There are approximately 300 million asthma patients in the world with 1/10th of them living in India. However, its symptoms such as breathlessness, coughing and chest constriction can be controlled to a large extent by practicing certain breathing exercises regularly, such as:
This can be performed while sitting or lying down. Breathe in slowly through your nose and exhale slowly with the abdomen going inwards. Repeat several times for best results.
This technique can be used to consciously decrease the breathing rate or volume. Breathe in through your nose slowly. Exhale gradually till you feel there is no air left in the lungs. While doing so, close your eyes and look up. Relax your chest and belly muscles. Hold breath after complete exhale for as long as you can and then return to gentle breathing. Repeat several times for best results.
Pranayama smoothens rough and erratic breathing. It is a group of breathing exercises which are a part of Yoga. The different Pranayama exercises include Bhastrika, Kapalbhati, Bahya, Anuloma Viloma, Bhramari, Udgeeth and Pranav. It would be wise to learn the different types of Pranayama from an able instructor for beneficial results.
Pursed Lip Breathing:
This technique can be practiced when you are having an asthma attack. Asthma causes air to become trapped in the lungs, this technique can help you get more air out from your body and can make breathing easier. Inhale slowly through your nose purse your lips as if you are going to whistle and then exhale through pursed lips. Exhale twice as long as you inhale.
The advantage of Nasal breathing is that it adds warmth and humidity in the air to your nasal passage which can help reduce asthma symptoms.