Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases refers to a variation of lung health issues that affect your breathing. As these lung diseases progress, you will find that it can affect the quality of life greatly. One way is to manage these COPD symptoms, which you can do so with oxygen therapy and other means such as with breathing exercises and yoga therapy specialising in COPD.
Having a COPD means that breathing in general is a difficult task. More often than not, not being able to breathe can make people anxious and scared, making it even harder to breathe. It can feel like a constant cycle where you feel breathless which may cause you to avoid activities that cause breathlessness. This in turn makes you less active which then weakens your muscles causing you to be breathless even during normal day-to-day activities which can then affect you emotionally (such as cause anxiety and depression) whereby the cycle is then restarted. It is time to put a stop to that cycle, in two ways. One is with breathing exercises, and another with yoga therapy to strengthen muscles without exerting your respiratory system.
Breathing Exercises for COPD Management
Two types of breathing exercises can aid in COPD management namely Pursed-lip breathing and diaphragmatic (abdominal/belly) breathing. It is important to relax before you start on the breathing exercises; we tend to hold our shoulders tense, which can hinder the exercise. It is important to relax and lower your shoulders.
Pursed Lip Breathing
Pursed lip breathing involves when you inhale air through your nose and purse/pucker your lips while exhaling very slowly. This can improve your respiratory system in numerous ways, such as slowing the breathing, and keeping the airways open longer to help get rid of stale trapped air. It can also reduce the overhead of breathing, as well as increase the amount of activity whilst improving the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
One of the main muscles you use for breathing is the diaphragm. However, when you suffer from COPD, the diaphragm as well as the likes of your neck, shoulders and back muscles do not work at their best and do not help in moving the air from inhaling and for exhaling. You are required to “train” your diaphragm to help with breathing. However, this is not as easy as pursed lip breathing and should be aided by a respiratory specialist. The technique is best used when relaxed while sitting or lying down. You should relax your shoulders, place one hand over your chest and the other on your stomach. While inhaling your nose for two seconds, your stomach should move outward (more so than your chest).Upon exhaling, you should slowly exhale through pursed lips, while gently pressing on your stomach (helping the diaphragm push the air out).
COPD Yoga Therapy
Yoga therapy for COPD management can be good due to its poses, deep breathing, and meditation. Yoga can help with making your life easier by relaxing your body, and combining deep breathing with exercises that help strengthen muscles without over-exerting your body.