In the modern era, the surroundings have become a lot more polluted than before. Day by day, the increasing population and pollution have made the life of people more complicated, and every other person is dealing with some of the other health issues. Asthma is a widespread disease.
This problem can occur genetically, or due to the polluted environment and surroundings, we are living in. It is exceptionally polluted with chemicals, and different types of pollutants that are harmful to the human body are the root cause of several diseases occurring in the present era.
Using medication for instant relief can be a good option, but to cure Asthma, we need to follow some breathing exercises. Breathing exercises are extremely helpful in keeping the asthma conditions away, so you can live a stress-free life.
According to the reports of the Centre for disease control and prevention, around 25 million Americans have asthma. Out of which 7.7 percent are adults, and 8.4 percent are children, and 5,000 people visit the emergency room due to asthma, and 1,000 people are admitted to the hospital due to asthma.
Breathing Exercises for Asthma
1. Diaphragmatic Breathing
This breathing exercise(1) helps in the distribution of air evenly between your lungs and guides you to breathe deeply through the core.
This technique can be practiced by lying down or in sitting posture. When lying down, you need to bend your knees and make sure your back is straight. You should place your hand on the belly, which should be right under the chest.
After taking the position, inhale deeply through your nose (you should avoid mouth breathing). As inhalation begins, use your stomach to push your hand on your belly. While exhaling, gently push down the hand on your stomach — which essentially helps in deflating the little muscle. Your upper chest should remain still throughout the breathing cycle.
As long as you inhale, try to hold out your breath twice while on the exhale. If you exhale for longer, more carbon dioxide leaves your body, which helps in improving the condition of asthma.
One can repeat this pattern of breathing as per an individual’s need and necessity.
2. Buteyko breathing
Following this breathing method helps in maintaining the volume of the breathing — means you will be able to adjust the depth of your breath in your intake. It’s all about regulating and balancing your breath so that your body does not start over-breathing.
Sit at a comfortable place. Your body posture should be straight — shoulders back and sitting straight. After that consciously, relax your stomach muscles and chest muscles. Close your eyes to focus on your breath. Close your mouth and try to inhale through your nose. Use your diaphragm to take deep inhaling breaths. Follow the regular breathing pattern in which you inhale, and then exhale through your nose steadily as well. Repeat this for a few moments.
When you establish the regular breathing pattern, inhale through your nose for a shallow, quick breath. You should only attempt it for 1 to 2 seconds. Afterward, exhale for 4 to 5 seconds or until you find there is no breath in the lungs. Then gently hold your breath for 5 seconds or more.
3. Pursed Lip Breathing
Pursed-lip breathing(2) method helps in relieving shortness of breath by focusing on a long exhale through your mouth. This method is helpful during the beginning of an asthma attack.
While practicing this method, take a deep breath through your nose with your mouth closed. Whereas while exhaling, put your lips together, forming a whistling position. Now you can exhale through the mouth, with your pursed lips.
The amount you exhale should be twice as long as your inhale.
4. Yoga Breathing
Yoga is an exercise that puts greater emphasis and attention on maintaining a steady breath. Therefore few studies prove that yoga can be beneficial for those dealing with severe asthma.
To practice yoga breathing, enroll yourself in a class so an instructor can remind you to breathe. You can also try out a few stress-relieving yoga poses on your own time to set up your own pace.
In this method, first, sit in a comfortable position. Start deep breathing slowly-slowly. First, inhale deeply through your nose and then exhale through the nose, keeping your mouth closed. It is a lengthy procedure and needs patience and helps to maintain the balance of breathing which in turn results in slowing the factors which trigger asthma condition.
In-depth breathing sessions of inhaling and exhaling should be practiced daily with the gap of 2 mins while breathing, and it should be practiced for 10 minutes daily.
5. Papworth Method of Breathing
Stress is known as a trigger to increase asthma symptoms(3). Therefore this method helps in the relaxation of muscles and works to alleviate symptoms of asthma.
This method is similar to the diaphragmatic technique. In this, you have to lie down in a relaxing or comfortable position then start inhaling slowly without moving your upper chest. While exhaling, you may use the pursed-lip method, but we should be careful and make sure that it’s a slow, deep exhale.
On each exhale, you can imagine the tension from your muscles easing out. When you repeat the inhale and exhale, breathing rate should be kept the same throughout the process.
You can practice it for a maximum of 10 minutes, or accordingly, you can count the number of breaths and continue.
These days we go through different types of stress in our life, such as the stress of work, responsibilities, fulfilling the daily needs, living up to the relationship expectation. The reasons can be endless. To deal with such conditions, we need to involve ourselves in regular exercises such as yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises.
It regulates hormones and releases relaxing and stress-free enzymes, which soothe our mind and relaxes our body. One of the situations which most people deal with is asthma, in which you have an increased breathing rate, and your body feels discomfort and is unable to breathe correctly.
This situation can be controlled by following some breathing exercises, which we have discussed in detail. Following these exercises regularly helps in balancing your body and keep the stress level minimum, and as a result, the body suffers less with the disease.
1. Does Everyone with Asthma Needs Inhaler?
If you are at initial stages, you may need a rescue inhaler, but patients with severe asthma need an inhaler, which contains steroids to be inhaled.
2. What Happens to the Airways in Asthma?
When you are dealing with asthma, the lining of airways of asthma becomes inflamed, which in turn builds up sputum, which irritates the nostrils, and you have difficulty breathing.