue
- Eliminate toxins
- Boost the immune system
- Relieve stress and worry
- Ease headaches
- Tackle insomnia
Try Transformational Breath® with me
You can book an appointment and get extra support with your condition by visiting the Sessions page. Sessions are available via Zoom and in-person at my home in Belfast, Northern Ireland. An individual online session is £70, while an in-person session is £85. I also offer discounts to those booking multiple sessions upfront. Choose between three sessions at £230, or six sessions for £440. I have many client testimonials on my website and am happy to answer any questions you may have before booking.