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Many people with COPD find being chronically short of breath to be scary and exhausting. I understand how serious this can be and how it can affect every part of your life. Fortunately, there are things you can do to manage COPD symptoms and breathe better. This article is the first in a new series, written to help you understand more about how breathing works and how to feel better with COPD. Practice these simple breathing techniques to feel your best every day.
Pursed lip breathing (PLB) is a breathing technique that consists of exhaling through tightly pressed (pursed) lips and inhaling
The pursed lip breathing exercise can be used to address shortness of breath by reducing how hard someone must work to breathe. It promotes relaxation. In addition, pursed lip breathing helps people learn how to control their breathing and can aid in the release of air trapped within the lungs.
Pursed lip breathing can be especially useful during strenuous activities. Here are the steps The Lung Institute recommends practicing pursed lip breathing for COPD.
Diaphragmatic breathing, also called belly breathing or deep breathing, is breathing that’s done by contracting the diaphragm, a muscle located horizontally between the thoracic cavity and abdominal cavity. Air enters the lungs and the chest rises and the belly expands during this type of breathing.
Ask your doctor or respiratory therapist to show you how to best perform this exercise and how often to practice it. Here are detailed instructions from The Lung Institute.
To see instructional videos and learn more about COPD breathing exercises, click her