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June 25, 1938

Physical Exercises for Asthma

JAMA. 1938;110(26):2175. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790260049027

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The brochure is written for the layman as well as for the physician. The purpose of the exercises described, as stated in the introduction, is to correct the shortening of the muscles of respiration which occurs in asthma. The contraction of these muscles produces the "barrel-shape" chest. Because of this the lungs remain distended even when the patient is free from attacks. In early cases the purpose is to prevent such occurrence. In chronic cases the attempt is to restore the chest cavity and lungs to normal size. In asthma the tendency is to breathe almost entirely with the upper part of the chest, the lower part of the chest remaining relatively immobile. The diaphragm moves little. The exercises are aimed to teach the patient "diaphragmatic breathing," to use the abdomen and lower part of the chest as well as the upper part of the chest. Three groups of exercises

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