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Breathing exercises good for asthmatics

Incorporating breathing exercises into asthma medication regimen may help asthmatics to improve their overall sense of well being.

Breathing exercises good for asthmatics

Including breathing exercises into asthma treatment may help asthmatics improve their overall sense of well being. To see whether breathing exercises help control asthma, researchers from Britain compared the benefits of physiotherapist-supervised breathing training versus nurse-delivered asthma education in moderately affected, but otherwise healthy, asthma patients, who were an average of 46 years old. The researchers randomly assigned 183 patients to three sessions of physiotherapist-supervised breathing training or nurse-supervised asthma education. Breathing sessions explained normal versus dysfunctional breathing, taught diaphragmatic and nasal breathing techniques, and encouraged participants to practice exercises for at least 10 minutes a day. After 6 months, it was found that total asthma quality of life scores improved in over 90 percent of the participants who completed the breathing training compared with 64 percent of participants who completed the education intervention. Further, the breathing training group reported improvements in patient-centered measures such as feeling more in control of asthma symptoms and feeling less anxious or depressed. The above findings indicate that though breathing exercises did not lessen asthma medication, they help improved asthma symptoms and quality of life measures.
Online First Thorax
December 2008
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