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Asthma Breathing Exercises
An asthma attack can be an overwhelming and fearful experience. You are struggling to get air into your lungs, yet it seems as if they will not cooperate, and you may feel like you are drowning even though you are out of the water. You feel nervous, dizzy, afraid and even angry. These feelings can make your breathing even more difficult, compounding the problem and extending the length of the episode. You can, however, learn asthma breathing exercises to help combat an asthma attack.
What causes an Asthma Attack?
An asthma attack is caused when you are exposed to a trigger. This trigger could be something emotional, physical or environmental. Some asthmatics suffer attacks as a result of exposure to allergies. Some suffer as a result of a stressful situation or bad news. Some suffer due to unknown causes, originating within the body and triggered by the immune system. It is possible for one person to suffer from attacks caused by any, or all, of the above.
During an episode, your airway becomes irritated and then swells, and this makes it difficult for air to travel in and out of your body properly. Constriction of the airway also occurs, and this is when the attack really begins, and those feelings of panic may begin to set in. So how can you use asthma breathing exercises to help combat an asthma attack? Here are some simple techniques:
• Relax your body as much as possible. If you can lie down, you should do so. Concentrate on relaxing every part of yourself, from your head to your toes. Imagine and visualize each part of you being in a calm, serene, relaxed state.
• Although it may be difficult, try to breathe through your nose. The nasal passages provide moisture and warmth to the air you breathe, and are also designed to remove pollutants and irritants before they reach your lungs. One good technique to help you breathe this way is to imagine you are smelling your favorite scent, such as the smell of fresh bread baking.
• Concentrate on bringing air into your body in a way that expands the belly rather than the lungs. This is known as “belly breathing”. Trying to force air into the lungs by expanding your chest will result in less room for air in your lungs. By concentrating on moving the air in a way that expands the diaphragm, your lungs will have more room for air. You can place your hand on your belly while doing this to help you concentrate on breathing the proper way.
• When you are breathing out, you should do it slowly, in a controlled manner of blowing, through the mouth. By using the blowing technique, you can help to release trapped air which may be worsening the symptoms of the asthma attack. Imagine yourself blowing a big bubble, or gently blowing the seeds off of a dandelion to float away in the wind.
Continue breathing in this way until the attack subsides. By practicing this technique every time, you can learn to control your breathing and suffer less during an episode.
Using Meditation to Combat Asthma
The technique listed above is a type of meditation. Meditation has many benefits to our bodies, minds, and spirits. You may find experimenting with other meditation techniques along with asthma breathing exercises can further improve your body’s ability to deal with an episode of asthma. Additionally, you will see other benefits to meditation as well, such as an improved sense of well-being, better control over your thoughts and emotions, and the ability to enjoy life more in general.