Breathing exercises

Techniques for learning to control the rate and depth of breathing. They aim to teach people to inhale through the nose, while expanding the chest, and then to exhale fully through the mouth, while contracting the abdominal muscles. They are used after chest surgery and for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (see pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive). Breathing exercises can also help people with anxiety disorders and may help to relieve symptoms in some people with asthma. In yoga, deep rhythmic breathing is used to achieve a state of relaxation. During childbirth, breathing exercises relax the mother and also help to control contractions and reduce pain. (See also physiotherapy.)


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