A Guide to Managing Dyspnea with Pursed Lip Breathing

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This is a simple breathing technique that can be used to help manage dyspnea. It isĀ easy to learn and practice.

 

How does it help?

  • Opens airways to allow old stale air out and new fresh air in.
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Extends exhalation which can slow the breathing rate.

Technique

  1. Relax shoulders and shoulder muscles. Imagine all tension leaving those areas.
  2. Breathe in a slow normal breath through your nose. Keep your mouth closed. (This allows the air to be warmed, humidified and cleansed before entering the lungs.) It helps to count to silently in your head. Breathe in, one… two.
  3. Pucker or purse your lips slightly, as if you were going to gently blow out a candle.
  4. Breathe in through your nose; exhale slowly through your pursed lips while counting to four. It helps to count silently. Breathe in, one…two. Breathe out….one…two…three…four.

The more you practice, the easier and more natural this type of breathing feels.

 

Resources:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000053.htm

http://www.clevelandclinic.org/health/health-info/docs/2400/2408.asp?index=9443

http://www.webmd.com/lung/copd/features/breathing-copd

 

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