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: In your April 25th post, you advocated fighting for our lives. Please elaborate:

ANSWER: Here is an example of one of the ways that I personally fight for my life. Often, when I’m engaged in a mundane, mindless task, such as showering or washing pots and pans, I discover that I’m ruminating about some event that happened in the past and regret something I said or failed to say or do. 

Immediately, upon having that realization, I do RSA breathing (explicated in Appendix B of my book). After a few seconds of this slow, diaphragmatic breathing, I feel better—mentally and physically, as my mind focuses on the present rather than on the past.

For me, RSA breathing is more than a call to presence. My heart is prone to go into preventricular or preatrial contractions and even atrial fibrillation. This type of conscious, intentional breathing returns my heart to normal sinus rhythm. This is one of the many ways by which I fight for my life on a daily basis.

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 question may not appear in this column.