Active Cycle of Breathing Technique (ACBT) is an effective breathing technique to help clear mucus and make your treatment more independent from structured assistance.

Physiotherapy is important to keep your lungs clear and prevent chest infections and lung damage. There are a number of airway clearance techniques to help move the clear the excess mucus from the lungs. As you get older you will become more in charge of your own physiotherapy treatment.

You will still need to do at least two treatment sessions a day but can choose which treatment type works best to suit you. If you find that you don’t have time to do physiotherapy then talk to your physiotherapist who can help you find a more adaptable solution.

Your physiotherapist will teach you the Active Cycle of Breathing Technique (ACBT). ACBT is a breathing technique that can be used in conjunction with postural drainage, percussion and vibrations during treatment sessions but can also be used on its own at a time to help clear mucus. It is an ideal technique to learn to make your treatment more independent.

The parts of the ACBT are:

  • Breathing Control: This is normal gentle breathing using the lower chest, with relaxation of the upper chest and shoulders. It helps you to relax between the deep breathing and huffing.
  • Deep breathing : These are slow deep breaths in followed by relaxed breaths out. 3 – 4 deep breaths are enough.
  • Huffing : This is a medium sized breath in, followed by a fast breath out through an open mouth, using the muscles of the chest and stomach to force the breath out. This will move secretions along the airways to a point where you can cough them up.
  • Coughing : This should follow 2 – 3 huffs OR a deep breath in. Don’t cough unless secretions are ready to be cleared.

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