How Asthma Healed My Heart

My journey to healing meant confronting some fears, saying some prayers, and learning to love my dog again.

I thought I was having a heart attack.

My chest was tight. My breathing was labored and it felt almost impossible to take in each breath.

I’d been having trouble catching my breath for awhile but blamed it on peri-menopausal weight gain. On this day, it scared me.

I walked myself around the corner to my local doctor. Noticing the color draining from my face, she rushed me into the examination room.

"You are having trouble breathing...for how long?" she asked, concerned. I told her that today it became unbearable, but my chest had been hurting for some time and my breathing, thinking back, had been shallow for months.

"I will do an EKG," she said. "But I can tell you right now - you are having an asthma attack."


"Asthma attack?" I was stunned. "I don't have asthma."

"Now you do," she said.

Thus began my journey through adult onset asthma, and a health crisis-turned-healing experience that would change my life.

I had no idea you could just "get" this at my age. And as a spiritual person, I knew that asthma for me was not just a diagnosis – it was a message from my soul.

Asthma constricts breathing and, among other things, causes chest pain. The diagnosis, to me, was symbolic of a number of things. First, each breath we take represents the taking in of life; hindered breathing, on a metaphysical level, represents fear and a rejection of life. Secondly, the chest represents the area known in holistic thought as the “heart chakra”; pain in that area signals a heart ache of some kind. And finally, even if I did not believe there was an underlying emotional and spiritual cause, there had to be something in me that had become imbalanced enough to make me vulnerable to this condition.

I suspected this was some sort of call to better health that would require me to take a mind, body, spirit approach to finding out why there was a part of me that resisted breathing in life and why my heart (chakra) was aching.

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Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway
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