Asthma symptoms can either be mild or severe. For others, they only have trouble breathing when they are suddenly exposed to particular elements that irritate their airways. Meanwhile, some have a sensitivity to almost anything and may have difficulty breathing most of the time. Medical professionals prescribe asthma patients with treatments, such as inhaled corticosteroids and beta-agonists to open their airways. Aside from the relief offered by medications, there are also breathing exercises that can help alleviate the symptoms of asthma. We listed six breathing techniques that can help relieve asthma.
1. Diaphragmatic breathing
Diaphragmatic breathing is almost the same as the way you breathe when you swim. In this technique of breathing, the aim is to strengthen your diaphragm by practicing how to breathe within the area of your diaphragm instead of your chest.
To exercise this, lie down on your back while bending your knees. Place a pillow under your knees to keep you balanced. Then, put one hand on your upper chest and the other hand near your stomach. Start breathing slowly while keeping your chest still and your stomach moving. Keep in mind that the air should not travel through your chest but through your diaphragm.
2. Mouth breathing
If you have severe asthma symptoms, you might want to practice breathing through your mouth. It can come in handy, especially if you do not have any medication within your reach for the time being. Mouth breathing can help you by adding humidity and warmth from the air to enter through your mouth.
3. The Papworth method
Back in the 1960s, when asthma medication was still scarce, medical experts taught the Papworth method to help with asthmatic patients. It is a set of relaxation training techniques that teaches you how to breathe slowly using your diaphragm and your nose. Aside from assisting breathing during asthma attacks, it can also help you control stress by relaxing breathing techniques.
4. Buteyko breathing
The Buteyko breathing was innovated by a Ukrainian doctor back in the 1950s. He found that rapid breathing increases the likeliness of asthmatic symptoms. He believed that since people had the tendency to hyperventilate, but it is unnecessary. Because of that, he taught patients how to breathe not only slower but also deeper as a way to remind that rapid breathing is not necessary and can be avoided.
5. Pursed lip breathing
To practice pursed-lip breathing, you must breathe in slowly through your nose while holding your mouth tightly closed. Then, you try to breathe through your lips as if blowing through a whistle. Try to hold the breath for four counts. It will effectively relieve shortness of breath.
6. Yoga breathing
Yoga is a helpful exercise not only to stay physically fit, but it can also effectively strengthen your lungs. When you practice yoga, you practice deep and controlled breathing.
Before you start doing your breathing routines, consult your doctor to get their assurance that your lungs can handle the exercises. Just as you exercise through cardio or lifting to strengthen your body’s muscles, you should also practice breathing techniques to improve your lungs. Practice each of these techniques at least a few minutes in a day to gain more control over your asthma symptoms.
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