Asthma: Simple Breathing Exercises for Your Child

If you want to lessen the amount of medication your child takes, you might be interested in some alternatives. Here are three simple exercises your child can do to reduce his likelihood of another attack. This information, however, in no way, replaces the advice of your doctor.

For the following exercises, find a quiet room with little distractions. Parents try these yourself first, then do them with your child.

“Baby Breaths”

Have you ever watched a baby breathe? You may notice their belly rising and falling. Now watch an adult breathe? Notice how the chest rises instead. This is because, as we age, due to poor posture or habit, we begin to breathe more shallow. We forget to bring the air all the way down to our bellies. Women are also taught to suck in the belly and push out their chest. Try belly-breathing with that posture! Men, too, are encouraged to raise their chest (military style). We need to learn how to take those initial “baby breaths”.

1.Sit on the edge of a chair. Feet flat on the floor. Back straight. Rest your hands on your thighs.

2.Take some “cleansing breaths” first. Close your mouth and breathe in through your nose. Gently. Follow the breath all the way down to your belly. Slightly part your lips and allow the breath to exhale. Gently. Do this 3 times.

3.Adjust your posture. It is important that you are sitting up straight so that your lungs are fully open. Continue breathing as in the “cleansing breaths”. But, this time, stay conscious of the breath. Follow it to the belly, watching it rise, then draw it up and out through your nose. Keep your mouth closed.

4.Do at least 10 of these. Less if you get dizzy. Stop if it is making you sick or causing any asthmatic symptoms. Work your way up to 10 during the following days.

“Lung Lights”

This exercise is modified from the Chinese art of Qi Gong. In Chinese, Qi is energy. Breath is energy. Here, we focus on the breath, but also the lungs, imagining a white light filling our organ.

1.Start with the same posture as before.

2.Again, begin with cleansing breaths.

3.This time, close your eyes, draw the breath in through your nose. Follow it into your lungs and down to your belly.

4.As it passes the lungs, imagine a white light filling your lung sacs; watch as it gets brighter. Hold the breath in your belly for a moment. Relax, exhale gently through your nose.

5.As you exhale, watch the light slowly dim.

6.Repeat 3 more times. Again, if you feel dizzy or begin having asthmatic symptoms, stop.

“Lung Push Ups”

If you are not breathing down into your belly, then you are not exercising your diaphragm. If you have been doing this for 10, 20 or 30 years, you will need to retrain your lungs. They have been getting a little lazy. This exercise helps you pump them up to tip-top shape!

1.Yes, you know the drill�sit, feet flat, relax.

2.Sure, let’s do those old cleansing breaths for nostalgia.

3.Now, be sure that posture is straight – imagine a tiny thread pulling you up from the top of your head. Shoulders relaxed.

4.You will do as many of these inhale/exhale sets as you can. Try 10, increase as is comfortable.

5.You will be breathing through your mouth for this one, so you will need to either plug your nose, your put a nose plug on (like the ones swimmers use). With your nose plugged, take a deep inhale through your mouth, all the way down.

6.Now, slowly, very slowly, exhale through your mouth (nose still plugged).

7.This one can make you quite dizzy, so you will only want to do 3 or 4 at first. As you improve, add more. Remember to gather the breath in your belly, not your chest.

Well, I hope these exercises motivate you to find more activities that can increase your child’s lung power so he will rely less on medication. You may even notice improved energy levels in yourself – if you do these exercises together!

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