How breathing with moonbird helps to recover from long covid

How breathing with moonbird helps to recover from long covid

Written by: Sarah Burt



Time to read 5 min

Moonbird is an ideal tool to help people relax more easily and support them with stress, anxiety, and sleep problems. That it can also help with better and faster recovery of (long) covid, is a great plus.

We spoke with Meike (29), who suffered from long-term effects from her covid infection. Doctors could not help her, yet Meike kept looking for solutions to her physical and mental challenges, including sleeping problems, anxiety and chronic hyperventilation. As time passed by, her symptoms only got worse. Until she discovered the importance of (slow) breathing and its influence on the functioning of the autonomous nervous system. That changed everything. Here she talks about her experiences and the role moonbird played in her recovery.

Moonbird truly makes my life calmer, more pleasant, and better.

Meike, who are you?

"My name is Meike, I’m 29 years old and I work as an account manager at Magioni pizza, a start-up/scale-up in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, I got corona last March and had to stop working completely. Before I fell ill, I worked 40 hours a week, exercised a lot and was very energetic.”

And then came corona... what did it look like for you?

"I was infected with the coronavirus in March 2021. At first, I thought it was 'just' the flu: I was quite ill, but after seven days of quarantine and rest, I was ready to go back to work. At least, that was what I thought. Because then the nightmare began. I was tired all the time, exhausted by the smallest things, felt a lot of pain in my body, and suffered from headaches, palpitations, tingling sensations, you name it. I could tick off most of the symptoms associated with long covid. It was so unreal and it lasted so incredibly long that also mentally I started suffering more and more. As a young and active person in her twenties whose life has suddenly come to a standstill, it was quite a tough mental process. Of course, this is the case for everyone who suffers from an illness. I had a hard time coping with the fact that the lives of my three housemates continued as usual, so I went back to live with my parents who have taken care of me for a year. In the meantime, anxiety - especially the fear of never recovering - caused me to breathe dysfunctionally, resulting in chronic hyperventilation. Sometimes I would wake up or sit on the sofa with a heartbeat of 150, which is very unpleasant and frightening."

The symptoms only got worse as time passed.

What have you tried to gain control over your symptoms?

"From the moment I fell ill, I have been looking for solutions. I wanted to have a plan to get well, but the doctors couldn't help me. However, I was not planning on waiting for a miracle. In the end, I tried a lot: two vaccinations, 4 weeks of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, an anti-histamine diet followed by medication, the Wim Hof method, laser therapy, psychological help, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, an MRI scan, visits to the cardiologist and lung specialist, medication for the brain, and many other things... But the symptoms only got worse as time passed. Since I started thinking that my condition was psychological, something several newspapers wrote about as well, I tried to pick up my life, despite the many symptoms. Unfortunately, this only had the opposite effect.”

And that's when you tracked down moonbird?

"Yes, thanks to my parents. They became desperate as well and didn't know how to help me. They both felt so powerless that they started looking on the internet, where they learned more about the autonomic nervous system and how important breathing is for its regulation. From then on I tried to do some breathing exercises, but I noticed that I was easily distracted, and as soon as the exercise was over I automatically started breathing dysfunctionally again. Then my father read an article in the NRC newspaper about moonbird, and soon after, my moonbird was on its way."

What has breathing with moonbird brought you?

“It is incredible what moonbird has meant to me. I was never aware of how important breathing is for the human body. By hyperventilating chronically, I was poisoning my body, because of the unbalanced ratio of oxygen to carbon dioxide in my blood. I continuously felt exhausted, sad, and anxious. Thanks to moonbird I started breathing the right way again. When I lie on the sofa with moonbird in my hand, I immediately notice that I find more peace in my mind and that my heart rate drops. Also, along the way, the tingling sensations in my body finally started to subside, I started sleeping better and I became much less tired."

Breathing with moonbird is almost addictive because it gives me so much more peace of mind.

How do you use your moonbird?

"I use my moonbird every day, and I'm still very happy with it. It starts when I wake up: my moonbird is always next to my bed and if I am still half asleep, I grab it. It’s great that when you shake it and put your thumb on its sensor, it automatically starts breathing at the rhythm you have set. This way you wake up very meditative, which is wonderful. I also use it during breaks or when I have some minutes to spare. It's almost addictive because it gives me so much more peace of mind. Every evening before I go to sleep, I grab it again to breathe quietly for 20 minutes. This ensures that I sleep much better and fall asleep relaxed in a relaxing 'off' mode. I can't live without it anymore! I usually use the exercises without sound, because I love to find silence, but the guided meditations also have an incredibly pleasant voice to listen to. Very zen!"

What’s the difference now, compared to the breathing exercises you had already tried?

"After my parents pointed out the importance of breathing, I started to try it myself, but I wasn't doing it in the right way. I was also constantly counting in my head: 1, 2, 3, 4... hold it and breathe out again .... 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Thanks to moonbird you no longer have to count, you just breathe according to the vibration and movement of your bird. When I started using moonbird I could not even exhale through my nose for three seconds. Now I'm up to eight seconds. It is unreal what breathing can do for the mind and body. Moonbird makes my life sincerely calmer, more pleasant, and better!"

Is moonbird suitable for everyone, you think?

"Whether you have long covid, an anxiety disorder, physical challenges, or are in good health: every single person experiences some form of stress and needs moments of rest. Some people find these moments through meditation, but if that is difficult for you, moonbird is an ideal tool to use on a daily basis. It offers some peace of mind and body. The app is very effective, the meditation voice is pleasant, and you can take it with you anywhere you like."

Wondering what breathing with moonbird can do for you? Discover how moonbird works.

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