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Exercises for Emphysema Sufferers:

Breathe in through the nose, keep the tongue on the roof of the mouth while inhaling and exhaling. Make a fist and blow through where the thumb and first finger meet. You can adjust the difficulty by opening and closing the fist. Try to restrict the opening and slow your exhale as much as you can without feeling discomfort. This can help strengthen the lungs, diaphragm, chest, abdominal and upper back muscles.

Another helpful exercise requires nothing more than a chair and a piece of string. Place the chair in a doorway or other area where a string can be suspended so that it hangs down in front of the face to approximately chin level and is about 18″ away. Sitting in the chair place, the feet flat on the floor about hip width apart. Straighten the back, tuck the chin slightly, place the hands comfortably in the lap, raise the sternum and imagine there is a hook in the top of your head and the line attached to the hook is lifting straight up, stretching and straightening the spinal column. Holding the gaze horizontal, try to blow the string up to the height of the top of your head. Exhale as slowly as is comfortable, keeping the string blown as far away from the face as possible. Do as many repetitions as feels comfortable to you.

When lying down place the hands on the abdominal area. Keep the tongue on the roof of the mouth and breathe in and out through the nose. Breathe into the belly and feel the hands rise. When you breathe out use just enough down pressure from the hands to evacuate all the air from the lungs. The hand pressure is down and slightly upward toward the bottom of the ribcage.

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All you need for this one is a glass of water, a straw (flex-straw works best) and a chair. Sitting in the chair with the straw in the bottom of the glass of water, blow bubbles in the water for as long as you can. Keep a record of the length of time you can blow the bubbles. After a few days or a week, compare your time to the time when you started. The position in the chair is identical to the exercise above. A flex-straw works best because you don’t have to bend forward which collapses the chest and restricts the lung capacity

Sitting in a chair as in the above exercises, place the hands on the abdomen. Breathe completely in through the nose and as you exhale, bend forward from the 5th lumbar vertebrae keeping the back straight and without collapsing the chest and shoulders. While bending forward, push in and up on the abdomen with the hands until you’ve evacuated all the air from the lungs.

Standing with the feet shoulder width apart. Place the palms on the sides of the ribcage. As you breathe in through the nose bring the elbows upward and out to the sides. Raise the elbows up to shoulder level or as high as possible. You may find it necessary to pull the palms away from the chest but try to keep contact with at least the fingertips. After breathing completely in, begin to exhale and place the palms back on the sides of the ribcage. Push in to help expel the air from the lungs. You don’t need to use a lot of force, just enough to help clear all the air from the lungs.

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In a standing position with the feet shoulder width apart, interlock the fingers and bring the backs of the hands in front of the nose, elbows out to the sides at shoulder height, breathe completely in. Lean forward, coming up on the toes while exhaling and pushing the hands, palms away from the face, upward at approximately a 45 degree angle. Keep the arms as close to the ears as possible and try to touch the ears with the shoulders. When you’ve slowly breathed completely out, begin to rock back until the heels are on the ground, you’ve breathed completely in and the backs of the hands are again in front of the nose.

Repeat any or all of the above exercises as many times as feels comfortable to you. Don’t force the breath and increase your repetitions over a period of time. But, remember that if you don’t make an effort to go beyond where you are, to push the veil slightly, you’ll never get past that point.

Ref: Larry R. Miller Health And Wellness Classes