Experts in the respiratory care field now agree that breathing exercises can reduce asthmatic attacks in children and adults. Since the early 1980s many respiratory therapist schools have been teaching future physical therapist assistants breathing exercises for asthmatics they can use with future patients.
Many respiratory therapists now believe that most asthmatic patients tend to breathe faster than those who do not have the condition. Adopting one or several daily breathing exercises not only teaches them to relax when experiencing an asthma attack but also teaches patients to breath normally in all conditions.
The following 9 breathing exercises for asthmatics may help you develop better breathing habits and prevent your need to use an inhaler every time you experience an asthma attack.
(1) Slow Breathing:
Practice breathing slowly and regularly with the following exercise.
- Sit in an upright relaxed position, with legs uncrossed and on the floor.
- Relax both your chest and abdomen
- Close your eyes but keep your head and neck straight
- Inhale through your nose while keeping your mouth closed.
- Expand your abdomen as you inhale
- Exhale through your mouth slowly until your abdomen becomes flat again.
- Hold your breath for a few seconds and then repeat the process.
(2) Diaphragm Breathing:
- Sit or lie still.
- Inhale slowly through your nose but instead of inflating your chest; inflate your stomach area until it is full.
- Exhale slowly through your mouth until there is no air left
- Repeat the process and concentrate on your breathing
- Expect the exhalation to take longer than the inhalation
- Think of nothing as you breathe in and out
(3) Movement Exercise:
- Sit in a straight-backed chair with your legs planted firmly on the floor, and back completely straight
- Relax all of your muscles, especially those in the neck, shoulders, arm and diaphragm
- Close your eyes and practice inhaling and exhaling. Concentrate on your breathing while relaxing.
- Meditate while concentrating on your breathing. Think of nothing and only visualize images.
- Rotate each shoulder as you inhale and exhale.
- Inhale and exhale as you raise and lower your arms
(5) Yoga Exercise:
- Sit in a yoga cross legged position.
- Interlace your fingers and draw them up as far as you can, as if you were reaching for the sun
- Inhale and exhale slowly.
- Pull your interlaced hands to the right and left side to stretch slowly.
(6) Pursed Lip:
- Inhale slowly through your nose and exhale through pursed lips.
- Keep calm as you practice this breathing exercise, especially if you are having an asthma attack.
- This breathing exercise may work perfectly for people having an attack as it helps exhale trapped air.
(7) Progressive Relaxation:
- Lie down with your eyes closed in a relaxed position
- Inhale through your nose and use diaphragmatic breathing
- Tighten your right foot as you inhale release the tension as you exhale
- Continue tensing you hands, arms, shoulders, neck and other parts of the body as you inhale and exhale.
(8) The Buteyko Method:
Contact your doctor or a respiratory care program near you to get instructed on this methods use.
(9) Other Techniques:
Contact your doctor to find out about the latest breathing techniques and how to use them.
As you can see there are a variety of different methods you can use to relax and breathe slowly. The key is to inhale deeply and exhale as fully as possible. You should practice whichever technique you decide to use on a daily basis and use one whenever you feel a mild attack coming on. By doing this you may find you do not need to use your inhaler or any other rescue medication.
Have You Tried These Breathing Exercises For Asthmatics?
These breathing exercises may help asthma patients to calm the condition. If you have been following these breathing exercises, please share your experiences with us below.
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