Asthma is a lung disorder that makes breathing extremely difficult. A large number of people suffer from asthma and it is considered to be the number one cause of chronic illness. There is no cure for asthma, but researchers are optimistic and determined to develop remedies that will be effective in treating asthma. Besides medical treatments, there are numerous home remedies like simple breathing exercises, which can minimize asthma attacks and keep them in check. Before we get to these breathing exercises, let’s understand the symptoms and causes of asthma.
There are two types of asthma, allergic and nonallergic, and the one that is more common is certainly allergic asthma. People who have allergies can develop allergic asthma, and when the allergens provoke the allergy, they trigger asthma as well.
Non-allergic asthma can be triggered by factors that affect the lungs. It is not connected to allergies or the immune system at all.
Typical symptoms of these two types of asthma are similar and include dry coughs, an increased heart rate, breathlessness and tightening in the chest. They can occur immediately after a person comes in contact with the triggers, and in some cases, it can be delayed. The severity differs among sufferers.
Many sufferers also have a habit of breathing through the mouth, which exposes their lungs to cooler and drier air at a faster rate, which is one of the asthma triggers. Breathing exercises promote shallow breathing at a much slower rate, which helps reduce asthma symptoms.
Here are 4 exercises to help keep Asthma in check!
1. Diaphragmatic Breathing
This breathing exercise implies breathing with the diaphragm, or in simple terms, breathing with the stomach. Lie on a bed or just sit in a position that is comfortable for you and begin to breathe slowly through your nose. Make sure that every time you inhale, instead of your chest, your abdomen should be the first to rise. Exhale extremely slowly, while your abdomen goes down, and an ideal exhalation should be twice as long as your inhalation. This exercise should be done every day for about 15 minutes in order for the asthma symptoms to be reduced.
2. Pursed Lip Breathing
This exercise helps when you are experiencing an asthma attack. To perform it, you need to lie on a bed or sit in a position that’s comfortable for you. Begin to breathe slowly through your nose, inhaling with the rise of the abdomen. Then, you need to exhale very slowly, the abdomen going down, through your mouth and through pursed lips, like you are preparing to whistle. Exhale for twice as long as inhaling. The main focus is to exhale the air that is trapped in the lungs. Proceed with this exercise until your breathing is back to normal.
3. Buteyko Breathing
This breathing exercise was developed in 1952 by Konstantin Buteyko, a Ukrainian physiologist. He has found that shallow and slow breathing works better in reducing the symptoms of asthma. First, exhale all the air with a whoosh sound, close the mouth and then start inhaling quietly through the nose while counting to four. After that, hold your breath and count to seven, then start exhaling slowly through the mouth while counting to eight. Repeat this process at least three times.
4. Progressive Relaxation
This exercise focuses on relaxing muscle groups and besides helping with asthma, it also reduces stress. For this breathing exercise, first, use diaphragmatic breathing. After that, tighten your left foot muscles for 30 seconds, then relax and feel the tension releasing. Repeat with the right foot muscles, hands, and forearms, upper legs, mouth, forehead, and shoulder. Focus on the breathing through the process and you will see how the body will relax and feel weightless.
These breathing exercises are very beneficial and need to be an essential part of your day. Select the one that suits your condition best and, with preventive medicines, you can minimize the chances of asthma attacks.