I hated using the peak flow meter, it never felt right, I never felt like it was producing the right result.
It is years since I used a peak flow meter as I don’t have asthma anymore, so I can now reflect on why it didn’t produce the right result. I was trying to produce the right result, the instruction or what I thought the instructions were, got me to focus on my breathing and I really tried to exhale. Unfortunately trying to exhale with a good strong exhalation got me doing a host of things that didn’t help me get a good result.
I fixed my diaphragm, I closed my throat, formed a shape in my mouth so that I could blow, I thrusted my stomach out and then was upset with the result. I discovered that I was holding my breath whilst trying to get a good result on my peak flow meter.
I wasn’t aware back then of what I was doing with my diaphragm, stomach, mouth and throat, it’s only now I can reflect and now mimic myself and understand what I get up to.
I was doing all these things as I thought these were the right things to get a good result. Little did I know, even whilst being observed by various asthma nurses, that I was sabotaging myself.
I wonder if you do these sort of things, perhaps the next time you use your peak flow meter you could look at yourself in a mirror and see what you notice. But first perhaps watch this video to understand what looking in a mirror means. Many people including myself fail to see what you see in a mirror this video really helped me to see myself in a mirror.
My initial interest, if I observed you, is how your neck moved when preparing and when using your peak flow meter. My guess is that you moved your head backwards and your chin went upwards, this will narrow your throat and reduce your peak flow result. Now here’s a catch, your initial obvious thought, I’m guessing now, is not to move your head back but to keep it in the right position, you can try this but my guess is that you will get a similar meter result.
So what will help.
Simply put, by doing nothing, just stop trying to get a good result.
How about just having a fun happy thought, move the meter to your mouth and just blow.
Whilst I’ve been writing this blog I’ve noticed habits that I have when I use the meter, I move my tongue back but his constricts my airway, I raise my shoulders; we generally don’t need our shoulders to breath, I focus on a point just in front of me; we generally don’t need our eyes to breath, I forcefully suck in air to get ready; again we generally don’t need to force ourselves to breath, breathing happens naturally.
These habits I’ve used set my correct position hence best result to use the meter, do I really need them, I don’t think so they don’t work. It’s just trying to be good, just trying to get the best result, just trying but unfortunately sabotaging myself.
I would really recommend that you watch yourself using your peak flow meter and possibly your inhaler in a mirror.
Notice what you get up to without any self criticism, be kind to yourself. If it hurts stop.
So be kind to yourself
Find a quiet space, either on your own or with someone who supports you
Don’t worry about the rest of the day
Don’t worry about getting a better result.
Breath out and allow yourself to breath in
When your ready use your peak flow meter.
Notice what you do without any self criticism, allow things to change at their own speed and you may notice your breathing will change for the better.
These thoughts worked for me.
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