Really? Breathing Exercises Can Relieve Asthma

Breathing exercises are among the most popular alternative therapies for asthmatics. But do they work?
According to a recent report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the answer depends on the technique. Some appear effective in reducing asthma severity, but there is little evidence to support others.
In the exhaustive, 219-page report, researchers examined 22 randomized studies of breathing techniques. Among the most common are hyperventilation-reduction techniques like the Buteyko method, which instructs asthmatics to breathe shallowly and slowly through the nose when short of breath. The report also looked at  yoga  breathing exercises and so-called inspiratory-muscle training, which involves exercises and devices that make inhaling more difficult in order to strengthen muscles.
The researchers found the most robust body of evidence supported hyperventilation-reduction breathing techniques, which achieved “medium to large improvements in asthma symptoms and reductions in reliever medication use of approximately 1.5 to 2.5 puffs per day.”

Source  - New York Times