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  • Deep-breathing exercises

    Posted by Patrick Coghlan on March 6, 2022 at 3:56 pm

    A friend of mine suggested I start doing (yoga) deep-breathing exercises to help improve lung health.

    I started last week and am working my way up to  5 min/day.  It’s not easy.  Fibrotic lungs don’t like to stretch!

    Anyone else trying this?

    mary anne replied 8 months, 3 weeks ago 17 Members · 20 Replies
  • 20 Replies
  • Ann Garner

    March 8, 2022 at 9:25 am

    The breathing exercises become so much more difficult and stressful as the IPF progresses.  Try for as long as you can.

  • Tim Costar

    March 8, 2022 at 10:43 am

    Which exercises are you doing. I’m doing a couple that require machines e.g. holding a plastic ball in a clear plastic cylinder for as long as you can. Also do chest stretching exercises but interested in as many options as I can find.

    • Patrick Coghlan

      March 9, 2022 at 12:33 am

      She basically showed me a diagram involving:

      1. Lie on your back, hands on abdomen
      2. Breathe in through the nose and feel abdomen rise
      3. Breathe out through the nose

      Repeat and try to work up to doing this for 5 minutes…which I find is roughly 30 cycles.

    • Richard D.Gueard

      March 10, 2022 at 3:37 pm

      What is the name of the devise you are using

  • Ann Garner

    March 8, 2022 at 12:26 pm

    Trying that one and simply blowing up balloons and playing harmonica a bit. All much harder recently

    • Pat

      March 8, 2022 at 2:42 pm

      ‘international breathe easy ‘ facebook group are running harmonica classas online

    • Steve Dragoo

      March 20, 2022 at 11:55 pm

      Hi Ann,

      I know no one can play like Buddy Greene but this short video will put a smile on your face: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoauBe465qQ

      Enjoy, stay well,

  • Christie Patient

    March 8, 2022 at 4:22 pm

    That’s a great tip from your friend! There’s an app called Prana Breath that is JUST yogic breathing exercises (no moving or stretching involved) if you want to give it a try. 🙂 Practicing deep breathing can be tricky with the PF cough, but pursed-lip breathing and activities like other people have mentioned are good rehab exercises. Do as much as you can

    • Chris Wolary

      March 16, 2022 at 2:07 pm

      WHEN I look up this Prana Breath in the apple App Store…I don’t see that specific app is there another name for it…I do see several different breathing app though…any help???

      • Christie Patient

        March 17, 2022 at 11:47 pm

        Hi @blue Chris, I use it on an android phone, so perhaps it isn’t yet built for Apple iOS. I can help you find a comparable app if you’d like. Try searching “breathing exercises” in the app store and see what comes up.

  • Judy Fraser

    March 9, 2022 at 3:20 pm

    Great recommendations. I’m going to try them. And follow this topic for more suggestions.

    • Allan Byron

      March 9, 2022 at 5:55 pm

      Will try it myself, thanks

      Allan Byron

  • James christenberry

    March 11, 2022 at 9:23 am

    I’ve been doing  the three that came out in a Chinese paper from last year, two of them are Yoga-like stretches and have really seemed to help me.  Only takes a few minutes a day and I use a 3lb weight now with A & B.   https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34353031/

    • Natalie Mondor

      August 30, 2023 at 12:47 pm

      Thank you for that post. I started doing the exercises 6 weeks ago and have seen amazing results. My PFT yesterday was stable. The pulmonologist looked surprised and said he was proud of me. I’ve given the exercises to my support group.

      I am so grateful for your post.


  • Linda Maguire

    March 11, 2022 at 5:13 pm

    The 3 Chinese exercises referred to by James Christenberry showed good results at 6 & 12 months in a study published in the Annals of Palliative Medicine with improvements on PFT numbers compared to the control group (google Annals of Palliative Medicine Breathing Exercises for IPF to see the exercises & study results).  Exercises are easy to do.

    I have also had good results with a simple exercise called a Rib Stretch which was published on this forum in 7/19:  Stand upright with your back arched.  Exhale all of the oxygen from your lungs.  Breathe in slowly, filling your lungs as much as possible.  Hold your breath for at least 10 seconds, or as long as possible.  Slowly exhale.  Repeat 1x daily.  My lung capacity improved significantly on PFT after doing this exercise for 2 months.  I also use pursed lips breathing if I find myself getting short of breath during exercise or on 6 min. walk tests.  This technique opens your airways & improves oxygen & carbon dioxide exchange.

  • Forrest

    March 12, 2022 at 8:53 am

    Greetings friends,  so glad I joined you today.  I’ve been looking for a link to the Chinese breathing exercises, thanks James.  And I’ll give the Prana Breath app a go.  My friend Julie just did a Qi Gong training & sent me a 20 min. video For Better Breathing routine.  I felt energized by it.  My first day as a member & already lots of nice support.  Thanks for being here.  Breathe easy.

    • Christie Patient

      March 17, 2022 at 9:48 pm

      Hi All, Forrest mentioned another good breathing exercise, Qi Gong, which we have discussed at length in the forums in the past. For new members, did you know that you can search keywords on the site to find relevant threads? You can do this by using the search bar at the top right of the page. Keywords like “breathing exercises” or “pulmonary regab” would be helpful for more info on this topic 🙂

  • Stewart

    March 22, 2022 at 3:13 pm

    You might want to try an Airofit device.  It’s a kind of training spirometer that athletes (and others) use to increase their lung capacity and the strength and control of their breathing.

    I’ve been using one for a couple weeks, training for a few minutes every morning.  Even in that time my lung capacity and inhaling strength increased markedly.

    The Airofit and smartphone app cost about $300 at Amazon and elsewhere.

  • John K. Grubb

    August 31, 2023 at 10:02 pm

    I was diagnosed with IPF in March 2022. I immediately enrolled in a breathing rehabilitation program. It has helped a lot. The bottom line is it improves the efficiency of your healthy lung tissue. It also improves your general physical well being. And finally it focus you on the importance of taking care of yourself.

  • mary anne

    September 5, 2023 at 10:36 pm

    Where can I find the Chinese breath exercises thank you.

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