The Breathing Technique That Helped Me Cope With COVID-19 at Home
Any medical information included is based on a personal experience. For questions or concerns regarding health, please consult a doctor or medical professional.
Like many others, I became ill with COVID-19. The first few days were so mild I just thought maybe a cold was coming, but then it hit hard early hours of Christmas morning. I want to share with as many people as I can what I believe to be a life-saving technique.
While all the other COVID-19 symptoms attacked me, and they did so hard — it is like this virus literally probes you to find your weakest points — my biggest concern was keeping it off my chest and out of my lungs. Every time my chest felt tight or I had pains there, I did three rounds of the Wim Hof Method (WHM) breathing technique. The pains would then stop instantly for hours at a time. I have shared a link below.
It is also worth noting that I quit smoking a long while back and have no other underlying physical health conditions. I do, however, struggle with my mental health (borderline personality disorder, or BPD) and chronic past addictions but this time I chose to fight the good fight and managed not to relapse onto even as much as a painkiller.
I was already taking a multivitamin daily but when I became ill, I added extra Vitamin C, D and zinc to my daily intake. I drank green tea with lemon and ginger regularly, lots of water, ate lots of veggie soups and took smoothies such as spinach and banana. I believe keeping myself hydrated with warm drinks — even the days on which I was literally unable to get out of bed, I drank every couple of hours — helped me to beat this virus quickly. I also ate ginger every time I felt nauseated. Nausea does not affect everyone with COVID-19 but mine was overwhelming. I literally took my food as medicine. In addition to my dietary and vitamin intake, I did all the usual things I would do while struggling with a cold, such as putting lavender and eucalyptus on my pillow and a menthol rub on my chest every couple of hours. Every little helps.
As I never eat dairy and meat anyway, I stuck to this, but I have also read that people with COVID-19 should avoid dairy and especially pork.
Yes, this is a horrible virus and obviously more dangerous for some than others, but there are ways in which we can at least try to help ourselves. Sadly, even those of you who follow all the rules may well come into contact with this at some point, so it is better to be as strong as you can if you can’t avoid it.
Thankfully, neither of my daughters, both of whom live with me, caught it nor did various other people whom I was around in the interim phase.
This breathing technique, developed by a man called Wim Hof, commonly known as the IceMan, is scientifically proven to strengthen your immune system and lungs. It reduces inflammation in the body and relieves numerous symptoms including anxiety and depression. If you are worried about COVID-19, it would be great to incorporate this into your daily regime so you can give yourself the best fighting chance. If you do become infected, please at least try these exercises.
I am now on the mend, though still weak and gradually building my strength back up. I am no longer contagious and even ventured out for a very short walk and a small dose of fresh air today.
I wish you all well.
For more on the Wim Hof Method (WHM), see this story from a Mighty Contributor with a rare blood cancer.
Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash