Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Breathing Exercise Aids Respiration

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Breathing Exercise Aids Respiration

Article excerpt

Dear Dr. Donohue: Would you please say something sometime about the respiratory exercise of breathing in through the nose and then exhaling through pursed lips? When is the best time to do this exercise? What is its purpose? I do the exercise at night in bed. It seems to help me to sleep, but I don't really know that for sure. Maybe mornings would be better. What do you think?

The pursed-lips breathing exercise opens small airways, which become closed with emphysema or bronchitis during exhalation. People with emphysema or bronchitis characteristically have airways that collapse more easily during the exhalation phase of respiration.

To do the exercise, you inhale normally, then exhale through pursed lips, exactly the way you do when whistling, although you don't actually whistle. You don't have to alter the respiratory rate, either.

You can repeat the exercise anytime during the day, or whenever it can help - morning or evening, or in connection with use of airway-dilating medicines such as spray inhalants.

I have not heard of the exercise as a soporific, but that doesn't seem to be a great stretch. If it helps you sleep, fine.

For more on bronchitis and emphysema, see the report I am sending on. Others can order it by writing: Dr. Donohue - No. 10, Box 5539, Riverton, NJ 08077-5539. Enclose $3 and a self-addressed, stamped (55 cents) No. 10 envelope.

Dear Dr. Donohue: Our sister has Guillain-Barre syndrome. She was so ill that she now requires rehabilitation. Please tell us more about the syndrome. I cannot explain it myself.

I don't have to tell you just how serious an illness Guillain-Barre syndrome can be. …

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