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Stretching/Breathing Exercises

These exercises are proven to increase chest wall expansion and lung volumes. These individual exercises that can be done separately and have been tested by medical scientists on their effect on pectus excavatum.


yoga poses for pectus excavatum


Medical observation on the effects of yoga for pectus excavatum deformity

Yoga, a method of breathing and chest expansion technique, has been reported to have positive effects in number of areas such:


  • increased flexibility
  • increased muscle strength and tone
  • improved respiration, energy and vitality
  • maintaining a balanced metabolism
  • weight reduction
  • cardio and circulatory health
  • improved athletic performance
  • improved core strength


Although these are positive traits to have regardless if you are suffering from pectus excavatum or not, studies have been made to point out the exact effects yoga can have on such individuals and wheater or not yoga can decrease the intensity of the dent. It has been confirmed that by following specially chosen yoga practices for as little as 6 weeks, the Haler index can be decreased from 20% to 30%.


Yoga in correlation to pectus excavatum

“The next paragraph is taken from a study made by Chanavirut R, Khaidjapho K, Jaree P, and Pongnaratorn P, Khon Kaen University, Thainlad


The above-mentioned study tested the hypothesis that short-term yoga exercises are able to cause chest wall expansions and increased lung capacity. For the experiment, 58 young pectus excavatum patients were taken and separated in two groups, each consistent of 29 members. They were assigned five special Hatha Yoga positions because of their dominant effect on the chest wall area (Uttita Kummersana, Ardha Matsyendrasana, Vrikshasana, Yoga Mudra, and Ushtrasana). Each session was 20 minutes, 3 times a week.  The matching control group was instructed not to participate in any yoga related exercises during those 6 weeks. Lung expansion at all 3 levels (upper, middle, lower) was measured before and after each session. Lung volumes were also measured using a standard spirometer, which you can also use at home. After the 6 weeks period mark, test have confirmed that the yoga exercise group has seen increasements in their chest wall area at all levels (upper 3.2±0.1 versus 4.4±0.1 cm, middle 5.0±0.1 versus 5.9±0.1 cm, lower 5.9±0.2 versus 6.8±0.1 cm), lung expansion (2.5±0.1 versus 2.8±0.1 L) and lung volumes (2.5±0.1 versus 2.8±0.1 L). Most significant improvement has been established in the upper chest wall area. The study confirms that yoga can be used as an effective weapon in the non-surgical battle against pectus excavatum.


What Yoga Branches Are Effective against Pectus Excavatum ?

With beginnings in India, thousands of years ago, yoga aims to attain the unity of mind, body and spirit through tree structures: exercise, breathing and medications. It is separated into the following six branches: 1. Bhakti Yoga is the path of heart and devotion. 2. Raja Yoga is the path of Yoga that focuses on 2. Raja Yoga is the path of Yoga that focuses on meditation and contemplation. 3. Jnana Yoga is the path of Yoga that deals with wisdom and knowledge or the Yoga of the mind. 4. Karma Yoga is the path of service; it refers to the energy of action. 5. Tantra Yoga is the path of ritual, it also known as sorcery, witchcraft, magic spell or some mysterious formula. 6. Hatha Yoga is the physical training part combining postural exercise (“asana”), relaxation, and voluntary control of breathing  (“pranayama”). All the branches have their virtues and benefits for our overall health, but as a part of our pectus excavatum exercise program, we only need the last one, the Hatha yoga branch.



some hatha poses for pectus excavatum


This is because certain positions in hatha yoga directly affect the chest wall are and lung expansion capabilities. They are proven to reduce the dent in the chest from 20 – 30% and also benefit the ribcage area, making it more flexible in the process. As we know, flared ribs are the most common side effect of pectus excavatum, so this kind of exercise is a great weapon against pectus excavatum on multiple levels. If your or your child pectus excavatum case is not too severe and you decide to treat it with our pectus excavatum backed exercises, then this should be one of your priorities. Yoga can be little tricky in the beginning, especially mastering the breathing technique, so best practise is to follow an industry professional and do the exercises with the tempo and intensity suggested by him.







2. Diaphragm Exercises

An important organ that is greatly affected by this deformity. It is placed directly bellow the indent and his work is seriously obstructed by the deformity. The diaphragm is supposed to keep the pressure under the sternum and expand the lungs. This simple 5 minutes exercises will benefit it and also help with the posture.



The Expand-a-Lund inspiratory/expiratory trainer

The Expand-A-Lung inspiratory/expiratory breathing trainer is a breakthrough product for improving endurance through better breathing and lung function. Research supports that this breathing exercise significantly improves the strength of respiratory muscles, and increases the volume of lung oxygen intake. The end result is deeper, easier and better breathing for a superior endurance performance and longer breath holding capacity.

It will target and develop the respiratory muscles (the diaphragm and intercostals) to help you inhale more volume of air/oxygen into your lungs, and to exhale more carbon dioxide out of your lungs. The product is used by the NAVY SEALS, so that should be a good indicator about its quality.