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Diaphragmatic Breathing

Breathlessness on effort is uncomfortable but not in itself harmful or dangerous.

Knowing how to control your breathing will help you to remain calm when you are short of breath. Pursed-lip breathing and diaphragmatic breathing will both help if you have COPD. These breathing methods prevent or reduce the trapped air in your lungs and allow you to inhale more fresh air.

  • put one hand on your upper chest, and the other on your abdomen just above your waist
  • breathe in slowly through your nose - you should be able to feel the hand on your abdomen moving out (the hand on your chest shouldn't move)
  • breathe out slowly through your pursed lips - you should be able to feel the hand on your abdomen moving in as you exhale



 

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Last modified: June 17, 2002
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