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Ultimate Pulmonary Wellness was made available to read online thanks to a generous gift by the Nora and Roger Gimbel Foundation.

Dedications

 

Light in the sky

For My Grandma Peppie, the kindest, most generous person I have ever known and My Brother, David who understood instinctively that there will never be a shortage of people in the world that need our help. Read More Dedications.

Foreword by Norma Braun, MD

Serene lagoon scene

“Dr. Noah Greenspan has dedicated his life, his energy, and his creativity to helping people with various cardiopulmonary disorders lead healthier, more symptom-controlled and more enjoyable lives.  I have personally known Noah for more than 15 years and he is truly a unique healthcare advocate and wellness innovator.  In Ultimate Pulmonary Wellness, he has written a self-help treatise for patients to better understand the origins of their breathing limitations and to learn how to perform better in all spheres of life.”  Read More Foreword by Norma Braun!

Editor’s Note by Mark Mangus, BSRC, RRT, RPFT, FAARC

Rooster

“There are a number of books available focused on providing information and assistance for those living with a chronic lung disease.  Success in writing in a manner that is both easily understood; and also captures succinctness and accuracy in content treads a fine and sometimes treacherous line.  Noah has managed to succeed where many have faltered, presenting much information, while keeping his writing style light, extremely readable and fun.”  Read More Editor’s Note by Mark Mangus!

Introduction by Noah Greenspan

Lavender

If you are reading this book, it is more than likely that you or someone you know have at one time or another, experienced the sensation of being short of breath due to respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease or both. Shortness of breath (SOB), also known as dyspnea (pronounced disp-nee-uh) or air hunger (pronounced air hun-ger), can be all encompassing and has the potential to undermine every aspect of your life, from the magnificent to the mundane. Read More Introduction by Noah Greenspan!

Chapter 1: Shortness of Breath

Waterfall at sunset

When people begin to experience shortness of breath, they either find ways to modify the activities that cause them discomfort or they simply avoid them altogether.  While this may seem like the safest and most reasonable course of action, decreasing your activity will actually worsen the situation, causing you to become weaker and weaker over time, until even life’s simplest tasks, like showering or getting dressed, can become difficult thanks to that miserable SOB (shortness of breath). Read More Chapter 1: Shortness of Breath!

Chapter 2: The Respiratory System

Sea Turtle

It never ceases to amaze me how many people I meet, who are living with a chronic illness, often for years, who have little or no knowledge about the biological system involved, let alone the disease itself and its impact on their bodies and their lives. When it comes to dealing with a chronic illness, a basic understanding of the anatomy (structure), physiology (function) and pathophysiology (disease) will go a long way. Read More Chapter 2: Respiratory System!

Chapter 3: Best Breathing Techniques

Waterfall in autumnal forest

By a landslide, the chief complaint that I hear most often is shortness of breath. For that reason, I have decided to place this chapter early in the book because I truly believe that these breathing techniques can have a major impact on your life in a relatively short amount of time, giving you greater control over your breathing, reducing your anxiety and allowing you to participate in more of the activities that you want to—living your life. Read More Chapter 3: Best Breathing Techniques!

Chapter 4: Daily Activity

Cheetah sprinting

Some activities will naturally be more demanding than others. Stair climbing requires significantly greater effort than walking uphill. Walking uphill requires significantly greater effort than walking on a flat surface and each of those activities requires significantly greater effort than sitting on the couch watching TV or sipping a martini; or sitting on the couch watching TV and sipping a martini. Read More Chapter 4: Daily Activity!

Chapter 5: Ultimate Pulmonary Wellness

Khlong on a beach in Thailand

In today’s healthcare environment, an overwhelming percentage of resources are spent on treating diseases and their associated manifestations. Instead of merely trying to eliminate illness, true wellness is the goal we are striving for—and can be achieved through a combination of positive life changes, education, and enlightenment, all of which can have a potentially powerful impact on both treatment and prevention. Read More Chapter 5: Ultimate Pulmonary Wellness!

Chapter 6: Pulmonary Medications

Multicolored stones

When it comes to living with a pulmonary disease, fewer topics are less clearly understood than how to take your medications. Just go to any online support group and ask and within a few minutes, you will receive a virtual plethora of responses, comments, instructions and opinions. Some of them may come from laypeople—patients and caregivers, some may come from clinicians and other professional people, and some of them may even be correct. Read More Chapter 6: Pulmonary Medications!

Chapter 7: Pulmonary Exercise

Milkweed blowing in the wind

One of my core beliefs is that when it comes to health and wellness, exercise is by far, one of the single best lifestyle changes you can make and one of the most powerful tools to improve your health and overall quality of life. By going from sedentary to active or from active to more active, you can reasonably expect to see improvements in many of your individual physiological systems, as well as your body as a whole, and dare I say, your mind and spirit as well. Read More Chapter 7: Pulmonary Exercise!

Chapter 8: Treadmill 101

Pier with thatched cabana at the end

When it comes to the single best exercise for cardiopulmonary patients, the treadmill is in a class by itself. There are several important reasons for this. First and foremost, as human beings, we need to walk. Second, the treadmill is highly controllable and customizable, meaning that you can set very specific workout parameters for speed, incline, and consequently, workload. Finally, the treadmill physically assists your walking and provides mechanical support for your breathing, allowing you to maximize your overall workout. Read More Chapter 8: Treadmill 101!

Chapter 9: Pulmonary Nutrition

Tree frog

The subject of nutrition will almost invariably be included in any meaningful discussion of health and wellness. In the context of living well with a pulmonary disease, the conversation should be at least slightly different than what most of us are used to hearing. In fact, sometimes recommendations made for the general population can actually be in direct conflict with the needs of people living with respiratory conditions. Read More Chapter 9: Pulmonary Nutrition!

Chapter 10: Emotional Health

Rocky coastline in the evening

Like yin and yang, your physical and emotional wellbeing are intimately related to each other. In addition to the physical impact on your body, living with a chronic illness can have a profound impact on your emotional health and wellbeing, as well as your overall quality of life—and vice versa. This is especially true when the primary symptom of that that illness is the inability to breathe. Conversely, emotional factors such as stress, anxiety, and depression can have a profound impact on your physical health and wellbeing. Read More Chapter 10: Emotional Health!

Chapter 11: Prevention of Infection

Purple buds on flowers

Living with a chronic illness, particularly a respiratory condition can significantly compromise your immune system, making you more susceptible to picking up a bug, catching a cold or developing an infection or exacerbation. Patients often report getting sick once, twice, three times or more over the course of a given year and whether it is a cold, the flu, pneumonia, or an exacerbation, it always seems to settle in the chest. Read More Chapter 11: Prevention of Infection!

Chapter 12: Airway Secretion Clearance

Canoe at the end of a pier

Mucus is one of the many defense mechanisms in our body’s arsenal that protect us against infection and other un-pleasantries. In fact, if Lady Macbeth were a chest physiotherapist, she may well have been known for another quote: “Out, damned snot!” Before we discuss how to minimize and mobilize the secretions that may accumulate in your airways, it will be helpful for you to have a basic knowledge of what mucus is and what mucus does. Read More Chapter 12: Airway Secretion Clearance!

Afterword: Final Thoughts

Driftwood on a frozen lake at sunset

As far as we know, we only get one life to live and for as long as I’m alive, I’m going to fight for it.  I may go down, but when I do, I’m going down fighting for every last breath. In the case of Ultimate Pulmonary Wellness, this means gathering up your army, and using every weapon and tool you have.  Your army is your family, friends, doctors and other healthcare professionals.  Your tools are your medications, exercise, eating well, managing your emotions, and taking steps to prevent infection. Read More Afterword: Final Thoughts!

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