AUTOGENIC DRAINAGE – physiotherapy tips by Cristina Pedro

We’re all staying home as a preventative measure at this difficult time. While we do so, it’s important to stay healthy by following the advice of physiotherapists. Today we’re talking about clearing our airways using Autogenic Drainage. Cristina Pedro, the Vale do Lobo Royal Spa
Coordinator & Physiotherapist, has brought us this technique in which she teaches us to breathe using different lung volumes to transport secretions from the peripheral airways to the central airways.

Duration of session: between 20 and 45 minutes

Choose a position (sitting down or laying back):

Clean out your nose and throat passages by blowing and sniffing.
Inhale slowly through your nose; keep your upper airways open. Use your diaphragm and / or abdomen, if possible.
Take a deep breath, hold it for a moment. Exhale for as long as you can.
Take a deep breath slowly; hold your breath for 3 seconds. Keep your upper airways open to fill your lungs with air to the greatest extent possible.
 Exhale slowly through your mouth. Keep your glottis, throat and mouth open. Avoid taking a deep breath as your airways may collapse. You will hear a hiss.
Use your abdominal muscles to help with low lung breathing and then expel as much air as possible.
Place your hand on the upper part of your chest and feel the mucus vibrating. Low vibrations mean the mucus is in your large airways and high vibrations mean the mucus is in your small airways. Knowing this allows you to adjust the technique.
Repeat the cycle. Inhale slowly to prevent mucus from making its way back.
Continue breathing slowly until the mucus builds up and moves upwards.
Only cough if huffing has not moved the mucus into your mouth.

The cycle is over; relax for two minutes and repeat if necessary.