With a little help from my friends: friendly free apps for meditation and breathing

Screenshot 2014-08-31 13.16.23 (2)Because your smartphone is so handy, why not add a few apps that will allow you to take some minutes just for yourself? Here are some to get you started if you find taking time away from the “now” for just yourself is sometimes difficult:

  1. Buddify 2:  Greets you with a color wheel, asks “what are you doing?” and offers slices of guided meditations for waking up, a work break, when you can’t sleep, plenty of other times. They last from 6 – 17 minutes, depending upon what you choose. I like the voices, but I also agree with critics that sometimes the words are too far apart . . . you get into a zone, then the monologue resumes. Still, this is an easy app to slip away with.
  2. Long Deep Breathing: You can set this in all kinds of ways to allow a simple, clear chime tell you to take a deep breath in, hold for a second or two, and allow a deep breath out. You decide how the inhalation, holding, and exhalation are. You decide how long to conduct the exercise. I find I’m breathing longer and better as I use this lovely app.
  3. SleepMachine: With this app, you can choose one sound to guide to you sleep or combine up to three.  I use crickets and beach sounds, each set to its own level, and I’m gone.

“Silent Reflux”: the hanger on in my house

S5937618994_fa95be83fc_mhould I complain? Considering how much I’ve learned, perhaps not. But I shall, anyway.

I’ve learned that you can have something called “Silent Reflux,” or more medically, “LPR Reflux” which is “Larynogopharyngeal Reflux.”

Wouldn’t that be “LP Reflux”? Whatever, it was an eye-opener.

Some hints: you don’t necessarily have heartburn, you don’t react to food the way people with ‘normal’ reflux do, and you don’t know you have it. Ah, hence the term “silent.”  However, that same stomach acid that gives your friend symptoms after a spicy, large meal can send material up that irritates your esophagus and plays havoc with your voice box. Some people have a lump in the throat feeling; not me. Some people do have heartburn; not me. But I have had hoarseness for weeks, and, according to my friendly allergist, a post nasal drippy thing that I was so used to I didn’t notice it. And no, I have never smoked, a definite risk factor for both bronchitis and LPR.

I want to deal with this naturally when I get over the bronchitis (10 days and counting), but for now, I am taking that darn purple pill.  My thinking-outside-the-box allergist copied a “Sinus Lavage for Bacterial Biofilm” which looks and sounds gross, but is a true miracle worker.  Basically you stick some saline water with baby shampoo up your sinuses, hold in two positions, and blow a dishrag of mucus out that you really don’t know where it came from. I did some research on it and found that “Baby shampoo nasal irrigation has promise as an inexpensive, tolerable adjuvant to conventional medical therapies for symptomatic patients after [sinus surgery]. Its greatest benefit may be in improving symptoms of thickened nasal discharge and postnasal drainage.” Read for yourself – it’s in the American Journal of Rhinology. But why not break down that biofilm now so no surgery is needed? My physician thinks it helps with all things nasal, and now, I’m a believer.

Here’s the drill, and I promise, it’s worth it:

  1. Take 5 drops of Johnson & Johnson’s baby shampoo and mix with 8 oz of warm saline.
  2. Fill a syringe with 7 mL (1.5 teaspoons) of the mixture; instill into right nostril, holding both nostrils closed to prevent the fluid from draining out.
  3. Get into a head down position for 1 – 2 minutes (put your head over the bed or otherwise get it several feet lower than the rest of you).
  4. Then, keeping nostrils closed, lie on your right side for 1 – 2 minutes.
  5. Now get up and let ‘er rip.  Don’t be surprised.
  6. Repeat steps 1 – 5 for the left side.

This is helping rid me of both my LPR and bronchitis more quickly than before. I do it twice a day. With the rest of what I’m learning about how what I eat affects me, I think I’ll be back to better-than-ever health soon.

The fairies were so busy . . .

fairy group 2

The fairies were so busy

Just outside the young girl’s room.

They were making up their beds.

Why are they going to bed so soon?

fairy sleeping

“Sometimes young girl awakens

in the middle of the night.”

“We must go to bed this early

so we can help her do what’s right.”


Mom and Dad sing nightly

Then young girl is hugged and kissed.

Great love, such love, surrounds her

Becoming a cozy, warm sweet mist.

blue fairy

“Oh, my!” the blue fairy exclaims

“This loving mist is sweet.”

She breathes it in, she waves her arms,

She feels her own heart beat.

pink fairy

Pink fairy knows, as fairies do,

That love from Mom and Dad

Just like this mist, surrounds young girl

Protects through good and bad.

yellow fairy 2

“It’s here,” said yellow fairy, “Now

I know just what to do.”

So she joined with all the fairies

and through the window flew!

fairy group 3

Radiantly they sparkled.

Quietly they moved.

Spreading mist through every corner

even tucking under grooves

in young girl’s sheets, under her bed

and all places in her room.

The love mist gently spread.

The fairies blessed it, and it bloomed.


“Now she can sleep,” they said,

“For always, forever she knows

The love from Mom and Dad

Like this lovely mist, just grows.”

mist 2

“But now it’s time for sleeping

and for staying in this room.

Even if you awaken

You can feel the mist that’s bloomed.”


“Just breathe it in, and know

That, here in this room, is love

You can call it to yourself

Tuck it in from below, from above.”


Some nights, the fairies know,

That young girl needs to be assured

When she awakens, and all’s dark,

This bed is best, of leaving – she’s cured!

fairy sleeping

So they take to their beds early

They’ll be ready if she needs

To spread the love mist, tuck her in

Help her sleep here, succeed!

fairy group 2

The fairies were so busy

Just outside the young girl’s room.

They were making up their beds.

Why are they going to bed so soon?