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Take a deep breath ....

Breathing has never been so important. Anxiety levels are extremely high and short shallow breathing does nothing to alleviate the feelings of panic and breathlessness that you are possibly struggling with.

Here are some great breathing techniques taken from [ on 30th March 2020]

Pursed lip breathing

This simple breathing technique makes you slow down your pace of breathing by having you apply deliberate effort in each breath.

You can practice pursed lip breathing at any time. It may be especially useful during activities such as bending, lifting, or stair climbing.

1. Relax your neck and shoulders.

2. Keeping your mouth closed, inhale slowly through your nose for 2 counts.

3. Pucker or purse your lips as though you were going to whistle.

4. Exhale slowly by blowing air through your pursed lips for a count of 4.

Diaphragmatic breathing

Belly breathing can help you use your diaphragm properly. Do belly breathing exercises when you’re feeling relaxed and rested.

When you begin you may feel tired, but over time the technique should become easier and should feel more natural.

1. Lie on your back with your knees slightly bent and your head on a pillow.

2. Place one hand on your upper chest and one hand below your rib cage, allowing you to feel the movement of your diaphragm.

3. Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling your stomach pressing into your hand.

4. Keep your other hand as still as possible.

Exhale using pursed lips as you tighten your stomach muscles, keeping your upper hand completely still.

(You can place a book on your abdomen to make the exercise more difficult. Once you learn how to do belly breathing lying down you can increase the difficulty by trying it while sitting in a chair).

Lion’s breath

Lion’s breath is an energising yoga breathing practice that is said to relieve tension in your chest and face.

1. Come into a comfortable seated position. You can sit back on your heels or cross your legs.

2. Press your palms against your knees with your fingers spread wide.

3. Inhale deeply through your nose and open your eyes wide.

4. At the same time, open your mouth wide and stick out your tongue, bringing the tip down toward your chin.

5. Contract the muscles at the front of your throat as you exhale out through your mouth by making a long “ha” sound.

6. You can turn your gaze to look at the space between your eyebrows or the tip of your nose.

7. Do this breath 2 to 3 time

Deep breathing

Deep breathing helps to relieve shortness of breath by preventing air from getting trapped in your lungs and helping you to breathe in more fresh air. It may help you to feel more relaxed and centered.

1. While standing or sitting, draw your elbows back slightly to allow your chest to expand.

2. Take a deep inhalation through your nose.

3. Retain your breath for a count of 5.

4. Slowly release your breath by exhaling through your nose.

5. You can turn your gaze to look at the space between your eyebrows or the tip of your nose.

6. Do this breath 2 to 3 times.

Give these a try - you'll be surprised what a difference they make. We love this quote ...

‘If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath’ - Amit Ray

To finish with, here is a physio one. The coronavirus attacks the respiratory system and leaves people physically breathless. If you suffer the illness and are finding it difficult to clear your airways, then please try this one. This technique will loosen and clear secretions in the lungs, make your coughing more effective, and increase your lung ventilation.

Active Cycle of Breathing

Breathing Control

1. Breathe in and out gently through your nose if you can. If you cannot, breathe through your mouth instead. Keep the top half of your body totally still and breathe from your stomach.

2. Relax as much as possible. Slow your breathing down.

3. When you feel you have control of your breathing – move to the next stage.

Thoracic Expansion

4. Take a long, slow and deep breath in, through your nose if you can.

5. At the end of the breath in, hold the air in your lungs for 2-3 seconds before breathing out.

6. Breathe out gently and relaxed, like a sigh. Don’t force the air out.

7. Repeat 3 – 5 times. If you feel light-headed then it is important that you revert back to the breathing control section.

8. Try to expand your rib cage outwards as much as possible.

Huffing - This helps to move secretions in your airways

9. Take a deep breath in, open your mouth wide and huff out quickly.

Small long huffs move congestion from low down up into the chest whereas big short huffs moves congestion from higher up into chest, so bear this in mind and use a bigger huff when the congestion feels ready to come out. This will be likely to make you cough, but long bouts of coughing are to be avoided. Only cough if the congestion can be cleared easily. Otherwise, please go back to controlled breathing.

We hope you are feeling well, we will be back soon. Take care.

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