Breathing Exercises for Asthma Patients

Updated at: Jun 08, 2018
Breathing Exercises for Asthma Patients

Asthma exercises aim to control lung function and control symptoms. Some effective breathing exercises that control asthma symptoms effectively are deep breathing, anulom vilom and pranayama.

Vatsal Anand
AsthmaWritten by: Vatsal AnandPublished at: Jun 08, 2018

Breathing exercises for asthma patients is not backed by research as an effective treatment, some medical practitioners and asthma patients would vouch for its benefits in managing the symptoms of asthma.

Butyeko Breathing

It is a method developed by a Russian doctor that focuses on breathing through the nose rather than the mouth to manage the asthma symptoms. The patients are taught holding their breath in this technique so that they do not over breathe. The aim of this technique is to reduce the amount of ventilation and reduction in oxygen pressure.

The principle behind the technique is that during an asthma attack, instead of trying to take deep breaths, the patient should be made to take short, shallow breaths to improve the level of oxygen. Since it is the low level of carbon dioxide that leads to constricting of airways, shallow breaths can increase it and prevent the asthma attack.

Yoga Breathing

In a study reported by Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 120 asthma patients were made to perform yoga breathing techniques and were given standard pharmaceutical treatment too. These participants were observed for a period of 8 weeks. The participants in the group was practicing breathing exercises was found to have improved lung functions.


Pranayama is basically yoga breathing but it actually means control of energy. The exercise aims at smoothening your rough and erratic breathing. The method is to take in the breath through the nose and let it reach the bottom of the lungs. Your lungs would expand evenly as you go about practicing this breathing exercise for relief from asthma.

Anulom Vilom

Anulom vilom involves blocking one of your nostrils with your thumb and inhaling with the other, then removing the thumb and exhaling through the nostril that was blocked. This process needs to be repeated through the other nostril. You should do 10-20 rounds of this breathing exercise.


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