Thursday, 9 February 2012

Examples Of Breathing Exercises For Pulmonary Rehab |

Examples of Breathing Exercises for Pulmonary Rehab Photo Credit puff times 4 image by paul mitchell from

As a pulmonary patient, you're beginning to learn new breathing exercises that are intended to help you increase your lung capacity. Whether you suffer from asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or emphysema, your lungs have been affected, which has affected your ability to breathe, along with your ability to live an active lifestyle.

Papworth Method

This method was developed at the Papworth Hospital in England and includes elements of diaphragmatic breathing, relaxation and exercise, according to Fred Little at Health Central. Although this method was developed to help asthma patients, it is used to help patients with other breathing disorders as well.

Because of the Papworth Method's emphasis on reducing levels of stress, asthmatic patients can improve their asthma symptoms long-term, according to Little, because of the techniques teaching patients to develop relaxed breathing patterns.

The Papworth method uses both integrated breathing and relaxation exercises in physical therapy that involve diaphragmatic breathing, nose breathing and a breathing pattern that helps the pulmonary patient adjust to his current activity. The relaxation training is used in conjunction with education to teach the patient to recognize early stress symptoms and to make the exercises a part of his daily life.

Pursed-Lip Breathing

Pursed-lip breathing (PLB) is another method that patients in pulmonary rehab can learn to deal with shortness of breath. PLB helps expel old air--full of carbon dioxide--out of your lungs, assisting you to relax and aiding you during exercise.

For this exercise, you need to sit or stand, relax your upper body and breathe in through your nose. Count to two. Then pucker or purse your lips and blow out gently and slowly to a count of four. Repeat this exercise for one or two minutes. You can use the PLB method to help you get your breath back or to gain control over your breathing, according to Know COPD.

Forceful Coughing

Patients with asthma and COPD wake up with accumulated mucus in their lungs, which interferes with easy breathing. The Forceful Coughing technique can help them expel this mucus. To perform this exercise, sit down in a comfortable chair with both feet on the floor. Lean your head slightly forward. Then take a deep breath in, pushing your diaphragm out and inhaling as much air as you can. Hold your breath for a count of three if you're able to. Open your mouth and cough twice into a facial tissue to spit out the mucus. Repeat one to two times as needed.

Breathing From the Diaphragm

When you developed breathing problems, it became harder for you to use your diaphragm, so it became weaker. When you breathe properly, using your diaphragm, your lungs can expand more fully and allow you to take in more oxygen, according to Know COPD.

To breathe from your diaphragm, relax your upper body, especially your shoulders, and put one hand on your abdomen. Breathe in through your nose and make your abdomen push out. Then push your abdominal muscles in and breathe out using the pursed-lip method. See if your abdomen goes back down. Repeat this exercise three times and rest for two minutes in between repetitions. It is best to try to do this exercise several times a day.


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