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Sept 7, 1963

Breathing Training in Pulmonary Emphysema

JAMA. 1963;185(10):807. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060100087030

To the Editor:—  In the paper by R. V. Ebert and J. A. Pierce, "Therapy in Chronic Bronchitis and Pulmonary Emphysema" (JAMA184:490 [May 11] 1963), this statement appears: "Some physicians achieve considerable improvement in the patient's symptoms by the use of breathing exercises, but whether or not the favorable effect is entirely psychogenic is unclear." Therapeutic efforts to overcome the disorganized breathing pattern of these breathless subjects occupies an extensive literature. I shall refer briefly to several recent reports. In 1954 I mentioned that significant rehabilitation of several hundred patients with pulmonary emphysema was induced by a breathing training program; the additional use of graded exercise during the inhalation of oxygen-enriched atmospheres was described as a method of increasing the capacity for exercise in patients handicapped by excessive inactivity.1 An editorial in The Journal called attention to the latter development in 1961.2I would like to