Aids to help breathing, the lungs, ci... - British Lung Foun...

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Aids to help breathing, the lungs, circulation etc + slimming aids.

pergola1 profile image

I have seen many aids and tools to aid the breathing, the lungs and circulation over the years. The adverts promise great things, especially with slimming. I will mention of the things I have noticed. Salt pipes, power breathing, flutter pipe to name just some. Does the buyer actually benefit or is it the manufacturer. Does the product often end up in the drawer? What do members of the forum think? Or is it that the buyer/used doesn't persevere enough? Love to know what you all think?

31 Replies

HI pergola, hear good things about the salt pipes, salt inhaled does clear the airways. Haven't used others for breathing to date. Have tried diet aids like the new raspberry ketone thing, it's expensive and causes indigestion so you don't feel like eating. I have a massager very expensive again and too heavy to pick up or use if your hands have arthritis or your muscles are weak. The massage bed I was sold for thousands of pounds to help circulation and arthritic joints, is not all its cracked up to be and the mattress slips sideways, if you don't notice it you could fall when getting out of bed . So some of the so called health things don't always improve symptoms or make things better. Or maybe I just had bad experiences on purchases. Most of the small inexpensive gadgets seem to be useful and value for money.

pergola1 profile image
pergola1 in reply to katieoxo60

Interested in your comment, katie. Not a surprise.

Hi, Stitch - that very thought has crossed my mind but I wanted to test the water to see what others thought.

Interesting post Pergy, I sometimes wonder about those vibrating things that are supposed to improve circulation.

They must surely be useful if you're house or chair bound for hours


peege profile image
peege in reply to peege

It's something you put both feet on - in case anyone thought otherwise! It vibrates and is supposed to improve circulation. Wonder if anyone has tried one. P

Angelagone profile image
Angelagone in reply to peege

I've wondered about those myself....the ones you put your feet on, of course 😁

in reply to peege

Do you mean these peeg:


I like the idea of these too, mainly for when I get swollen ankles but I asked the doc about these also and she said the same thing as when I asked her about the vibration plates as above comment to stitch.

I do wish these things would do what they say, I would really like them to.

peege profile image
peege in reply to

Ah that looks like the gadget BC.

I'm not in the market for one just yet but I think they would be very god if you can't get out and about too much and for when we're stuck inside if the weather's bad.

I believe wobble boards are good for weight bearing exercise. Might need to hold the back of a chair.

What about a mini trampoline like they had at my PR. May help prevent bone loss, what d'you think?

in reply to peege

I've been looking at the Revitive as well but these circulations plates you don't weight bear use sitting in a chair., they are mainly for circulation probs and are suppose to help swollen ankles tired legs etc, so they wouldn't be good for exercise. I was thinking the virbration plate would do the same sort of think for you as the circulation plate would with the added bonus of exercise as the vibration place is for standing on.

Here is the revitive : - good write ups on amazon for both male and female:

I woul love an entire room dedicated to gym equipment but I just don't have the space, sadly not even for a mini trampoline. I have a balance board though and a stepper, so maybe I should just be content with those along with some weight and resistance band.

this is the stepper I have, I've had it for 2 years and its still going strong, use it every winter:

I'm not sure if the trampoline would be the best to help build bones but it may help prevent bone loss, any weight bearing is good for bones I think.

Used a salt pipe for about a month, didn't see any improvement, so now its in a draw somewhere.

I use an Acapella to help with drainage in Bronchiectasis and it is wonderful, my lifesaver. I had to buy it myself (£50) but there is the Flutter which works in a similar way and might be loaned by physiotherapist. I found it awkward to use.

When I was pregnant my physio used a massager for mucus clearance and this was helpful.

I don't know what a salt pipe looks like but can't you get saline nebs for the nebuliser that you can take with the salbutamol? Dozy x

When required I nebulise saline solution to clear stickyness sometimes on its own and sometimes with salbutamol.

I have a Flutter device. One of these.

I didn't pay for it.I told my GP about it and I got it on prescription.

It works for me.

Hi pergola, I use the "acapella" made by Smiths Medical

There is a video on you tube.

I opted for the "acapella" as the position/angle of use is not critical as it is with the "Flutter" made by Clement Clarke.

I find it very good and use it when I have a mucus problem, in fact I had to use it this morning and by lunch time all OK. I had to purchase mine as here there are no free meds. I did read somewhere that it is now available in the UK on Dr's prescription. I hope that this helps. Cheers Dave from the LoS.

in reply to yorkie70

thanks for the video. x

happyfeet59 profile image
happyfeet59 in reply to yorkie70

Dave, my GP cannot provide the Acapella on the NHS, UK but the flutter can be. My physio gave me a Flutter to try but I couldn't work it. She showed me an acapella but couldn't let me 'try it out'. I suspect because it is a bit fiddly to keep clean and so wouldn't be suitable for lending out. Flutter is only 3 robust pieces. Acapella is more fragile. Works for me though!

yorkie70 profile image
yorkie70 in reply to happyfeet59

happyfeet59, it seems to be available in some areas but I am not sure as I am not in touch with the UK health system. As it shows in the video it is easy to clean. When I use mine I wait until evening then strip it, less than 1 min. I put a drop of washing up liquid in the plastic box I keep it in pour in boiling water, leave for 1/2 hour, rinse with clean water put on tea towel to dry. Put it back together in box until next use. It is that easy. Also it is not fragile it is very well made, you can boil it.

I got the following from;

For UK people, as with the flutter, whether or not you can get an acapella on the NHS seems to depend on what area you live in and the attitude of your hospital trust / primary care trust. I initially got the flutter on the NHS through my local hospital but couldn’t get the angle right and gave up / gave it back. After hearing about the acapella on BRUS I spoke with the physio team and got the green version of the acapella on the NHS too; I don’t use it daily as I rely on exercise for mucus clearing but I have found it useful when I get an infection and associated mucus build-up.

Cheers and hope this helps. Dave from the LoS.

happyfeet59 profile image
happyfeet59 in reply to yorkie70

Sorry my posting wasn't very clear. I have been using the Acapella for a year now and love it. My comments on cleaning robustness were really relating to trying to get one on loan from the physio. She wouldn't loan me one because she wouldn't be able to sterilise it properly when I returned it.

Can I just ask if you have used one in hospital? I had to take my own into hospital and my husband had to take it home to clean it every other day! I also nebulise antibiotics and they wanted me to continue while I was in. They couldn't provide a nebuliser suitable for antibiotics!! Again my husband had to do the sterilising - luckily I have 3 nebuliser cups.

yorkie70 profile image
yorkie70 in reply to happyfeet59

just for info. I am 70 yrs. young in a couple of weeks. I was diagnosed with emphysema stage IV & FEV1 20 % 11 yrs ago. I have never been in UK hospital, or any other location, for COPD as I have lived more than 1/2 my life overseas. Now you have told me your story I am pleased I have not had to put up with such treatment. Have you spoken to the BLF assistants I do believe that they are great help in solving problems. Just click the red balloon at the top of page. I am sorry that I cannot be more helpful. Maybe other members in the UK can help. Dave from the LoS.

I'm with you Stitch. There was mention of a power breather lung exercise device on here last week. Sells for less than 30 quid so I went back and looked at some notes we were given on PR about "Miracle Cures" and this one fits the criteria of being of use. Cheap.....the con jobs are always megga expensive, Available on Prescription...yes except my GP is a povo stricken git and so I will have to buy one....Is It Available VAT Free....yes. So I have decided I will get one and do a trial and post the results on the forum. One other thing in it's favour....if you Google it, there are several health authorities that publish their own set of "Instructions To Patients" complete with a daily log section. There is only one hurdle left.....what the bleedin heck was it called.....

pergola, I did have a salt pipe ... which unfortunately has joined the shelf! I had a Powerlung, but I got ill and stopped using it. I have used meditation and visualisation: they work in some way. but I got really so ill and in hospital for three months in 2010. I nearly died. So I thought of a strong remedy to all this.

First, my doctor game me appropriate drugs, so I wouldn't die!I Think that was good.

Then I knew that it was up to me, if I wanted to let my body deteriorate :-(

I didn't want that! So the best thing for me is the gym. I made a sort of covenant with my body to get better! I have followed it from going there with oxygen bottles and a concentrator at home, to none of this and a free sense of loving my life!

The gym makes me tired, and hungry. I eat and I sleep fairly well. As I lost weight, my problem was to gain it back. This I did with hot chocolate galore with whole milk. I suppose if you want to lose weight you use semi skimmed!

Diet: I make the effort to prepare my food - I don't say that I haven't had a prepared meal, no but I do try. Cooking, for me, means I have to chop onions, use good olive oil and eat reasonably, a balanced meal.

In that way, I can live fairly well!

katieoxo60 profile image
katieoxo60 in reply to helingmic

Felt the need to comment on the chopped onions, as I have arthritic hands I buy ready chopped ones from the supermarket, they are frozen so there is no waste and they do a very good selection of fresh chopped herbs and casserole veg. so even those of us less able can still enjoy meals other then ready meals through the microwave.Warburton's even do ready cut rolls, that's my secret to carrying on cooking for my self

oh I dont think so. I see the lovely Judith Chalmers advertising it on tv ads sometimes. It looks about the size of weighing scales.

The power plate you mention, are they the things that are in my gym? That might be a good idea for me to try, I'm a member but never have the energy to go. Wasting my money or what!

Hi Stitch, (and all) How you doing? First I would like to quote a term that I saw a long time ago and it inspires me "I have COPD but COPD does not have me." What it means to me is what it says. We must stay vigilant in our fight against our common enemy COPD.

just keep exercising, breathing taking the meds, and most of all talk to each other. Love to all from the the LoS. Dave.

I would love one Stitch but I just don't have the room here, although I have spotted this and would be interested in your views:

I did ask my GP about them if they would help build bone density, she just shook her head and said save your money. But I still think they must be good for bone and muscle because of the resistance with the vibration. And I still very much like the idea of them to have at home, they are the sort of thing you can use when you can't do anything else.

Some good discussion here, thanks for this post pergola.

Interested to hear from those who use the circulation plate'


And the vibrational plate:

As mentioned above.

Ah yes! See what you mean Stitch.I got on one of those once, I must have put it on too high because it felt like a pneumatic drill! Nearly had a heart attack.

in reply to peege

LOL glad you didn't peeg :)

I've been seriously looking at the lighterweight one, but it still takes up quite a bit of floor space, so I would have to seriously think about chucking stuff and going minimalist.

The salt pipes loosen up secretions and moisten the lungs and works very well, I use it daily.

I have an Acapella vibrating device which does help but needs to be used regularly, however it is expensive ... the salt pipe does the job!

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