Some breathing aids are essential to improve your breath and overall health. Some offer targeted support for specific problems. Others may simply accelerate the benefits associated with unassisted breathing techniques. Naturally, knowing what these breathing aids are used for and how they’re used can be important for choosing the right type of breathing aid. But it’s also true that learning about breathing aids can help gain insight into our own breathing habits and how our general lifestyle choices are influencing these habits. It’s worth the effort. There are more breathing aids with more potential benefit than most people realize.
Not all breathing is technological. One of the most effective and most popular breathing aids is nothing but a straw. Breathing through a straw slows the pace of your breath. The benefit, here, can be two-fold. First, slowing the pace of your breath is a great way to slow down the rest of your body, especially your mind. Thus, straw breathing is a common recommended therapy for people who are feeling unduly anxious. You can also buy a spirometer which can simultaneously measure your breath and lung capacity, while also training you to take fuller breaths.
That said, not all breathing aids are mechanical; some of them are aromatic. Essential oils can help your breathing exercises. Not only can these compounds help open your nasal passageways, they can also create a positive association with taking fuller breaths. When working to improve your breathing, ask your sense of smell for help.
You can’t really practice breathing techniques while you’re asleep, but you can breathe better with aids that are designed to be used when sleeping. There are handful of manufacturers and dozens of variations for nasal strips that will help keep your nasal passageways open. This may not do much to strengthen the core muscles that are so important for breathing, but it can help you sleep better. And that’s good for pretty much every system of the body, including your lungs and respiration.
Breathing aids for musicians, and especially brass and woodwind players, are another kind of specialized tool. These small devices create resistance that resembles the instrument itself and helps the musician develop and maintain their embouchure technique. Warburton, Berp, and Breath Builder are some of the popular brands that manufacturer these kinds of breathing aids.
Some breathing aids aren’t products so much as environmental aids. Although it may not be practical, visiting higher elevations is one such aid. Your lung capacity may expand by about 30% after a month or so being more than a mile high. On the other hand, your body is compensating for the thinner air, and you’ll eventually lose these gains when moving back to lower elevations. Alternately, you can make breathing easier by adding moisture to the air. Buy a whole house humidifier and starting practicing your breath, and you should quickly notice a difference.