Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Learning to Breathe


Well, kind of. A person's heart rate is closely related to their breathing. When I came into the office, my heart rate looked like the red line in the diagram below -- erratic and unstable. (Ignore all words on the graphs. Just needed the image.) A healthy person's should look like the blue line -- predictable and calm.

To train my heart rate to look like the blue line, Dr. K instructs me to use diaphragmatic breathing. I follow a specific speed for about 20 minutes each session. The first time I got really light-headed and sleepy. My brain's not used to this much oxygen! The best part is that I get to watch the graph being made on the computer as I breathe. That visual motivation is huge, as is the reward of earning "points" for the most rounded, even peaks and valleys. Today's score: 93. And I got a 97 out of 98 on oxygen levels in my blood. WHOA! (Yesterday was 81.)

Today I also started working on regulating my external body temperature, which is also greatly helped by the breathing techniques, as well as visualization. My fingers are so cold all the time. They should be about 96-97 degrees. Mine this morning were 80 degrees. But at one point during my session, they were 95.3 degrees! Amazing. I can't imagine what this might mean. No more wearing hats and gloves and slippers to bed every night? And we're only on day 2 of actual training! Pressing the "reset" button on my body is working, I think.

Dr. K has also recommended some dietary changes, including a list of supplements. Superfoods to the rescue! I've been so surprised that I haven't been nauseous at all since I've been here. We've got a 12-pack of ginger ale I haven't even opened. Cool.

Last night I church-hopped to a contemporary service for people in their 20s and 30s. Ohmygoodness, there are some nice-looking Christian boys down here! Worship was great, but I was kinda bummed out by the ego-crazy pastor. Sadface. Not to mention I am a rather blue girl in a rather red state. Not to step on anybody's toes, but can you please maybe quit hating women leaders and gay people? I coulda sworn Jesus was a revolutionary in how inclusive and loving he was. And don't we want to be like him? We are talking about the same guy, yes? Experiences like these really educate me on how people are brought up. Services like this one remind me that I am a follower of God alone. The Church is broken and imperfect because we, as humans, are broken and imperfect. So yeah. Everything with a grain of salt. Learning culture. Not taking things too seriously, just observing and loving what I learn.

But I am SO excited for -- get this -- ZIMBABWE WORSHIP at a UMC on Sunday. Ah! I am so dragging my mom to be African with me. Plus the pastor is a woman (woot!) who's traveled and sung all over the world. Yay yay yay.

It is time for dinner! I can eat! Kinda hyper! Wowee!


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