Breathing Techniques

Breathing is an automatic and crucial bodily function, often occurring without conscious effort. It may be challenging to imagine that you could be doing it better, particularly if you have a lung condition that causes breathlessness. However, it’s worth considering that even individuals with conditions like pulmonary fibrosis or bronchiectasis have the potential to enhance their breathing. Skilled physiotherapists from UCLH have developed the following videos that offer techniques to assist you in improving your breathing method.

Introduction to Breathing Control: Lying Down

This video will show you how to retrain your breathing while lying down.


Retrain your Breathing: Sitting

Once you have practiced the breathing control exercise lying down, you can try it sitting up.

Active Cycle of Breathing Technique

Watch this video to show you how to clear phlegm from your chest.

Butekyo Breathing Technique


The Butekyo approach was developed by Konstantin Buteyko during the 1940s and 1950s. This breathing technique demonstrated impressive results, leading to its implementation among asthmatic children in Russian hospitals. It subsequently spread to countries like New Zealand, Australia, and eventually made its way to the UK in the late 1990s.  Current evidence strongly supports its efficacy, leading to its inclusion in UK guidelines for respiratory care.

Read about how Butekyo breathing may be able to help you control your breathing.


We hope these breathing exercises can help you manage your respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath and chest tightness.  You may need to practice them to get full benefit.  If you are having difficulty with any of the exercises, talk with your doctor or respiratory therapist.

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