Ways to improve your Lupus with qigong breathing exercise

Published: 03rd April 2008
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First thing I'll be discussing my life experience with my friend who has Lupus and then I'll be telling you ways to self heal yourself or improve your Lupus. This is dedicated to my friend. I first met my friend attending college in the last semester of 1995. I got to know my friend very well and we spent time together as a group with other friends. The following year she began missing many of her classes. I knew this since I was in the same program with her. A few weeks later she confided to me saying she had Lupus. I didn't know much about this disease and I later researched information on it. It was also referred as the disease of many faces since it was hard to diagnose. Lupus attacks its own immune system. The chronic inflammation is caused by autoimmune disease. The immune system is a complex system which functions or is designed to fight bacteria or infectious agents for example. With Lupus it is the reverse process and it attacks within their own body rather than the infectious agents. Vee had SLE which is Systemic Lupus Erythematosus that affects the internal organs. That year was very tough for her and I helped as much as possible with homework, notes, reminders on upcoming projects and examinations. I noticed she wasn't herself and she would forget many times of incidents or dates that were recent. Part of that was the effects and various medications she was taking such as Prednisone to reduce the inflammation. She also had Arthritis and Rheumatism which made it very hard for her to write notes or even carry her books. Of course, as a friend I would try to help as much as possible.

As the year continued she got very ill and she was in the hospital. Within the month she came back to school and I was glad to see her. Unfortunately, she went into remission and things were worse. She lost a lot of weight and she went down to about 90 pounds at 5"4. She had support from her mother and I would travel quite a distance to visit her at the hospital. I felt bad for her since she was going through a rough time with her health. I supported her along with her family and she got back on her feet stronger than ever! The next year I enrolled into a different program and I eventually went to a different school to focus on my career path. We kept in contact on a regular basis and we continued to be best of friends many years later! Over the years, we kept in contact and she eventually got married! I was so happy for her and we got together many times for functions and barbecue parties at her house. During her marriage the next few years she wasn't too healthy and she was missing work often. During that stage she was unemployed in/out due to her illness. She also got very ill again and her immune system was weakened. The problem with Lupus is that when your immune system is very weak you are open and vulnerable to other diseases. In this case, Vee picked up a flesh-eating disease which is called necrotizing fasciitis. During that year she also came across TB (Tuberculosis) which is a disease caused by bacteria that usually attacks the lungs. Vee was rushed back to the hospital when her lungs collapsed due to the TB. Luckily, her mom was at the house taking care of her when this happened or else she would have died immediately. I also want to mention that the number one disease is stress and it doesn't help when people have issues with their relationship, finances, etc. Stress can cause anxiety, weaken your immune system, depression, social phobia, etc. To this day, she found someone very special in her life after she went through a divorce. Its a person who I knew very well. A person who I've known for over 20 years. I am glad they met and they are a match made in heaven!

Now, that you know a little about myself since I felt and experienced it with my friend. Obviously, I cant imagine the pain many people with Lupus go through everyday but I can only respect and look up to them. As a person I am here to support and I hope to share my life experiences and knowledge to helping others with their health issues. I've gone through a stage in my life when I was diagnosed with Optic Neuritis (which is a form of Multiple Sclerosis) in 2004 but I never told anyone and I kept this to myself until I turned my life around. During that year, I decided to take action into my own hands and do visualization with my breathing. I would inhale 70 % and exhale fully. I did extensive research on breathing and as people we tend to only focus on upper breathing. The following year medical doctors said it was gone with no explanation. In August 2007 I found Qi Gong and all my questions were answered. An ancient healing art that has been around China for many centuries. I'll be discussing more about Qi Gong after I explain how natural breathing functions within our body.

Natural breathing should involve the whole body breathing aspect. As a baby, young child or animal we breath like this is when we are born. It involves the synergy or harmonious interplay with the lungs, diaphragm, belly, chest, back and parts of our body. Natural breathing involves the appropriate speed and depth for that individual. The proper actual demands are present as long as you aren't restricting yourself of any way or putting any tension, contraction, or restrictions to your body to slowing down your breathing. When inhaling, your diaphragm moves in a downward massage towards your organs. The wave of breath moves back upward throughout your body opening your stomach, chest, back and lungs. While exhaling, your diaphragm moves upward massaging your heart and the wave of breath moves downward closing the lungs, chest, back, and belly. As people, natural breathing occurs mainly though our nose. This assist the moisturizing of the air, natural filtering and it helps make sure we don't release carbon dioxide too quickly causing hyperventilation. Due to the stress we face in our inner and outer lives, the majority of us do not breathe naturally and we have become upper chest breathers. We tend to breathe a lot faster with an average of 14-16 breaths per minute. Some of us breathe too fast often find ourselves holding our breath in moments of stress and fear. Having quick and shallow breaths reduce the level of carbon dioxide in our blood. This causes the arteries, including the cartoid artery going to the brain to constrict and reduce the flow of blood throughout your body. When this occurs, no matter how much oxygen we may breathe into our lungs, our brain and body will experience a shortage of oxygen. The lack of sufficient oxygen triggers the sympatetic nervous system which is the fight or flight reflex that makes us tense, anxious or irritable. Thus making us to think clearly. Those who are serious such as Qi Gong, Yoga, or natural breathing individuals find their breath rates at a resting rate of about 3-4 breaths per minute. This has benefits to us physically, emotionally and spiritually. We should breathe through our nose as the hairs that line our nostrils filter out any particle of dust and dirt that can be injurous to our lungs. If too many particles build up on the membranes of the nose, we automatically secret mucus to trap them or sneeze. There is another importance to breathe through our nose which is maintaining the correct balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in our blood. When we breathe through our mouth we usually inhale and exhale air quickly in large volumes often leading to a kind of hyperventilation. Some researchers believe that mouth breathing and hyperventilation can result in asthma, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other medical problems. Learning to breathe more naturally will have a major influence on our overall health which includes our metabolism, influence the amount of exercise we get, how we feel about ourselves, the food we eat, amount of energy we have, etc.

Alright, I'll now be discussing what all the hype is about with Qi Gong! First thing, Qi Gong has been around for many centuries and it goes back from 2,500 years ago to even 7,000 years old. The reason the estimation on the historical development of Qi Gong is because it was passed down amongst monks and teachers in secrecy. For example, Acupuncture was discovered by American doctors in the 1970's even though it has been practiced for thousands of years. Qi means energy or the state of energy within the person. By practicing your Qi it has an influence on your thoughts, vision, hearing, taste, emotion, smell, physical movement, and spirit because it enhances your awareness with your surroundings. There are about 3000 kinds of Qi Gong practiced in China. Qi Gong can be categorized into 4 parts such as Scholar Qi Gong, Medical Qi Gong healing yourself and others, Religious Qi Gong and Martial Arts Qi Gong. The one I'll be discussing will be Medical Qi Gong for disease prevention, strengthening our immune system, disease treatment, etc. We commonly know about exercising to promote good health and preventing illness. That focuses on strength and cardiovascular conditioning which works from the outside inward. With Qi Gong it is the opposite and works inside outwards. Our mind, body, and spirit is connected allowing us to focus on our concentration, physical, and breathing to integrate all three. The Qi (energy), body posture, and spirit (meditation and visualization) improves health, prevent diseases, cure diseases, improve mental awareness, keep us fit, and balance our mind, body, and spirit. Regular practice of Qi Gong allows the Qi to flow smoothly throughout your body. The regular practice of Qi Gong will increase the blood flow. This results to an efficient delivery of oxygen, nutrients of white blood cells, and removal of metabolic waste. If there is a blockage (supply of Qi to a cell blocked), the flow of blood in that area will change, and eventually the cells and the organs associated may malfunction. End result, diseases or pain may occur for that individual. Qi Gong is currently used to improve the health of others with high blood pressure, neurological issues, cancer, arthritis, migraine, etc.

Many studies have been researched on Qi Gong and the U.S has recognized its benefit promoting Qi Gong practice . China and the U.S have hosted conferences together on Qi Gong research. Medical research has proven now that the most powerful healing is located within our own bodies. Keep in mind, only a few minutes daily of regular practice of Qi Gong will only help improve your health. It is so easy to do and we should all be doing Qi Gong. I plan to help promote Qi Gong and spread the good energy to everyone. Think of Qi Gong as brushing your teeth everyday. If you can brush your teeth once or twice daily then there is no excuse you can't do the same with Qi Gong. On a side note, I hope everyone does brush their teeth at least once a day!

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