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Health Coaching: Sleep Apnea Solutions

Sleep apnea is a condition that affects people of ALL sizes.  Plus size people are especially vulnerable to this condition.  It is important to get your sleep apnea treated.  Your health depends on it.

Many people avoid or delay their sleep study because they do not want to face a lifetime of using a machine to sleep. This is why I am writing this article. You may only need CPAP temproarilly until you put other solutions in place. You surprise yourself and find you are quite comfortable using CPAP. Knowing there are other options can help you take action and get your sleep study.

After my own personal experience seeking treatment for sleep apnea, I found NOT ONE medical professional was aware of the full set of options available. Instead, each professional recommended their specialty. I researched my solution for years. Finally, I completely resolved my severe sleep apnea with an oral appliance and Pillar Implants. (I have a sleep study to confirm if this worked!) Here is the information I learned on my journey. I hope it may be helpful to you.

If your doctor recommends it, GET YOUR SLEEP STUDY

1.) Use your CPAP so you can try it out.  Give CPAP an honest try. However, if you are having difficulty with CPAP, there are other options that do not include surgery. You don't have to avoid or delay your sleep study because of fear of CPAP. Here are some other options you may want to consider.

2.) Try a oral appliance.  This is like a retainer on top and bottom teeth.  I tried 5 different oral appliances.  All the others had fatal flaws.  These are the essential characteristics for any oral appliance to be effective and comfortable (I was shocked that no other appliance had these three common sense features.):

      1. good lip seal (no drooling)
      2. easy on my teeth
      3. room for my tongue to stay up on the roof of my mouth (that is the natural sleep position of the tongue)
    NOTE: Somnomed IS covered by most medical insurance as durable medical equipment. You must get a prescription from the medical doctor and have the device fitted by a dentist. This is NOT a dental issue, but medical. That is why medical insurance usually covers it.

3.) If your oral appliance did not open your airway enough to resolve your apnea, then you can stiffen your soft pallet with Pillar Implants to further open your airway. The ENT inserts three tiny Teflon pieces into your soft pallet. I had this done and it was no more difficult than getting a tooth filled.  I had a tiny sore throat and then taught aerobics the next day.

    • This is done by an ENT
    • Have a sleep study to confirm if Somnomed, Somnoplasty, or Pillar Implants worked or not. (I did a split night study: half the night with just Pillar and the other half with the Somnomed inserted so that I had both functioning ... and together they worked!!)

    NOTE: Pillar Implants are not usually covered by insurance. The cost is under $2,000.

4.) Even if you continue with your CPAP, you may be able to have lower pressure by using Somnomed oral appliance or Pillar Implants.

5.) Finally, in my opinion, everyone with sleep apnea should regularly (about monthly) check to see if their blood oxygen is dipping too low too often. Why should we wait for terrible symptoms before we get treatment adjusted. It is as simple as wearing a Wrist Pulse Oximeter so you can record the data and transfer it to your computer, then you can analyze it.

If you ever have symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, higher blood pressure, or muscle weakness, YOU NEED TO KNOW IF IT IS YOUR APNEA OR SOMETHING ELSE! So that you have more data to share with your doctor, use your own pulse oximeter to keep track of your blood oxygen.

You would not drive around in your car or on your bike with out a pressure gauge to check the tires, would you? Then do not cope with your sleep apnea without your pulse ox to check your oxygen levels!


With some combination of these options, every one will find they breathe better when they sleep.  Some will no longer need CPAP.  Those who still need CPAP will have much lower pressure which is much more comfortable and easier on your body.

For now, if you are wrestling with your CPAP mask or cord, spitting out your oral appliance, or just plain avoiding treatment because it seems so yucky ... you could get support with a few health coaching sessions with me.  Please email or call me and we can work something out!  610-394-2547.

Health Coaching: 
Coping with Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue

Do some reading on the internet about fibromyalgia & chronic fatigue and you will consistently see the number one recommendation is gentle regular exercise.  But moving hurts!  What are you supposed to do?

I will post more information on my site as the weeks pass.  About 1/3 of my class members cope with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue and we have learned much about HOW to minimize symptoms.  I thank you for your patience as I launch my new site.  I will post more information very soon.

For now, you will find these videos especially suited for exercising when you have these conditions:

  1. The Form Workout
  2. Your Back Health Workout
  3. Stretch and Relax for Small to Large People

With fibromyalgia, you cannot tell today if your workout was too much for you.  You will only find out a few days from now.  So in order to track the effects of your workout and decide what is best for you, you will need to keep a log of your workout type / intensity and your aches / pains.  This way you can correlate your actions to the results.

In order to do the problem solving necessary to cope with fibromyalgia, it is wonderful to have a weekly health coaching session.  Please email or call me and we can work something out!  610-394-2547.   Also sign up for my eNewsletter so you can get more self-care information.

Health Coaching:  Depression Relief

It turns out that the same Four Cornerstones of Better Health ARE the exact things necessary to reduce depression.

However, when you are feeling blue, that is exactly when it is hardest to take the actions of self-care you need the most.

This is when Health Coaching by phone can be most helpful.  You can have the support and encouragement you need to take each tiny step toward feeling better.  Please email or call me and we can work something out!  610-394-2547.  Also sign up for my eNewsletter so you can get more self-care information.


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By Kelly Bliss M.Ed., A.C.E. author of Don’t Weight, Eat Healthy & Get Moving NOW!
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