You shouldn’t replace any prescribed medications for alternative treatments, but certain complementary therapies can help you manage asthma and anxiety.
Breathing exercises are a mainstay of pulmonary rehabilitation techniques for lung diseases such as asthma. By retraining the way you breathe, you may be able to improve overall lung function and subsequent asthma symptoms.
The American Lung Association recommends practicing the following exercises each day, for 5 to 10 minutes at a time:
- Belly/diaphragmatic breathing. With your hands on your stomach, breathe in and out through your nose. Feel how your stomach rises on the inhalation, and falls on each exhalation. Exhale up to two to three times longer than your inhalation. Keep your shoulders and neck relaxed during the process.
- Pursed lip breathing. To complete this exercise, breathe in through your nose, and then exhale through your mouth, keeping your lips pursed. As with belly breathing, your exhalation should be at least two times longer than your inhalation.