Breathing Techniques - Cambium Technologies

Section 2
C H A P T E R 4 : KE E P I N G M Y B O DY F I T
Breathing Techniques
To avoid shortness of breath, you should regularly
practice your breathing techniques. They will help
regulate your breathing and are especially useful
when you begin to feel a flare-up. Practicing these
every day will also strengthen your lungs and prevent
Flare-Ups from interrupting your day.
• Pursed Lip Breathing
• Expanded Standing Position
• Relaxed Sitting Position
• Abdominal Breathing
• Expanded Sitting Position • Controlled Coughing
• Standing Position
Pursed Lip Breathing
WAT CH
VIDEO
People with COPD sometimes have air trapped in their lungs. That air takes up space
and stops the next breath from getting in. Pursed lip breathing creates a back pressure in
your airways, allowing them to open up and get more air out in a timely manner. You can
perform these steps for pursed lip breathing any time you need to.
Sit in a comfortable position;
try to stay as relaxed as you can.
ST EP 1:
Take a breath in through your
nose as you count to two.
ST EP 2:
Purse your lips and exhale for
four counts. Note: don’t force air out of
your lungs; let it come out naturally.
ST EP 3:
Repeat a few times until you
feel more comfortable.
ST EP 4:
I M P O RTA N T: BESIDES USING YOUR INHALER, PURSED LIP BREATHING IS THE NUMBER
ONE RECOMMENDED WAY TO RELIEVE STRESS WHEN YOU BEGIN TO FEEL SHORT OF BREATH.
Relaxed Sitting Position
WAT CH
VIDEO
Your legs are your body’s biggest oxygen users. When you feel like you are losing control
of your breathing, sit down in a relaxed position to take the weight off of your legs.
Sit in a chair with your back rested
against the chair. Relax your shoulders.
ST EP 1:
Position your feet flat on the
floor. This will take the strain off them.
ST EP 2:
Rest your hands face-up on
your thighs or on your stomach.
ST EP 3:
ST EP 4:
Begin your breathing technique.
I M P O RTA N T: FEEL FREE TO SWITCH BETWEEN POSITIONS IF YOU NEED TO. ASK
YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER WHICH POSITION THEY THINK WOULD BEST SUIT YOU.
Expanded Sitting Position
WAT CH
VIDEO
This sitting position takes the weight off of your legs and expands the rib cage, allowing
your lungs to take in more oxygen. For this position you’ll need a chair, a pillow, and a
table or desk.
Sit in the chair with your feet flat
on the floor.
ST EP 1:
Place the pillow on the table or
desk in front of you.
ST EP 2:
Cross your arms over the
pillow and rest your head on the pillow.
ST EP 3:
Begin your breathing exercises
until you feel relaxed and in control.
ST EP 4:
I M P O RTA N T: IF ANYTHING AT ALL FEELS UNCOMFORTABLE WHILE TRYING THESE
POSITIONS, TRY A DIFFERENT POSITION. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS THAT YOU CAN
BREATHE COMFORTABLY.
Standing Positions
WAT CH
VIDEO
If you don’t feel comfortable in a seated position, or if you don’t have a chair available,
you can use this standing position to help get your breath back.
Find a wall that can hold you up
and lean your back against it.
ST EP 1:
Stand with your feet about a foot
apart so that your legs and the wall are
sharing your weight.
ST EP 2:
ST EP 3:
Relax with your hands at your side.
Then begin your breathing
techniques until you feel under control.
ST EP 4:
I M P O RTA N T: FEEL FREE TO SWITCH BETWEEN POSITIONS IF YOU NEED TO. ASK
YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER WHICH POSITION THEY THINK WOULD BEST SUIT YOU.
Expanded Standing Position
WAT CH
VIDEO
You can also use this alternate standing position to help get your breath back. This
position helps support your weight, allows your diaphragm to flatten, and, because your
arms are up, expands your rib cage and helps your lungs take in more air.
ST EP 1:
For this standing position, face
the wall.
Raise your arms up and cross
them in front of you against the wall.
ST EP 2:
ST EP 3:
Rest your face against your arms.
Begin your breathing techniques
until you feel under control.
ST EP 4:
I M P O RTA N T: IF ANYTHING AT ALL FEELS UNCOMFORTABLE WHILE TRYING THESE
POSITIONS, TRY A DIFFERENT POSITION. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS THAT YOU CAN
BREATHE COMFORTABLY.
Abdominal Breathing
WAT CH
VIDEO
Abdominal breathing (diaphragmatic breathing) also helps relieve shortness of breath. During
the normal breathing process, two main muscles are used: your diaphragm and rib muscles.
You learned in Chapter 1 that COPD can weaken the diaphragm. This forces your accessory
muscles (neck and shoulder muscles) to help you breathe. Practicing abdominal breathing
will help strengthen your diaphragm and abdominal muscles so that you do not have to rely
on your neck and shoulder muscles. This will help you get your breathing under control.
Sit comfortably in a chair, or lay
flat in bed with your head and your knees
supported by a pillow.
ST EP 1:
Place your hand in your midstomach or belly button area.
ST EP 2:
Take a deep breath in through
your nose, letting your diaphragm push
outward against your hand.
ST EP 3:
Exhale through pursed lips
as you feel your diaphragm relax back
into place.
ST EP 4:
I M P O R TA N T: PRACTICE THIS TYPE OF BREATHING THREE TO FOUR TIMES PER DAY
FOR JUST A COUPLE OF MINUTES. DO IT A FEW TIMES THEN TAKE A BREAK.
Controlled Coughing
WAT CH
VIDEO
People with COPD have more mucus in their lungs than usual, and sometimes the
mucus is thick and sticky and clogs airways. This causes discomfort and shortness
of breath. Controlled coughing helps you get mucus out of your lungs and prevents
uncontrolled coughing, which is unexpected and can make you short of breath. To
practice controlled coughing:
Take a couple of deep breaths
in through your nose and out through
pursed lips.
ST EP 1:
Then take a big deep breath in,
and cough twice without taking a breath
in between coughs.
ST EP 2:
Do this as many times as needed.
If you need to repeat the controlled cough,
take a gentle breath in between the double
coughs so that the mucus doesn’t go back
down as you breathe in.
ST EP 3:
Spit the mucus into a tissue and
throw it away.
ST EP 4:
HU F F C OU G H S : IF YOUR MUCUS STILL DOESN’T COME UP, DO A FEW HUFF COUGHS BEFORE
OR AFTER YOUR CONTROLLED COUGHING. HUFF COUGHS PUSH AIR OUT FROM YOUR LUNGS
THROUGH THE USE OF “HUFF” SOUNDS. BREAK UP STUBBORN MUCUS BY DRINKING A WARM
BEVERAGE TO SOOTHE THE AIRWAYS BEFOREHAND.