Pursed Lip Breathing
Pursed lip breathing is one of the
simplest ways to control shortness of breath. It provides a quick and
easy way to slow your pace of breathing, making each breath more
What does pursed
lip breathing do?
Pursed lip breathing:
- Improves ventilation
- Releases trapped air in the lungs
- Keeps the airways open longer and
decreases the work of breathing
- Prolongs exhalation to slow the
- Improves breathing patterns by moving
old air out of the lungs and allowing for new air to enter the lungs
- Relieves shortness of breath
- Causes general relaxation
When should I
use this technique?
Use this technique during the difficult part of any activity,
such as bending, lifting or stair climbing.
Practice this technique 4-5 times a day
at first so you can get the correct breathing pattern.
Lip Breathing Technique
|1. Relax your neck and shoulder muscles.
|2. Breathe in (inhale) slowly through
your nose for two counts, keeping your mouth closed. Don't take a deep
breath; a normal breath will do. It may help to count to yourself:
inhale, one, two.
(figure to right)
Pucker or "purse" your lips as if you were going to whistle or gently
flicker the flame of a candle.
4. Breathe out (exhale) slowly and gently
through your pursed lips while counting to four.
It may help to count to
yourself: exhale, one, two, three, four.
(figure to right)
regular practice, this technique will seem natural to you.
This information is provided by The Cleveland
Clinic Health System and is not intended to replace the medical
advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your
health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.
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Last modified: June 17, 2002