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Breathe Easy Durham Dales at Breathing Space

The header photograph was taken by Paul Waine, and shows Bev Wears of the British Lung Foundation and Rebecca Oxley, post-doctoral researcher on the Life of Breath. Paul is a member of Breathe Easy Durham Dales, and has written a poem inspired by the Life of Breath, as well as an account of the group’s meeting on November 3rd 2016, which was place as part of the Life of Breath’s Breathing Space meeting. He writes: 

Life of Breath

Breathing is a function of life

Each breath assisted by a diaphragm

Helps oxygenated air permeate lungs

Where alveoli are rife

Surrounding alveoli are capillaries

Absorbing oxygen into the blood

Oxygenated blood sent to the heart

Is pumped to each cellular part

After cellular use, a chemical is made

Carbon dioxide’s absorbed in the blood

Lungs receives it for expulsion

When every breath is exhaled

Pure respiratory systems are vital

To ensure healthy bodies exist

Exertive breathlessness is healthy

Whether a runner, climber or cyclist

Contaminated air fouls the lungs

Breathlessness will then persist

Life of breath gets shortened

Aware! Unhealthy bodies exist

Life of breath is measured

By human attitude to life

On November 3rd, Durham Dales Breathe Easy Group were invited to attend the Life of Breath ‘Breathing Space’ meeting at Hatfield College in Durham. On arrival the group were greeted by Anthropologist, Dr Rebecca Oxley and Bev Wears (Northern Service Development Manager with British Lung Foundation). Mary Robson (Creative Facilitator) introduced the meeting and hoped the group would learn more about Life of Breath. Dr Oxley gave a general oratory of the project’s diverse entities that are indicative to breathing and breathlessness. The Durham team are working in tandem with Bristol University.

Professor Jane Macnaughton of Durham University said their research in encapsulating diverse aspects of anthropology, philosophy, arts and medicine does have an impact on respiratory diseases. In answer to a difficult question regarding measurement of breath, Professor Macnaughton confirmed that the environment, physical activity or stresses are such traits assessed with varied results. Jayne Wilton, an exponent of the breath drawing, said the image shown on the postcard represents an experiment visualising her own breath measurement. Invisible breath becoming visible!

Arousing further interest, members were split into different groups to converse with some of the Life of Breath team.  In our group Dr Andrew Russell, Co-Investigator with Durham University, Havi Carel a Professor of Philosophy with Bristol University, and Bristol GP Dr Gene Feder answered questions regarding individual respiratory problems. Discussions with a small group proved invaluable; learning how each individual copes with COPD. The group was given refreshments before Mary Robson brought the meeting to a close.

Chairman Harry Brown thanked the Life of Breath team for inviting Breathe Easy members to the college. He said the meeting was informative and appreciated the hospitality afforded. During our return home all members expressed their interest and delight in having received a warm reception.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks Paul for this post. We greatly enjoyed having you and the group at the project meeting and benefit so much from our collaboration with you.

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