Yoga for respiratory problems

Using the tools that yoga offers, as a way to support patients with respiratory diseases and recover from these diseases, is common and found effective, many rehabilitation centers around the world already include therapeutic yoga sessions as part of the pulmonary and respiratory rehabilitation system they offer.

The recent period and the corona epidemic (Covid-19) have led to an increase in patients with diseases related to the respiratory system and health.

Aside from supporting recovery from viral diseases such as corona, yoga has an extensive set of tools that help support and treat even those suffering from respiratory and lung diseases, which are not related to the corona virus itself.

Some of these lung diseases are chronic diseases, the outbreak of which is also directly affected by environmental factors such as smoking and poor nutrition, which belong to a group called Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

It is a family of chronic, incurable diseases - which impairs the elastic capacity of the lungs and thereby impairs the normal respiratory capacity. These are diseases that are especially common in smokers and in the absence of appropriate treatment that supports the respiratory system, there will be a gradual deterioration in COPD patients which will only get worse.

In the past, the only treatment known to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was smoking cessation, hoping to slow the disease, but there is a whole range of supportive therapies that can have a positive effect on the health and quality of life of those suffering from the disease.

The COPD family, which includes diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, is characterized by a poor ability to produce deep breathing and hence to maintain active longevity. It is in fact a kind of self-feeding vicious circle and if there is no external intervention, the general condition of the patients - both their physical condition and their emotional, mental, and even social condition - deteriorates.

A major complaint of COPD sufferers here is intolerance to physical exertion as a result of shortness of breath and fatigue and is significant in both mild and severe patients.

The gradual decrease in the ability to tolerate stress is affected, among other things, by the limitation of ventilation of the lungs, a decrease in gas turnover (leading to the adoption of a pattern of shallow breathing), a decrease in myocardial capacity, and of course a decrease in respiratory muscle capacity. Another important factor, which directly affects physical ability, is the damage to skeletal muscles through a systemic inflammatory process that characterizes COPD and damage to the cellular respiratory process.

Injury to the skeletal muscles, also directly leads to damage to the aerobic capacity and causes that in most patients, fatigue of the skeletal muscles is what limits tolerance to exertion and not shortness of breath.

The inability and physical limitation often leads to mental damage that manifests itself in depression and despair. Here, too, it is part of the injury mechanism that strengthens itself if adequate support is not given.

 

 

In recent years, in addition to a sweeping recommendation for smoking cessation and dietary change, medical and paramedical interventions have also been provided, aimed at strengthening the respiratory system and providing an array of physical and mental support to patients so that although these diseases cannot be cured, there is a viable option to improve quality of life. The disease.

Yoga therapy , is an important and common tool in the rehabilitation and support of patients with lung diseases.

Through the use of various tools and adaptation of the practice to the patient - a significant improvement can be achieved both in the tolerance to exertion, in the ability to breathe, in the levels of oxygen in the blood and in the general feeling.

Yoga therapy is a practice method that offers many ways to support lung patients and patients who are in the process of recovering from diseases that have caused respiratory damage, including:

  • Adapted physical exercise that strengthens and flexes both the skeletal muscles and the respiratory muscles.

  • Breathing practice that combines classic breathing and imagination techniques, which activate the lungs, diaphragm and pelvic floor muscles and strengthen their action.

  • A practice that combines the use of sounds that create both an extension of the breathing parts and a calming and focusing effect.

  • Mental reinforcement through repetitive supportive sentences / mantras that encourage and strengthen patients along the way.

  • Strengthening and encouraging on the way to changing harmful habits (smoking, poor nutrition).