Patients with respiratory (pulmonary) disease benefit from specific breathing exercises, which involve a retraining of breathing patterns, and from general exercises programs which support normal daily activities. Breathing exercises have been used continuously since 1930, the widest recognition of their value arose with the advent of thoracic surgery, they have retained a respected place in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema.
The value of general exercise in the support of the chronic respiratory invalid has been appreciated only recently as the role of physical exercises in rehabilitation has been more widely recognized.
After surgery, breathing exercises help restore maximum lung function at the earliest possible stage, help maintain posture, and shorten the period of convalescence. In chronic lung disease, where the precise contribution of any single form of therapy is notoriously hard to assess, an exact effect of breathing exercises has still not been positively identified.
Therapeutic attempts to modify the pattern of breathing require a firm appreciation of chest (thoracic) mechanism, with regard to the physical characteristics which shape the lung and chest wall and the muscular actions which change these shapes to produce ventilation.
In the terms of the primary function of respiration, the supply of oxygen to the body and the removal of carbon dioxide (Toxin gas) must be considered as early as possible.