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British Lung Foundation
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Breathing better

Hello I have had chest troubles all my life and have bronc and copd

however, I keep fairly fit with the odd bought of breathlessness and infection.

the winter months have been troublesome.

I have had 5 children.

Here is a tip to help you breathe more easily, I do Postrel drainage twice a day this helps to clear my lungs and stops me from getting breathless. I am 86 and feel like a 50 year old . Give it a try and I would like to hear how (if) it helped you .

Best wishes

9 Replies

Hi Jessyjay. I am 67 and have been living with bronch and doing the things you recommend since I was three. We try so hard to encourage those recently diagnosed to recognise the importance of getting rid of the mucus every day as part of our lifestyle to keep infection at bay. It is wonderful to hear from someone who is the living proof that it keeps us going and that way it is possible to live a full life to a good age whilst having bronch. Go Jessy go!


Wow Jessiejay, I'm impressed. You are an inspiration and your post and it's positivity, is a breath of fresh air. (Pardon the pun.)

Thank you.


Hi Jessyjay, wow you are amazing !!!!! I have emphysema end stage copd and my biggest problem is getting rid of mucous !!! I have never tried postrel drainage what's the best way to do it ???? Thank you xxxx


Hi caz. Postural drainage is another phrase for mucus clearance. Over the decades the methods of doing this have changed many times. Today the thinking is to do a cycle of breathing before gently coughing/squeezing the mucus out. Usually whilst standing up. Sometimes it can be done on the bed if you have a physio or someone to help by patting your chest, or are adept at doing that to yourself.

Postural drainage was based on changing the posture. Usually lying over pillows or wedges with the chest pointed downwards. This could also involve somebody tapping the ribs to loosen the mucus. In the 1950s I was made to lie over a triangular wooden frame to do it. It was torture. It all depends on what suits each person and you come to that by trial and error. Normally my mucus is runny so I can get rid of it by doing the breathing, standing over the loo. If I have an exacerbation or virus and it thickens up I use an electric flutter device called an aerosure medic or lie over the bed so that my chest is pointing downwards and pat whichever side of my chest is uppermost whilst doing the cycle of breathing. Gravity works a treat but it can give you a headache if you lie like that too long! I hope that helps and that you find which way works best for you.

Jessy is absolute proof that efficient mucus clearance keeps infections at bay because there is little or no fluid in there for the bugs to grow in.


Thank you I do the huff one but always have problems getting rid !!! I am also on carbicisteine 2 tabs 3 times a day and have started on NAC ,its all trial and error isn't it ?? Xxxx



i can now see what postrel drainage means after looking at the posts on here




Welcome to the forum Jessyjay. :)

1 like

NAC is working well for me !


Hi jessy

Good on ya and I'm glad it has kept you in good nick.

I too have had bronchiectasis all my life and have always had posutural draining with percussion. From being old enough I have done this myself twice a day. It certainly doesn't keep me free from infection but it is good maintenance and I am sure I would be here if I had not done so.

I do also use an acapella and have a mixture of active cycle of breathing and have a bash as autogenic, but my gunk is often sticky and I find pd with percussion works best. Not great though with a hiatus hernia, so maybe I need to consider more of the other methods.

Keep on keeping on.

love cx


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