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Breathing: Relaxation Exercises

The following relaxation techniques can help relieve the tension and anxiety that often accompanies your respiratory difficulties. This anxiety can even make you feel worse. By learning to relax your mind and body, you may feel better, and you will be decreasing the amount of oxygen that your body needs.

       To begin, lie down on a comfortable surface and place pillows under your head and knees. If you are more comfortable on your side, use pillows under your head and between your knees.

    Relax

    Lie quietly in a comfortable position. Take a slow deep breath through your nose. Hold the breath for several seconds; purse your lips, and slowly exhale. Relax.

    Take another deep, slow breath through your nose. Hold your breath and pull your toes towards your head and tighten your leg muscles (no longer than a count to 3). Feel the tension. Purse your lips, exhale slowly and relax your legs. Relax.

    Take another deep slow breath through your nose. Hold our breath and make a fist with both hands and tighten your arm muscles. Feel the tension. Purse your lips, exhale slowly and relax your arms and hands. Relax

    Take another slow, deep breath through your nose. Hold the breath and bite down as hard as you can and tighten your jaw muscles. Feel the tension. Purse your lips, exhale slowly, and relax your jaws. Relax.

    Take a slow deep breath through your nose. Hold your breath and lift up your head and tighten your neck muscles. Feel the tension. Purse your lips, exhale slowly, let your head rest back on the pillow, and relax your neck muscles.

    Lie still and enjoy the relaxed feeling you are experiencing. You should do this relaxation technique several times a day, even if you simply do it while sitting in a chair.

(Lincare)

Check with your physician before beginning this or any exercise program.

To learn more about these special breathing exercises, see the stories listed under Breathing: Overview in the Library Index.

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