COVID-19: Breathing Exercises and Techniques

Breathing Exercises and Techniques
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COVID-19, also known as bronchiolitis, is a difficult illness to deal with. Symptoms include difficulty breathing and coughing up mucus. The best way to recover from this illness is by taking care of the symptoms through proper breathing exercises and techniques.

Breathing Exercises and Techniques
Breathing Exercises and Techniques

This blog post will go into detail about how you can do just that!

Kevali pranayama (So-Ham)

Kevali pranayama, also known as So-Hum and Hamsa, is a yogic breathing exercise that aims to identify oneself with the whole. You may break the word Sohum into two parts in light of meditation. The sound of breathing out will be represented by “Hum,” while the sound of breathing in will be represented by “So.”

Steps:

  • Sit in a sitting posture to unwind.
  • Consider taking a few breaths to help you relax.
  • Exhale and observe your breath as you do so.
  • Repeat the phrase silently to yourself and pay attention to your breathing (I’m) and inhales (So), and exhales (Hum).
  • Repeat the process, beginning with Round 1. Continue for 11 rounds.

Pursed lip breathing

Pursed-lip breathing is a simple breathing technique that assists to slow down one’s respiration and produce a sense of calm. It has also been found to reduce shortness of breath, increase oxygen levels, and strengthen the lungs.

Steps:

  • Sit in a comfortable posture.
  • Close your mouth & breathe in slowly through your nose, counting to two.
  • Continue to breathe in deeply many times.
  • Repeat the procedure in reverse, starting with pursing your lips rather than blowing out a candle.
  • Repeat for 4-5 breaths before and after each meal.

Anulom-vilom

Anulom-Vilom, also known as alternate nostril breathing. This Pranayama has a variety of health advantages, including increased lung capacity, better blood circulation, clearer nasal passage, and stress reduction. This is a popular type of pranayama in which you breathe in through one nostril and out through the other.

Steps:

  • Close your eyes and sit in a meditation posture, whether on the chair or on the ground.
  • Keep your feet together & flat on the floor, with your legs slightly bent. Relax but make sure to straighten your neck and spine in a straight line and rest your wrists on your knees.
  • Close your right nostril by pressing it with your right thumb and breathing in via left nostril.
  • Place your ring finger on the left nostril and exhale through it after closing your right nostril.
  • Your breathing must be slow and deep.
  • For 10 minutes, continue this breathing technique through both nostrils.
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Bhramari pranayama

The Brahmari pranayama, also known as the Humming bee, is one of the most efficient breathing techniques. It has a soothing impact on the mind. This breathing technique helps to relieve tension, anxiety, and tiredness. Brahmari pranayama is easy to learn and can be done anywhere or at any time.

Steps:

  • Sit on a chair or on the ground cross-legged.
  • Using your thumb, shut your ears.
  • Place your middle and ring fingers at the inner corner of your eyes.
  • Place your index finger over your brows and little finger against your cheeks.
  • While breathing in deeply and softly humming like a honeybee, make a low rumble.
  • Do this procedure for 10 minutes to get the most out of it.

Ujjayi pranayama (Ocean Breath)

This is one of the most frequently used breathing exercises in breath-control pranayama. When done correctly, ujjayi pranayama may enhance oxygen consumption. According to a study published in the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in Bangalore, this technique can improve your oxygen use by 52% during practice.

Steps:

  • Take a few deep breaths and sit up straight. Relax your shoulders away from your ears and close your eyes.
  • While breathing out, tighten your throat in order to generate a soft hissing sound.
  • When you’re ready, compress your throat and breathe in a while, retaining the air in your lungs until a quiet hissing sound is heard.
  • With your diaphragm, you can regulate your inhales and exhales.
  • Close the mouth and breathe through your nose when you can control both inhaling and exhaling. Compress your throat in the same manner as when the mouth was open. The breath will still make a slight hissing sound as it enters and leaves the nose, which is known as Ujjayi breath.
  • Make sure that the length of your inhales and exhales are equal.

3 Breathing exercises for COVID-19 affected patients 

The symptoms of COVID-19 acute infection begin between 2 and 14 days after exposure. Although the symptoms go away in around two weeks, some individuals experience persistent problems such as tiredness and shortness of breath for a longer period. While recuperating from COVID-19 virus illness, breathing exercises may be beneficial.

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Caution: If you have COVID-19, consult with your doctor before beginning the breathing exercises to avoid worsening symptoms.

Yawn to a Smile

Deep breathing increases circulation and blood flow throughout your body. This respiratory exercise allows the diaphragm to expand fully, which opens up the muscles in your chest. It also helps you develop coordination and improves arm and shoulder strength.

Steps:

  • Take a few moments to center yourself. Sit on the edge of your bed or on the ground.
  • Widen your arms out to the width of your shoulder, which will stimulate muscles in your back to stretch.
  • Open your mouth wide to form a huge yawn with the arms extended.
  • Bring your arms back down and end it with a smile.
  • Repeat the process 5 times.

Qigong Belly Breathing (Diaphragmatic breathing)

The diaphragm is used to assist with deep breathing, which helps restore lung function by utilizing the diaphragm. COVID-19 patients who engaged in Qigong exercises had better pulmonary function and capacity, according to several studies. This is because this Qigong practice involves deep breathing and slow movements, which may be beneficial for COVID-19 patients.

Steps:

  • Take a few minutes to sit and rest on the ground.
  • Follow these movements with your head and spine upright and your eyes shut.
  • Take a few minutes to relax and breathe as you normally would.
  • Place one hand on your chest and the other on your tummy.
  • Then, for each side, breathe deeply nine to ten times.

Om breathing (Humming while exhaling)

Hummed breaths help to boost nitric oxide production in the body. Nitric oxide promotes neuroplasticity (the formation and repair of neurons) and dilates blood vessels, allowing additional oxygen to be delivered throughout the body. Humming is also soothing and relaxing, lowering tension while helping the patient remain in recovery mode.

Steps: 

  • Raise your chin slightly and place each hand on the lower part of your stomach.
  • Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth and breathe in deeply through your nose while keeping your lips closed. Keep your lips sealed.
  • Allow your fingertips to stretch out wide with your breath.
  • After you believe your lungs are full, exhale gradually while reciting OMmmmm. In this manner, Mmm Makara is elongated. 1:2 ratio.
  • Repeat for a few breaths or one minute if desired.
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These exercises will not help prevent COVID-19 and should not be used in place of ongoing therapy for the condition. These breathing exercises for COVID-19 may assist you in strengthening your respiratory system, which can aid in the fight against infections and contribute to your recovery process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it possible to replace breathing with a drug?

Breathing exercises can help you regain your lung capacity, but it’s best to seek advice from your doctor before using them. Performing breathing techniques may exacerbate symptoms if you have any of the following: shortness of breath when resting, an irregular heartbeat, or chest discomfort.

Can breathing exercises aid in the strengthening of our lungs during COVID-19?

1) Improved oxygen supply. 2) Different lobes of lungs are used (Aeration of entire lungs). 3) Significant amount is removed. Pranayama promotes greater circulation, which decreases mucus and improves organ function.

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