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Chronic Illness Q&A with Dr. B.

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

This question & answer column is for people living with chronic health challenges and their family caregivers, who want to learn to increase the odds of improving their health by learning to live with mastery & wellbeing.

I invite you to post your questions in the comments box below. When I get a certain number of related questions, I pick one that covers them all and I answer that one.
I post to this blog three times per week. Monday posts are relevant published articles. Wednesday posts are interviews—mostly video. Friday posts consist of questions about living better with chronic health challenges, and my answers to them.

Here is this week’s question:

THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: Several people in a class I teach have requested more of an explanation for my injunction to fight for your life.

ANSWER: The reason I use that phrase is because I want to impress upon you that in order to have a positive impact on your health and especially your wellbeing, you must live with intentionality and commitment.

At the time when I was diagnosed with two forms of arthritis and other chronic medical conditions, I had already been doing everything right in terms of diet, exercise, sleep, and other daily self-care practices. Yet, my health was slowly deteriorating and despite my excellent health habits, I was living with increasing pain and physical limitations.

For me, good diet, exercise, and sleep habits were simply not enough. At a certain point, I realized that I would have to adopt the attitude of fighting for my life, which to me, means being more awake from moment-to-moment.

One of the ways I do this is to consciously, and with great resolve, practice slow, diaphragmatic breathing throughout the day; this has made a significant difference in my health. I use respiratory sinus arrhythmia breathing, but pranayama breathing is equivalent to it.

This website is offered as a free public service, supplying information that has been found helpful to certain people living with chronic health challenges. No treatment is offered on this website. The advice is general, and may or may not apply to your individual situation, and is not a substitute for psychotherapy or medical treatment.

What questions do you have about how to live better with chronic health challenges that are related to the relationship between states of mind and health?
Just scroll down and type your question in the comment box. I will post a reply to your comment, but your specific question may not appear in this column.

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