Although pulmonary rehabilitation programs haven't been proven to increase survival, many people with COPD find them very beneficial. Pulmonary rehabilitation is a comprehensive preventive healthcare program provided by a team of health professionals to help people cope with COPD physically, psychologically and socially.

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A typical rehabilitation program focuses on:

  • breathing exercises
  • exercise reconditioning
  • progressive relaxation training
  • stress and panic control techniques
  • smoking cessation
  • educational programs on medication, diet, exercise, and caring for and operating respiratory therapy equipment

Breath training is an important part of pulmonary rehabilitation. The objective of breath training is to improve control of breathing, decrease the amount of energy required to breathe, and improve the position and function of the respiratory muscles.

Publication Review By: Peter B. Terry, M.D., M.A.

Published: 07 Aug 2011

Last Modified: 10 Sep 2015