Personal Consultation

Face-to-face consultation: breathing rate & peak flow

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Our Manasa Ayurveda consultations are undertaken by registered healthcare professionals and as well as using traditional Ayurvedic methods also include professional physical health checks. One of these checks of your rate of breathing and how fast you can breathe out.

Why do we do this?

Both increased and decreased breathing (respiration) rate can be a sign that there may be something wrong in the body. Our rate of breathing can increase or decrease due to a heart or respiratory condition, fever, infection or dehydration, whereas our breathing can be slowed down by drinking too much alcohol, a head injury or some medicines for pain such as codeine or morphine.

Measuring how fast you can breathe out (peak flow) gives a better understanding of what’s going on in your lungs if you have any issues with breathing. It can help to see how open your airways are.

What happens?

To measure your breathing (respiration) rate, your Manasa Ayurveda therapist will simply observe how many times you breathe in and out in one minute. One full breath in and full breath out counts as one respiration.

To measure your peak flow, you may be asked to take a deep breath in and blow as fast as you can into a small, hand-held plastic tube called a peak flow meter. The measurement taken is called your peak flow.

The lungs are the organs that receive oxygen that we breathe in through our nose and mouth. According to Ayurveda, the lungs are an important site of kapha dosha, the force in the body which is governed by the elements of water and earth. According to Ayurveda, most disorders of the respiratory system are a result of imbalanced kapha dosha. To see how well your lungs work you may also ask you to breathe into a peak flow meter (a white plastic tube)

What do the results mean?

The normal respiration rate for an adult is about 12-18 breaths per minute. If your rate of breathing is lower or higher than this, your Manasa Ayurveda therapist will talk with you about this and may suggest that you also inform your GP.

Your peak flow score – also known as your peak expiratory flow (PEF) – will be displayed on the side of your peak flow meter. This is given in litres of air breathed out per minute (l/min).

What's considered a normal score depends on your age, height and gender. Your Manasa Ayurveda therapist will inform you of what would be considered a normal score for you and may suggest that you also inform your GP.

Based on these checks, particular Manasa Ayurveda therapies may be suggested for you such as certain herbs, therapies and breath control (pranayama) exercises.