JANE SHARES HER JOURNEY WITH COVID-19

Jane is a lecturer in performing Arts/Acting. She shares her experiences of how she fully recovered from Covid-19 by utilising strategies that she taught in performing Arts. Here is her story: 

Jane Harrison

Having worked in leading Performing Arts Conservatoires in the UK teaching Acting, Voice, Storytelling and Improvisation over many years I started to see how the training could benefit non-performers in many positive ways. Vocal strength, so vital for Stage performers, improves lung quality and promotes a sense of ownership over one’s breathing and ability to expand the lungs. Storytelling techniques enable participants to tell their own stories in a supportive community where the voice is heard in a non-judgemental way leading to a sense of fulfilment that comes from sharing and listening. In actor training these stories would lead to a performance piece but for non-performers the initial stages of storytelling bring huge benefits. Finally Improvisation can help with lateral thinking where different outcomes can be explored and an open mind can be developed regarding any situation. Some of the exercise and games used to develop “thinking on the spot’ can help to open up different coping strategies.

My Covid-19 Journey

My Covid-19 journey started on March 9th 2020 with diarrhoea and bad headaches. At this stage I had no idea these could be symptoms and so assumed food poisoning. March 16th extreme fatigue started two weeks of high temperatures, chest pain, breathlessness, loss of appetite and dry cough. After two weeks I recovered and felt fine, just slightly tired, but then two weeks later developed very bad chest pain. Prescribed Doxycycline, this seemed to lead to acid reflux, prescribed omeprazole.

Chest pain continued, acid reflux continued and bouts of extreme fatigue started. Doctor asks me to have an ECG and a chest x ray which were both clear. Then developed itchy purple blotchy feet and toes, blurry eyes and sudden headaches, but they were minor compared to the continuous chest pain and fatigue. Then prescribed Amoxycillin for the chest pain but this made no difference. Began to realise that there was no solution to the Long-Covid problems simply because it was such a new virus. All this took place over approximately 5 months. At this point with the confidence of knowing that my heart, lungs and blood pressure were all ok I decided to work every day on improving my lungs, fatigue and chest pain through exercises I had learnt from my own teaching. I employed actor’s breathing techniques to strengthen my lungs, movement exercise to expand my chest and mental exercises to convince myself that I would get better! I have now recovered. 

Jane & Michelle Meet

On September 17th 2020 I met Michelle King-Okoye via Zoom to discuss her research project. Talking to Michelle I felt very energised by the project, and realised that having been so fortunate in coming through Covid-19, perhaps my experience could benefit others. At a further meeting on October 1st Michelle asked if I would be willing to help with the research project. I am very willing to join a team who are looking to support and help those who are still on their Covid-19 journey.

BREATHING & RELAXATION TECHNIQUES

The first video contains breathing exercises that helped Jane recover from breathlessness when she had Covid-19. We recommend that you contact your healthcare provider for any health problems. These videos are meant to be utilised together with your doctor's recommendations.  In the second video, 'Relax to Dream', Jane shares her techniques to relaxation, which is designed to promote a sense of mental calm during these stressful times that we are faced with.

Breathing for Beginners
Relax to Dream

© 2020 by The Ethnicity and Covid-19 Research Consortium

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