Responsibility without blame

Breathlessness is far broader than a physical symptom. It affects people’s mood, self-esteem and social links and often involves feelings of guilt and shame. Breathlessness can also be a symptom of a range of mental disorders, such as panic and anxiety disorders. There … Read more…

Curious about breath at the Oxford Curiosity Carnival

Music therapist and writer Kate Binnie writes:  Friday 29th September saw Oxford’s City Centre transformed by the Curiosity Carnival. This University-organised event sought to bring together researchers across fields of study to share knowledge, answer questions, and interact in creative ways with … Read more…

To Breathe Ourselves into Some Other Lungs

Kate Binnie singers

  A cappella singing, a lone rower in the Pacific Ocean, fungal spores, clairvoyance and a baby’s cries…what could possibly tie these things together? The surprising answer is breath and poetry. ‘To Breathe Ourselves Into Some Other Lungs’ was an … Read more…

It Felt Like Drowning

  ‘It Felt Like Drowning’ is the winner of our recent Inspired musical composition competition. Entrants were invited to attend the Feel It Festival in November 2016 and take their inspiration from one of the events.  The winner, Elan Higueras, … Read more…

The Restricto-Box: Research without Borders

Restricto-Box

Life of Breath PhD student Tina Williams writes: The 2017 Research Without Borders Festival showcase exhibition ran at Bristol’s Colston Hall on May 12th. I, along with ninety-nine other research students, took part in this engaging research exhibition, with the aim … Read more…

Breathless in Bristol (3)

Magritte

Please note that audio files of all the talks given at this conference will be available shortly. Life of Breath PhD student Tina Williams writes: On the 16th and 17th March, The University of Bristol hosted a conference on phenomenology, anxiety … Read more…

Restoring Breath: Questions, medical advancements and the importance of bystander participation

Bleeding hearts

Tina Williams, PhD student on the Life of Breath project, writes a post prompted by the inaugural lecture of Prof. Jerry Nolan (audio recording now available), Honorary Professor of Resuscitation Medicine in the School of Clinical Sciences, University of Bristol: Loss. … Read more…

The First and Last Breath: reflections from palliative & neonatal care

Butterfly

Kate Binnie, yoga teacher and music therapist, writes:  In his brilliant book Being Mortal (2015) Atul Gawande calls for all healthcare professionals working with patients at the end of life to “help people to end their stories on their own … Read more…

The philosophical role of illness – and how it can teach us to live reflectively

Principle Investigator on the Life of Breath and professor of philosophy Havi Carel will be giving her inaugural lecture on ‘The philosophical role of illness’ on April 11th. She writes: Serious illness is a great calamity. It is unwelcome, violent, frightening … Read more…

With bated breath: diagnosis of respiratory illness

In this essay, senior investigator Havi Carel recounts her experience of being diagnosed with a rare respiratory condition as a starting point for considering how waiting for and receiving a medical diagnosis affects people’s lives. After perhaps a prolonged period … Read more…

‘I need security to survive’

Kate Binnie, yoga teacher and music therapist, shares a memory of a hospice patient: Paula wakes early every day and spends time in bed, praying. “I’m a good Catholic girl” she wheezes up at me from her chair, grinning naughtily. … Read more…

‘An ongoing presence’

Sky

Newly-appointed PhD student on the Life of Breath project Tina Williams writes: The patient experiences her illness from within, as a transforming experience impacting all dimensions of life […] She does not compartmentalise the disease, nor does she understand it … Read more…