Dealing with can be challenging for terminally ill patients, but there are techniques that can help manage this symptom and improve their overall comfort. One such technique is . is a simple and effective breathing technique that can help reduce and improve oxygen exchange in the lungs. As an experienced with years of experience, I will you through the steps of pursed lip breathing in a compassionate and easy-to-understand manner.

What is Pursed Lip Breathing?

Pursed lip breathing is a breathing technique that involves inhaling slowly through the nose and exhaling gently through pursed lips. This technique helps to regulate breathing patterns, increase oxygen flow, and decrease feelings of breathlessness.

Why Pursed Lip Breathing Helps with Shortness of Breath?

Pursed lip breathing helps with shortness of breath by:

  1. Slowing down the breathing rate, which reduces the feeling of breathlessness.
  2. Keeping the airways open for a longer time during exhalation, allowing more stale air to be expelled from the lungs.
  3. Promoting better oxygen exchange, leading to improved oxygen levels in the bloodstream.

Steps to Practice Pursed Lip Breathing

Follow these simple steps to practice pursed lip breathing:

pursed lip breathing technique
  1. Find a Comfortable Position: Sit in a relaxed position with your back supported or lie down comfortably if sitting is not possible.
  2. Inhale Slowly: Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose. Count to two while inhaling and try to fill your lungs with air.
  3. Purse Your Lips: Pucker your lips as if you are going to blow out a candle. Keep your mouth closed except for a small opening between your lips.
  4. Exhale Gently: Breathe out slowly and gently through the small opening in your lips. Count to four while exhaling or make it a longer count if that feels more comfortable.
  5. Repeat: Continue to inhale through your nose and exhale through pursed lips for several breaths. Focus on making each breath slow and controlled.
  6. Rest Between Breaths: Take a moment to rest and breathe normally between pursed lip breathing sessions.

When to Use Pursed Lip Breathing

You can use pursed lip breathing whenever you experience shortness of breath or feel the need to control your breathing. It can be particularly helpful during activities that may cause breathlessness, such as walking or climbing stairs.

Additional Tips

  • Stay Relaxed: Relax your shoulders and body while practicing pursed lip breathing to enhance its effectiveness.
  • Practice Daily: Regular practice of pursed lip breathing can improve your ability to manage shortness of breath.
  • Use It with Medications: Pursed lip breathing can be used alongside prescribed medications to better manage shortness of breath.


Pursed lip breathing is a valuable technique for managing shortness of breath in terminally ill patients. By slowing down and controlling the breathing pattern, this technique can improve oxygen exchange, reduce breathlessness, and enhance overall comfort. Practicing pursed lip breathing regularly can empower patients to take control of their breathing and experience a better quality of life in their end-of-life journey.


Pursed-Lip Breathing Video Demonstratoin

Pursed lip breathing 101 Video

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Pursed Lip Breathing: Technique, Purpose & Benefits

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