Huffing: The breathing technique briefly explained

Huffing is a breathing technique that can be used to transport away the mucus from the upper bronchial and tracheal region (windpipe).

Huffing to avoid unnecessary coughing

Violent coughing and frequent coughing fits can damage the lungs. This is why anyone, and especially anyone with a chronic lung disease, should avoid frequent and unproductive coughing.

How to huff properly:

  • Concentrate on where the mucus is and breathe in deep.
  • Breathe out with force while saying “huff”.
  • As you breathe out, start off fast and abrupt, then
  • slow down and exhale less forcefully, fading out briefly and gently at the end with a “ff” sound.
  • Remember: Your mouth is open at the start of the huffing breathing and closed at the end.
  • The breathing technique transports mucus into the mouth so it can be spat out.
  • Repeat the huffing breathing technique if the mucus is not transported away the first time.

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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