Video: Breathing Exercises for Lung Cancer Patients

Jean Di Carlo-Wagner is a cancer survivor and certified yoga instructor. Jean created this instructional video specifically for lung cancer patients. She shows us how diaphragmatic breathing exercises can help open the upper chest for gentle breathing. These exercises can help lower your heart rate and blood pressure before bedtime.

We would like to thank Jean for taking time to create this video for us. For additional information on alternative therapies for mesothelioma patients and asbestos exposure visit www.Asbestos.com.

Do you have any experiences using yoga and breathing as a supplemental therapy? Share your stories and experiences with other survivors in the comments below.

Transcript: ATMA Yoga Breathing

Hello, my name is Jean Di Carlo-Wagner, and this tape is made for Asbestos.com. It is a gentle, relaxed breathing tape. You will need a pillow that you can roll up like a bolster, or two pillows if you don't have a nice thick round pillow like that. A blanket or towels, thick towels, and five pillows.

This is my friend Kat McKee, she is a yoga instructor and is going to help me demonstrate. Kat is going to set up the pillows in the middle of the bed so that there is one buckwheat hull pillow on the bottom and a second buckwheat hull pillow. You don't have to have them, they are just a little more stable if you do. And then a pillow to rest on. Then the blanket is going to go in the center, or the towel, folded along where your spine is going to be resting. Then you have a pillow on either side so your arms are resting comfortably and not just hanging, it is much more comfortable. Then your rolled up pillow, or two pillows, so that your thighs can be resting. So, Kat will, get in.

So the bolster under her legs, under her thigh, is pulled back towards her gluteal muscles. Her spine is relaxed on the blanket. Her palms are open, elbows are bent, and if you can lift the palms facing up. Now feel yourself resting onto the supports. There is a soft opening between your kneews so that your inner groin is relaxed, your feet are relaxed. Even the heels have blankets underneath. We are feeling the spine have good contact with the blanket. Close your eyes, and observe how you are breathing. Feel the weight of your body and surrender the weight of your body to the supports.

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The supports, are supported by the earth, so feel gravity, and breath, relaxing and releasing tension out of your entire body. We will focus on our spine, which is getting a gentle little lift through that folded up blanket. Place your hands on your low abdomen, elbows bent, and breath a relaxed slow easy breath. Low and deep and slow. You can feel the breath coming underneath your hands.

Allow one hand to stay planted on your abdomen and float the other hand on your chest all the way to the diaphragm. The diaphragm is, the lower ribs are on either side and there is a little hollow, and the sternum protecting your heart is just above there. So we are breathing into the belly, into the diaphragm, and up around the heart. This is a challenge if you have never done diaphragmatic breathing. If you are getting confused, let go of the breath, and allow yourself to take a normal inhale and exhale, until you feel ready to explore this deeper, concious, diaphragmatic breath.

We also want to make sure our faces are relaxed, eyebrows relaxed, eyelashes, cheeks, nose, mouth. In fact, take a swallow, and allow your lower jaw to release and rest so that there is space between our teeth. And if you would like to breath in and out of gentle parted lips, some people find this more relaxing, kinder. Especially if you have lung issues

Staying in contact with your torso, slide both hands up to the chest, with your fingertips touching over your heart. So the palms of your hands are going to be over the upper chest. Feel your heart beating underneath your fingertips. And bring your breath, slow and easy from the abdomen, to the mid rib cage, and just as high as your fingertips. Keep your shoulders, your neck, and your collar bones relaxed.

I suggest that you do this tape first thing in the morning, sometime during the day, and at night. Your heart rate will be lowered, your blood pressure will be lowered, all sorts of relaxtion chemicals are released, and this is the most important thing that we can do for our health and well being. Blessings, namaste, from Jean and from Kat. Nameste.


Rachel Gilner joined The Mesothelioma Center in 2010, first serving as an awareness coordinator before transitioning to public outreach and social media. Drawing on her passion for raising mesothelioma awareness, she engages the online community to inform readers about a variety of asbestos-related issues.

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