Pursed Lips Breathing Technique For COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a health condition that affects a person’s ability to breathe properly. It’s sometimes associated with other conditions such as Emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Symptoms include wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and large amounts of mucus that collect in the lungs.

Symptoms can worsen with time, but certain breathing exercises can help you to manage them.

There are five exercises that can be especially useful for people with COPD:

  • pursed lip breathing
  • coordinated breathing
  • deep breathing
  • huff cough
  • diaphragmatic breathing

For this article, I’d like to focus on one particular exercise known as “pursed lip breathing.”

Pursed lip breathing is one of the easiest ways to control shortness of breath. It provides an immediate mechanism to slow your pace of breathing, making each breath more effective.

Benefits of this technique, include:

  • Improved ventilation
  • Release of trapped air in the lungs
  • Prolonged exhalation and a slower breathing rate
  • Improved breathing pattern
  • Relief from shortness of breath
  • General relaxation

How to do it

  • Relax your neck and shoulder muscles.
  • Breathe in slowly through your nostrils for a few seconds, keeping your mouth closed. Don’t take a deep breath; a normal breath will suffice.
  • Pucker your lips as if you were going to whistle.
  • Breathe out (exhale) slowly and gently through your pursed lips while counting to four.


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