Let us understand the importance of deep breathing and why should we emphasize more on these sorts of exercises?
We all are passing through a very tough time. Covid is affecting thousands of lives. Covid is a respiratory tract virus that primarily infects the respiratory organs of the body, the lung being the epicenter of the infection. The lung is a vital organ that does the gaseous exchange and purifies the blood. We have two lungs inside our thorax. There are 3 different lobes in our lungs-Apical lobe, middle lobe, and lower lobe. These 3 lobes contain balloon-like structures called Alveoli. There are millions of alveoli that are distributed in 3 lobes. These are the main area where the air gets purified. The alveoli are surrounded by thin vascular meshwork. When we breathe in the alveoli expand, and all the arteries surrounding the alveoli take up oxygen from the air which is coming in. When we breathe out these alveoli collapse the CO2 gets out from the blood and goes out. In this way, the blood gets purified.
Now, what does Corona do?
Once corona enters the lungs it proliferated inside the lungs, damages the alveoli, and causes fibrosis. It also causes thrombosis in the blood capillaries surrounding the alveoli. The lungs do not get nourishment and get fibrosed. As alveoli are damaged, alveoli lumen are damaged, the alveoli membrane which was otherwise exchanging oxygen cannot exchange oxygen anymore leading to low oxygen saturation in the blood. Now once the patient recovers from all these inflammatory insults thus this inflammation and ongoing damage improve dramatically? The answer is No. Residual lesions remain. In this phase do we have any specific medicine answer is no? Fibrosis of the lungs means the elasticity of the lung is gone because of some new matrix deposition. The lung cannot expand as it was supposed to be while we are inhaling air; or it does not collapse normally during exhalation.
COVID-19 can cause pneumonia in people who are very sick. This causes the lungs to fill up with fluid and mucus, making breathing and getting the oxygen to the blood more difficult. COVID affects the entire respiratory system, obstructing ventilation even further. It has the potential to cause asthma attacks and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). So we need to do some breathing exercises so we can maintain the elasticity and help alveoli to recover. Deep breathing exercise is the only tool by which we can increase lung immunity and optimize lung function. Lung has a tremendous reserve and we use only a small fraction of it. By practicing deep breathing exercises we can use the reserve. If we practices deep breathing exercises it activates the 3 lobes of the lungs, improves the elasticity of the alveoli in the 3 lobes of the lungs.
If you regularly practice these sets of exercises, the elasticity of the lung gets restored and lessons get healed. It is significantly importance for someone suffering from active covid infection or has just recovered from corona infection. Deep breathing restores lung function by using the diaphragm. Breathing through the nose strengthens the diaphragm and encourages the nervous system to relax and restore itself. Breathing exercises get oxygen deep into the lungs, which helps to clear out mucus and other fluids. During recovery, breathing exercises work to strengthen the diaphragm, a major respiratory muscle located under the lungs. It can also help increase lung capacity, bringing much-needed oxygen into your bloodstream. Deep breathing exercises also help you feel calm, which may be beneficial for coping with long-term illness and recovery. When recovering from a respiratory illness like COVID-19, it’s important not to rush recovery.
I have specially designed a deep breathing exercise training program “Boost your lung health” where I have sequentially taught the steps of breathing exercises. There are nearly 20 sets of exercises which will be a tremendous boon to heal the lung health. Below is the link to join my program.