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What is Pursed Lip Breathing, Who Can Benefits & What are Its Benefits?

What is Pursed Lip Breathing?

Pursed Lip Breathing is quite an effective technique especially useful for people with asthma and COPD when they find it difficult to breathe normally. Pursed Lip Breathing regularizes the breathing and controls the shortness of breath experienced by the affected individual. It also slows down the breathing and helps to calm down the symptoms. Lip pursing causes more oxygen to fill in the lungs to an extent where the individual is able to control the breathing. Pursed Lip Breathing is quite easy to do and can be done anywhere.[1]

The individual just has to sit down in a chair and relax the body, especially the shoulder and neck muscles. Now the patient has to inhale air slowly through the nose with the mouth closed. Count till five and then purse the lips and exhale the air slowly as if blowing a candle. The individual should try to breathe out slowly such that the time taken to exhale should be longer than the time taken to inhale air. This should be repeated until the breathing improves and normalizes. Pursed Lip Breathing causes the airways to remain open for a longer period of time such that all the air that has been trapped in the lungs by exhaling slowly.[1]

Having a healthy breathing process is extremely beneficial. Filling the body with more oxygen provides that much more energy to carry out various activities without any problems like walking and climbing stairs especially for people with asthma and COPD. It also helps the individual to do more exercise without any problems with breathing.

What is Pursed Lip Breathing?

This article gives an overview of the benefits of Pursed Lip Breathing and who are the people who can benefit from this technique the most.[1]

Who Benefits From Pursed Lip Breathing?

Pursed Lip Breathing is extremely effective for people who have problems with chronic lung disorders. It makes the lungs strong and allows them to work efficiently. COPD, refractory asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis are some of the conditions the symptoms of which can be effectively managed by Pursed Lip Breathing. People with these conditions often complain of difficult breathing and bouts of severe coughing. The cough is productive of sputum and they have to spit out the phlegm frequently. There is also audible wheezing that can be observed in people with the lung disorders mentioned above.[2]

All these symptoms, especially the problems with breathing can be effectively addressed by Pursed Lip Breathing. The diaphragm plays a pivotal role in the breathing of an individual. If the diaphragm is strong and healthy then the individual has no problems with breathing. For people with lung disorders it is the diaphragm that becomes weak and starts to malfunction. Even during the relaxation phase when all the air in the lungs is supposed to blow out, some amount of air still remains trapped. This trapped air then makes it difficult for more air to be filled in the lungs thus causing the individual to feel short of breath.[2]

Because of this trapped air, the individual is not able to perform any workout or carry out basic activities of daily living due to breathing problems. When this happens, the body then uses the muscles of the chest and back to assist in breathing. This is what makes an individual lethargic and exhausted most of the time. Pursed Lip Breathing benefits an individual by releasing this trapped air in the lungs. This creates plenty of space for fresh air full of oxygen to fill in the lungs. It improves the functioning of both the diaphragm and the lungs thus making it easier for the individual to breathe.[2]

What Are The Benefits Of Pursed Lip Breathing?

There are also other health benefits of Pursed Lip Breathing apart from improving breathing. These benefits include slowing the rate at which the individual breathes thereby making breathing easier. It also allows the lungs and the diaphragm to work by themselves without the support of other muscles like that of the back and the chest to assist in breathing. It further helps in an individual to carry out basic activities of daily living and even exercise to a certain degree without any discomfort or problems.[2]

Pursed Lip Breathing is an important part of the pulmonary rehabilitation program designed to increase lung efficiency for people with lung disorders. The main aim of a pulmonary rehabilitation program is to assist the patient in having an improved quality of life and decreased stress levels due to the illness.[2]

In conclusion, Pursed Lip Breathing is an innovative technique which is quite helpful for people who have breathing problems as a result of chronic lung disorders like COPD, emphysema, and asthma. Pursed Lip Breathing is quite easy to do and can be done anywhere. The individual just has to sit in a chair and breathe in air through the nose and exhale slowly and gently through the mouth with a pursed lip as if blowing out a candle or whistling.[1, 2]

This technique helps in releasing any trapped air within the lungs that is making breathing difficult for the patient. Once the trapped air is released, there is more room in the lungs for fresh oxygenated air making breathing a lot easier. Pursed Lip Breathing allows the individual to exercise and carry out various activities without the fear of feeling short of breath. It further increases the oxygen supply to the body and normalizes the functioning of the vital organs of the body.[1, 2]

It should be noted here that it takes some time to master the technique of Pursed Lip Breathing. Physicians recommend trying this exercise when feeling relaxed and having no problems with breathing. People with lung disorders should practice Pursed Lip Breathing at least two to three times a day in the beginning stage until they can do this effectively. Practicing this exercise regularly will ultimately cause the lungs to function efficiently and improve the breathing or people with chronic lung conditions.[2]


Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 14, 2019

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