Breathing Exercises Can Relieve Asthma

asthmaIf you have been experiencing difficulty in breathing with signs of wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and with a tight chest, you most probably have an asthma attack. Asthma is a lung disease that involves the narrowing of airways. Anyone can become susceptible of asthma as the medical condition could affect people of all ages. The bad news is asthma has no cure. The moment one has the condition, it will become a long term medical problem. Asthma however is manageable with breathing exercise and medications but even though you feel better in the absence of its symptoms, flare up may still occur anytime.

Asthma IS Manageable

Despite the fact that asthma has no cure, there are possible ways that an asthmatic person could actively participate in improving their condition. Many people with asthma are able to live normally by avoiding causes that may trigger the flare ups of their condition. People with asthma live a normal life. The most serious signs of asthma are shortness of breath and a painful chest. It is most difficult to deal with especially among children. During an asthma attack the person may feel low with energy and is usually weak. Severe asthma requires immediate medical attention such as the administration of a nebuliser and cortisone medication.

The best management of asthma is preventing the occurrence of its symptoms. Avoiding the common triggers of an asthma attack will require less of taking the medication. Getting an allergy shots may help reduce the risks of asthma attacks as well. With a controlled asthma, an asthmatic individual obtains long term relief from their condition. Fewer attacks are experienced and lesser use of short acting bronchodilators is needed.

Managing an asthma attack with breathing exercises

On the occasion of an asthma attack on the other hand, the symptoms of shortness of breath can be managed with breathing exercises. Stress is a form of trigger of an asthma attack. Once stress becomes unmanageable, it could alter the natural balance of the body state that could cause nervousness, bowel problems, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, anxiety, muscle tension and an asthma attack. In order to restore the balance of the nervous response from the stress imposed on the body, proper breathing is required to calm the senses. Breathing exercises can ideally provide a short term, immediate and natural way of managing an asthma attack and it can be useful as part of a daily exercise routine that promotes stronger mind and body connection that keeps the body’s balance state in order.

Medical research on asthma improvement with breathing exercise

The medical research staff of the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research in Sydney and Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital published an article showing the clinical outcome of their research in 2006 regarding the management of asthma with breathing exercise. The study showed that there was a significant relief among asthmatic patients from their symptoms through regular breathing exercise and reduces their dependence from using their medications by 86%. Breathing exercises were introduced to the two groups of the research research participants with asthma and two breathing techniques were performed. One group does the breathing exercise daily while the other group mainly performs the breathing exercise during attacks to relieve the asthma symptoms.

The study outcome gave a dramatic result of improvement without any preference on which type of breathing exercise provides the best outcomes. Breathing exercises daily and when done during the attacks to relieve symptoms are equally effective in managing the distressing condition of an asthma. Good asthma management thus requires the active participation of the individual by learning how to perform proper breathing exercises to help reduce and prevent their symptoms.

According to the study, regular exercise also helps improve the body’s ability to deter asthma attacks. Breathing exercise is considered to be the first line of symptom management that reinforces the body’s ability to relax and become more efficient in fighting off asthma triggers. Thus, breathing exercise can be a good, natural and effective complementary technique with medications in cases of asthma attacks.

Helpful breathing exercise techniques for asthma

Learning the proper breathing exercise techniques is the key to improve the body’s ability to respond to a stressful condition including an asthma attack. Here are some tips on how you can improve your breathing to manage or prevent the symptoms of an asthma attack.

  1. Learn to relax. You can lie down or sit to make the body feel more comfortable.
  2. Breathe slowly through your nose making sure that as you inhale your abdomen rises, not your chest.
  3. Exhale slowly and allow the abdomen to slowly fall.
  4. Exhalation should be longer than inhalation, making sure that no more air is left in your lungs as you exhale.
  5. Concentrate on your breathing. You can close your eyes or place a hand on your abdomen to feel it rise and fall as you breathe.

Learning these basic yet very helpful breathing techniques will significantly reduce your need of medication and need for an inhaler.

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  1. Asthma Sufferer says:

    What kinds of tea help with the symptoms of asthma?

    I have heard that tea could help relieve asthma symptoms, but I don’t know if it’s green or black, and if there are any herba/ teas that might help.

    • I wish we could help but we don’t know about teas for asthma. Is there anyone out there who has experience in this area and can help this lady out?

  2. I suffered from allergic asthma with many exascerbations as a child. My mother put me in swimming lessons – where you learn how to control your breathing so you can effectively swim – and it changed my outlook. Chlorine irritates some, but not me. It has been an effective way for me to keep my asthma in check. I’m in my mid-thirties now and I consider myself a recreational athlete. I bike and run and cross country ski long distances with no asthma issues. Unless there’s a cat around. ;)

  3. Stalina Dsouza says:

    You might have exercise induced asthma, do you think that is possible? Or the smell of the chlorine might bring on the asthma. You need to go to the doctor and see if you need an inhaler.

    Why don’t you tell someone at the pool to check the Chlorine level of the water. There have been some incidence where it’s too high. Ask your mom to call about if you can’t bring yourself to ask.

    Actually the best way to protect yourself is to eat well and include fresh vegetables and fruit. Don’t eat junk food and don’t eat fast food. No soda. That’s probably hard for you to do but I’m sure it will improve your overall health and in turn help to detoxify the chlorine you’re inhaling.

    Still, you probably need an inhaler.

  4. “As an occasional sufferer of asthma, I’ve been keeping up with the planned ban of CFC powered asthma inhalers for some ten years.”

  5. I was having a hard time due to repeated asthma attacks. Ultimately, I had started to believe that my life would always be gripped by the fear of asthma attacks. But, now I can relax enough to catch my breath as I have found the medicine to control my problem.

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