Respiratory Exercises for COPD Increase Lung Function and Blood Oxygen
By Dr. Artour Rakhimov, Alternative Health Educator and Author - Medically Reviewed by Naziliya Rakhimova, MD - Last updated on August 9, 2018
Offical Western medical sources offer an amazingly nonsensical perspective on breathing
exercises for COPD patients and cannot even explain what is wrong
with breathing in people with asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema. As a result, traditional or official
breathing exercises (like pursed lip breathing) for COPD provide very limitedly, if any, effects.
In contrast to this approach, reduced breathing exercises of the Buteyko breathing
technique or the Frolov breathing device (Samozdrav and DIY devices are as good) allow them to experience nearly immediate positive effects:
- Blood oxygenation increases even after a 20-30 min single breathing session
- In 3-7 days, nearly all COPD patients can walk about twice longer distance (and duration of time) without breathlessness (dyspnea) and with strictly nasal breathing
- Nearly immediate improvements in sleep, clarity of mind, energy levels, and other lifestyle factors.
With time, those people with COPD who managed to normalize their breathing back to
the medical norm can achieve normal lung function test results with 97-99 for blood oxygen numbers. This is a difficult challenge, however,
and often requires months or years of effort. Why and how does this
treatment therapy for COPD work?
It is known that acute COPD exacerbations are accompanied by
increased lung ventilation: breathing becomes faster and
usually deeper. This causes losses in alveolar CO2 and
constriction of airways. Studies also show that, when COPD patients are in a stable
condition, they also exhibit constant heavy breathing at rest.
Increased ventilation reduces alveolar CO2, a powerful bronchodilator (see links below).
Continued over-breathing further reduces CO2 levels in airways causing
bronchospasm, increased the friction of air moving in constricted airways, extra
mucus production (that further worsens air movement), increased hypoxemia, and
reduced oxygen levels in cells. Furthermore, studies have found injurious
effects of alveolar hypocapnia (low CO2 in the lungs) (see links below.)
Therefore, it is not a surprise that severity of acute COPD exacerbations can be
greatly reduced if the patients slow down their breathing and accumulate CO2 in
airways in order to expand them using special COPD breathing exercises.
This can be accomplished with Buteyko reduced breathing exercises
or when using the Frolov-Breathslim device (or the DIY device). An
introduction to Buteyko exercises and accompanying lifestyle changes can be found
in the Section "Learn here".
Can respiratory exercises with devices normalize COPD lung function test results?
A better option of the COPD
respiratory exercise is to increase alveolar CO2 using a breathing device such as
the Frolov breathing device (instead of Buteyko exercises).
Over 500 medical doctors endorse and use the Frolov
breathing device in Russia. After testing hundreds of people with COPD, Russian
Buteyko MDs suggested that COPD patients require more than 20 seconds for the
body-oxygen test in order to prevent acute COPD exacerbations and improve their
fitness and symptoms. However, if people with COPD get more than 40 seconds they
can achieve clinical remission with normal lung function results. COPD patients
need to slow down their heavy breathing back to the medical norm using both
breathing exercises and lifestyle changes.
The link below describes a clinical trial which evaluated the effects and
safety of breathing exercises with the Frolov breathing device on respiratory
function of COPD patients with a moderate degree of the disease who were
hospitalized following an exacerbation.
In this clinical trial, breathing exercises for COPD patients were continued
after their discharge from the hospital. The therapy, breathing with the Frolov
device from 10 minutes up to 30 minutes per day (maximum), was used in addition to
standard medication. Final measurements (lung function tests) were done after 90
days of respiratory exercises. Here is a partial translation of this medical
study: acute COPD treatment.
This COPD trial relates to the Section of the website that has pages devoted
to breathing exercises with the Frolov respiratory device. Both lung function results and blood oxygenation (as oximeters show) become normal when they achieve over 60 s for the morning CP.