January 14, 2021
The video link below demonstrates a simple way to breathe effectively TO INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF OXYGEN reaching your lungs. Whether you have a chest infection, covid-19 or not this video and blog could make a difference to your quality of life.
The video shows how, by using active breathing in the simple way described, you will be able to BREATHE and oxygenate your body more effectively.
If you have a chest condition you often produce more secretions (sputum) and it is essential to remove as much as you can from your lungs, to help you breathe more easily and reduce bouts of coughing. If sputum remains in your lungs it can make your condition worse.
To COUGH effectively to clear secretions you can add in ‘huffing’. There are two types to help move sputum from lower down your lungs to your upper airways where it it easier to clear them. A huff is a faster exhalation like you are misting up a mirror or your glasses to clean them. You use your tummy muscles to help squeeze the air our out – but it must be relaxed enough so that you do not wheeze.
- Gentle, long huffs will help move sputum from low down your lungs then,
- You can huff with a bigger short exhalation- without coughing-to clear sputum from the higher parts of your airways.
- Do not huff for more than two breaths , and make sure you do not wheeze as this means you are exhaling too hard.
You may feel or hear the secretions rattle as you perform a huff. Don’t worry that is a good thing as it is important to clear any excess sputum from your lungs.
Always cough into a tissue and dispose of the tissue in a sealed bag. Remember to ventilate the room thoroughly during and after you have completed your breathing exercises
Always practice RELAXED BREATHING CONTROL as described below between huffing.
In between your active breathing, huffing and coughing, it is important to practice RELAXED BREATHING CONTROL, where you use as little effort as possible to breathe effectively. This is also a good technique to use, and especially helpful, if you are breathless after a bout of physical activity or coughing.
- Sit in a relaxed position, with your shoulders dropped. You may find it more effective if your arms are supported on the arms of an armchair opening out your rib cage.
- Breathe in and out gently though your nose or mouth. If you are breathing out through your mouth try pursing your lips to make it a little harder for the air to escape quickly. This is like gently blowing out one candle.
- Aim to relax your body of any tension a little more with each breath out. You may fond it easier to do this with your eyes closed.
- Gradually slow down the rate at which you are breathing.
The cycle of deep active breathing, huffing and breathing control, which can be combined with lying on your front (prone lying), is called an Active Breathing Cycle.
If you are out and about and become breathless you may find leaning against a wall with your elbows bent and forearms placed at shoulder height, lifts and expands your rib cage and helps to expand your lungs more easily. This combined with relaxed ‘pursed lip’ breathing will help you to regain your breath.
We are here to help you with any breathing problems you may have and can work out the correct Active Breathing Cycle that is right for you. Call us on 01202749514 or contact us via the BOOK NOW tab to speak to a physio.