Shortness of Breath and Inhalers

Being short of breath is extremely distressing.  Sometimes the coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath associated with asthma is due to irritable larynx syndrome and not asthma.  The coughing and wheezing can be triggered by perfume, dust and a multitude of household and other chemicals causing tension in the upper airway.  The Brompton Hospital Dyspnea (shortness of breath) Clinic treats many people who felt they had asthma but in fact had a vocal cord dysfunction or shortness of breath due to other reasons.  If you have bouts of coughing that are hard to control – before you reach for the inhaler try swallowing or try sniffing and blowing. 

Short term use of inhalers (mostly these contain salbutamol or ipratropium) doesn’t give the voice too many problems but it’s always advisable to rinse your mouth with water after use.  Using an inhaler unnecessarily can have long term adverse effects and it’s not advisable to purchase inhalers over the counter without seeing a doctor.


© Frances Parkes  2003/2015 all material researched, devised and written by Frances Parkes.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Frances Parkes, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Some Recent History from Davos – Daily Telegraph

2011: The Forum started a global network of people between the ages of 20 and 30 who have shown great potential for future leadership roles in society. The Community of Global Shapers is a network of self-organizing local hubs based in each major city around the world. They undertake events and activities intended by the Shapers to generate a positive impact within their local community.

2012: Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fun warned that inappropriate spending cuts could “strangle” growth prospects. Austerity programmes must be tailored to each economy, she said, and not be “across the board”.

2013: This was another year when the Fund was at the heart of the action. The IMF’s chief economist used the Forum to tell George Osborne his austerity plans were “playing with fire”. The Chancellor hit back days later, rejecting the need for a “Plan B” and vowing to continue with his deficit reduction plan.

2014: The theme for last year’s WEF was all about the fragile global recovery finally gaining momentum. ECB president Mario Draghi hailed a ‘dramatic’ improvement in the eurozone, while Mark Carney insisted there was no immediate need for a rate rise un the UK. The Federal Reserve meanwhile was warned about the effects any premature tapering could have on the world economy by the IMF.

Bono also made an appearance.




Dante’s Inferno: A Modern Telling

Dante’s Inferno – the modern day re-telling of the story by Craft Theatre had a private viewing last night.  It was a brave tribute by the ensemble: Helen Foster, Maria Swisher, Thomas Thoroe, Lucas John Mahoney and Ryan Prescott to Kan Bonfils, who fell during rehearsal last Monday evening, struggling for breath.  The Artistic Director, Rocky Rodruigez, Jnr applied CPR before the paramedics arrived but it was impossible to resuscitate Kan.
Faced with the void of no longer pursuing the work on Dante’s Inferno or continuing with the work that Kan had been so committed to, the group felt that they should continue.  They had already been working together as a group for 5 months.  The Grotowski based ethos is to find a story structure and then to improvise within that structure.  Every time the play is run the depth of the actors connection to their roles and to each other deepens.  Grotowski believed that this allowed an actor to discover more about himself and the piece.   Grotowski called this “an inner ripening”.
Dante’s Inferno is told in a way that reverberates with the present day, when Dante is swayed by the desire to “succeed” in a worldly way rather than be content with what he has in “being human”.   After 20 minutes the work comes alive when Dante’s fearful demons assault his senses and he’s plunged into the miasma of his mental pain.  Craft Theatre’s skill in physical theatre unfolds.  Bodies squirm together and separate, creating different shapes and scenes with different physical actions, sensuous or vile or nerve wracking.  The action is swift and the structure clean.  The Grotowski “training for an actor in preparation” may still be happening with Dante’s Inferno, rather than a performance ready for an audience.  This seems probable because Ryan Prescott has stepped in replacing Kan Bonfils at five days notice.
The voices were in some cases not good.  As we (the audience) entered the space at the beginning, the actors were doing a pre-performance group “knockabout”. The movements and the voices were mostly sharp, constricted, forced and self-indulgent, alienating rather than alerting the audience to the beginning of a performance.  This may have been the reason for the main character’s voice being “shot” before he spoke his first line. The vocal constriction was sometimes reflected physically, with heads jutting forwards or being pulled back.  Grotowski nurtured his actors voices, believing the wider their vocal power and range, the larger the possibility of summoning whatever was needed vocally.  No “pushing” or “forcing” but by naturally opening up.  There are some strong vocal moments, especially from Ryan Prescott and the singer/performer Thomas Thoroe. Craft Theatre ensemble can now allow themselves to ease into future performances under the expert guidance of Rocky Rodruigez, Jnr.

I am grateful to the company for the performance of Dante’s Inferno.  It has a wonderful after effect – much more than a play, more like a spiritual experience.  The theatre has its origins in uniting audiences in the spirit of the collective unconscious.
Craft Theatre