a [new for me] breathing technique that works for me

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I get breathless to the point of gasping which slowly gets worse and fight for each breath; I seem to get air in but not out. On this one occasion it got so bad my hands and feet were curled and I felt like I couldn't go on. My body just kept this losing cycle of gasping and getting weaker [and trying to relax wasn't having any effect] but my brain said 'hey, you gotta try something differet and quick' so with an almighty effort I breathed as much as I could in thru my nose and as slow as possible out thru my nose. this first in & out didn't do a whole lot but I kept at it fighting the gasping reflex and gradually taking in & out more air thru nose each time a little more. After 5 breaths I felt myself relaxing and this brought me back. Whew! it was a real effort though.

Hope this might help others. But be clear it was a real effort.

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  • Posted

    I should add that during these first 5 hard fought breaths if I exhaled thru my mouth the gasping came back. It was very difficult to overcome this gasping when trying to exhale. Each breath try to exhale a little more.

    Of course it took a few of these episodes to perfect this technique.

    Just standing up and putting my coat/jacket on was enuf to start an episode!

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    • Posted

      Sounds like you are retaining too much C02....have you been seen lately? That can shut you down if you don't get that blown out of your lungs and get the right medicine. Forgive me if I am wrong...you may be a veteran at this and I'm mistaken...but if you are new at this....you need to be checked asap. Please let me know....
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  • Posted

    Hi ian48077,

    Finding the way to relax is crucial isn't it"  My lungs have been severe since birth, so I have basically not breathed normally my whole life with a steady progression to worse.  Hundreds of times I have struggled severely and I too cannot breathe everything out that I breathe in.  What you describe here works for me sometimes, it depends on how tight my lungs are and how long I have suffered each spell.  

    For me, if I blow out with every ounce of my strength until I think I will panic, then blow a couple of more seconds, and then use my life saving inhaler on the next, now desparate, breath I take in, then hold my breath for 12 seconds before blowing out again, it allows the medication to get into the lungs and stay there so it can help.  I wait one minute and then repeat the process.

    While doing my nebulizer breathing treatments, I do the same thing.  Blow out until I think I will die and then suck in that medication and hold it.  It is remarkable!

    Another thing I began as a child but still find it useful, is to simply sing a note or just make any sound and make that sound for as long as I possibly can and then some and my lungs relax in no time and that is without medication.

    I also use visualization to calm myself.  I have a happy place where I can keep myself from crying, because crying during one of these attacks like you describe, only worsens the entire situation.

    Keep breathing and using the calming technique you described below and i hope you can find a new idea to add to that from me.

    Take care!

    Dawn (in the US)

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  • Posted

    Hi I am glad this worked for you.  There are some breathing techniques which are recommended.  One of them is to breathe in through your nose to a count of 2 - then breathe out through your mouth to a count of 5.   There are others which you will find if you google them.  

    bev x

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  • Posted

    Hi Ian I am in the Uk too, I assume this is a universal site but  I am new on this particular site. I am really struggling with any degree of breathing technique at the moment as I think I have had a Copd flare up.  I say think nothing has been diagnosed but the symptoms I have tick the boxes.  I have also the read about the inhale nose and exhale mouth.  Does anyone know if this is a correct technique, should we ever breath in via our mouth - whats the difference 
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  • Posted

    deborah77892 i think its all about what works for you - try different things during flare ups or after too much activity by mistake. for the last month i've had this mucus cough caught from frends teens so it is going round. finally shaking it!! Won't be going there again unfortunately, can't take the extra prob this last flare up caused!
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  • Posted

    ladyjack51 thanks for your commet. Yes I have been to the doc & respiratory nurse recently but nothing changes. It appears that they don't believe me. Whether it's ecause I have high oxygen reading I'm not sure?!?
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