Genesis 2:7 - Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Every day we take for granted a gift.
What is the gift? Our breath.
Each day we breathe hundreds of times, yet how often do we appreciate the gift of our next breath? It’s part of our autonomic nervous system. Each breath is created without our effort, though when it becomes difficult to breathe nothing we do seems to bring it back.
It is important that if you are having difficulty breathing to go to an emergency room or dial 911. The suggestions in this post are to stop an asthma attack when it isn’t at the stage of urgent care.
It’s important to first know the symptoms of an asthma attack. Healthline.com, in their article, “What do You Want to Know About Asthma?” lists some of the symptoms including coughing, wheezing, tightness in chest, shortness of breath and fatigue. It also lists asthma triggers.
We’ve looked at some ways that we try to get our breath back including using an inhaler, but let’s take a look at some other ways to stop an asthma attack from escalating also on healthline.com, in the same article. Their suggestions include breathing exercises, rescue or first aid treatments, medications and home remedies.
Chronic asthma can literally squeeze the life out of us. It can feel like you’re trying to breathe under water. But with the proper knowledge on how to treat the problem while being under a doctor’s care, we can get back some of our normal activities even though we do have asthma.
Take a look at the Bible verse above. God made man and woman, but they didn’t exist until God breathed into them and they became a living being. So you can see, God wants us to put our breathing high on his priority list, and so should we. And, when you take your next breath make sure to be thankful that you can.
Isaiah 43:2 - When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
I live in Northern California and this year has been an especially hard fire season. We’ve lost hundreds of thousands of acres of forest land and residential areas. One of the biggest of the fires actually went into a large city near me. Peoples’ homes and businesses were lost, and sadly, people’s lives were lost as well. Many of those lost were the fire personnel fighting the fires.
In addition to these terrible losses, there was another difficulty blown our way. Literally. Smoke and ash came down like as if it was snowing. Many areas were covered in the ash. I saw little bits of paper falling down on me from the fires only 30 miles away.
For those who have breathing conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) it made it almost intolerable to go outside. And it was advised that people who have compromised breathing should limit the amount of time they were outdoors.
The smoke can also affect the heart, diabetes, kidney disease and blood pressure.
Be on the lookout for symptoms of smoke inhalation coughing, scratchy throat, irritated sinuses, shortness of breath, chest pain, headaches, stinging eyes, and runny nose.
If any of these factors are affecting you, especially chest pain and shortness of breath be sure to see a health professional to evaluate your symptoms immediately.
What can we do other than limiting the amount of time outdoors, to relieve some of the health issues due to fires? Time.com posts the article, “Wildfire Smoke Can Be Terrible For Your Health. Here’s How to Stay Safe,” that provides answers and advice during a wildfire such as don’t rely on paper masks and what kind of masks do help, along with make sure to be careful with cleanup because particulate matter can hang in the air even after a fire is out.
Though none of us can imagine just how terrible it would be to live through the dangers of a wildfire know that you won’t be alone. Be comforted, as the Bible verse above states, God will be with you when you walk through a wildfire and will give you the wisdom to keep your body and health from being overtaken by the dangers from the fire.
Acts 17:24-25 - The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.
Today I’m going to do something that I haven’t done as of yet. Because of its importance and application to chronic pain, illness and emotional pain, I’m going to be doing a cross-over. I’ll be using the same article in both chronic pain and emotional pain blogs. The topic is our breathing.
Many do not know just how effective this weapon is. Just as women use breathing techniques to help with the pain from labor, breathing can also be used for those suffering from pain.
First, let’s take a look at what our usual breathing pattern is. Place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your abdomen. Notice which hand rises first and what happens when you exhale. Does your abdomen swell with each breath or does your chest rise first? The usual way to breathe only uses the upper lungs. This limits the amount of oxygen the body has available.
Now, I want you to keep breathing, but this time I want you to allow the air to fill your abdomen first and then chest. Breathe normally again. Can you feel the difference? Let’s do another exercise.
Breathe in filling both your abdomen and your chest cavity to the count of four. Briefly hold your breath, and then release the air slowly through your lips to the count of eight. It may take you some practice to consistently fill to four and release to eight seconds.
This type of breathing was taught to me, by a nurse, when I was in the hospital and in a great deal of pain. At that point I would’ve tried almost anything to help the pain go away. I really didn’t think it was going to make any difference. Yet, it not only helped with the pain it also helped me to relax. Now I have a weapon I can take out any time whether I’m experiencing pain or anxiety.
Just as the verses above point out – God even gives us our very breath. It’s one of his gifts to us. It’s what keeps us alive and can be the gift that lowers our pain.
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Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.