Breathing through your fist to suppress the urge to cough – instructions

Coughing and the urge to cough can be a torment. A breathing technique to get the urge under control to breathe through your fist. We will show you why the breathing technique works and how to breathe through your fist.

Breathing against resistance

Breathing through your fist is a stenosis breathing technique - so in other words, breathing against resistance. Stenosis breathing means that the bronchial tubes do not collapse as you breathe out (and so become too narrow), but remain wide and stable. This means that the air flows through the bronchial tubes more freely and consistently and your breathing can stabilise.

Breathing through your fist – instructions

  1. Clench your hand into a fist
    Make a fist, resting your thumb on your fingers. Do not tuck your thumb under your fingers so it is inside your fist. Your fingers form a little funnel.
  2. Bring your fist to your mouth
    Bring your fist to your mouth so your lips touch your thumb and your index finger. Press the funnel opening directly against your lips.
  3. Breathe in and out through your fist
    Breathe in through your nose and then breathe out slowly through your fist. If you funnel your fist properly and close your hand tightly enough, you will be able to feel the desired resistance as you breathe out.
  4. Repeat until the urge to cough has passed
    Breathe out through your fist until the urge to cough has passed. If you cannot suppress the urge, cough into your fist.

Visit your doctor if you have a permanent cough or urge to cough

If you have a cough or the urge to cough either very often or all the time, visit your general practitioner or pulmonary specialist to find out why.

About Rita Kieselmann

This article was written in cooperation with the experienced physiotherapist and respiratory therapist Rita Kieselmann, who has been working in this field since 1974. Her focus is on the treatment of children and adults with chronic respiratory diseases.

Rita Kieselmann is the founder of the Physiotherapy working group in the Mukoviszidose e. V. (Cystic Fibrosis Association in Germany). She has also developed self-help techniques for clearing mucus such as modified autogenic drainage and others.

More tips and breathing techniques:

Note: The information in this blog post is not a treatment recommendation. The needs of patients vary greatly from person to person. The treatment approaches presented should be viewed only as examples. PARI recommends that patients always consult with their physician or physiotherapist first.

An article written by the PARI BLOG editorial team.

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