My Journey Back to Health: Switching MEDS for a Breathing Technique

Ten years ago, at 38 years-old, I was diagnosed with a sleeping disorder (narcolepsy) that left me with hardly any energy. The best analogy I can think of to describe it was having the sleeping pattern of a parent with a new-born, needing to be fed every other hour. The result? Broken nights, disturbed sleep and feeling knackered for eighty-percent of my day. If you can relate to any of this, follow on for My Journey Back to Health: Why I Switched MEDS for a Breathing Technique!

When I was seeing my neurologist many years ago, he prescribed modafinil (for the narcolepsy) and imipramine (for depression).

Modafinil was said to be non-addictive. What I noticed however was that even if I only took it in the morning before 12pm, I couldn’t sit still on a couch by 8pm. I’d be bouncing around, and terribly hyperactive.

After 6 months I asked my neurologist if I could abstain from taking modafinil and imipramine, and instead just keep up daily walks and a simple form of meditation. He said that medication is the best option here, but he tentatively went along with my choice. From here I went on a bout of roller-coaster ups and downs (with colossal mood swings included)!

Video: Tim Ferriss on Modafinil

Becoming more and more irritated about this situation, I got in touch with a lifestyle and wellness coach to see if I could somehow connect with some much-needed motivation and accountability.

He suggested 60 minutes of cardio per day to be a good basis, but to get those ‘happy hormones’ flowing throughout my mind and body for the whole day, that I needed to do some weight (ie. resistance) training. He said it would help me unlock my own ‘pharmacy of mastery’, which is free afterall.

Then he suggested I go further and add in breathing methods for even better results which worked a treat!

It started with just a few minutes daily, which helped me get my mind and moods in a far more relaxed and soft (pliable) state. It totally took the edge of frustration and weight off my shoulders within a few rounds, of 2-3 minutes, which is virtually nothing. I am no longer narcoleptic, nor depressed, (I completely off those meds) and I’m the happiest I’ve been for over 15 years!

I still do have some old habits – those are die hard, but I’m working through those. I do see the light at the end of the tunnel! This aphorism from Jim Rohn, “What is easy to do, is easy not to do”, so applies to me.

A major takeaway for me was that I just needed to face myself and understand that I do need discipline, self-control and to ask for help when I need it. I think we would all do better with a kind, positive, and encouraging accountability partner in our corner and to learn these kinds of breathing exercises. I truly hope you find a coach as supportive as mine is!

What do you think about the idea of wellness coaching, and natural breathing techniques to supplement conventional doctors and prescription drugs and medicines? Let us know in the comments below, and join in the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram!

Marleen Lam

Marleen Lam is a journalist from Holland with a background in pediatric speech therapy and sensory integration. Her passions are reading, teaching, child-development, cats, food, gardening and being outdoors. As she continues to evolve, she is enjoying getting more into mindfulness including meditation, yoga, vegan food and energy healing practices like Reiki and Jin Shin Jyutsu.

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