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The POWERbreathe EX1-Medic is an Expiratory Muscle Training (EMT) device that is drug-free and easy to use. It exercises the expiratory muscles to enhance expiratory muscle structure and function and improve expiratory muscle strength and endurance. Please note: In North America, this product is the POWERbreathe EX1-Wellness.
POWERbreathe EMST breathing devices use expiratory pressure threshold loading to exercise the expiratory muscles. This is also the method of breathing training that is used in the POWERbreathe Medic Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) device that is approved for prescription in the UK by the NHS. It is also the most widely studied type of breathing training and now the most used.
The POWERbreathe EX1-Medic features an internal, precisely calibrated, adjustable spring that provides the breathing load to the expiratory muscles.
Who Is Expiratory Muscle Training For?
The POWERbreathe EX1-Medic EMT device is helpful to patients who need to forcefully empty air from their lungs. It is particularly beneficial for patients with dysphagia and dysarthria, as well as for older adults as they begin to lose muscle strength due to advancing age.
How Expiratory Muscle Training Works
The POWERbreathe EX1-Medic is a pressure threshold EMT breathing device developed to exercise the expiratory muscles. It uses a one-way, spring-loaded valve to maintain a constant breathing load while the patient exhales through the device. This breathing load is sustained throughout the exhalation, regardless of the patient’s airflow.
The internal, calibrated, spring-loaded valve requires the patient to produce an expiratory pressure sufficient to overcome the threshold load set and open the valve to enable expiration through the device.
When the patient generates enough expiratory power, the one-way valve opens at the set breathing load, allowing exhalation through the device. The spring-loaded valve requires a constant flow of exhalation for the valve to remain open. It’s this that presents a challenge to the expiratory muscles. The valve will then close completely as soon as the pressure is less than the breathing load set.
If, however, the patient is not able to produce enough expiratory force, the spring-loaded, pressure-threshold valve will remain closed, and no air will flow through the device. To rectify this and allow the patient to continue training, the training load can be reduced by using the adjustable external dial.
How To Do Expiratory Muscle Training
The patient will need to generate enough expiratory power in order for the calibrated, spring-loaded one-way valve to open at the set breathing load. This then allows the patient to exhale through the device.
The typical training protocol for expiratory muscle training is 5 x 5 x 5:
When the breathing load starts to feel easy to manage, the load can be increased using the adjustable dial and the expiratory muscle will be challenged once more.
Adjustable Load Setting Range
The breathing load is easy to increase and decrease using the adjustable dial. This makes it easy to tailor the training for each individual patient. And because the POWERbreathe EX1-Medic uses pressure threshold technology, the training load is quantifiable.
The patient can easily set the load on the POWERbreathe EX1-Medic device by using the marked training levels on the handle.
POWERbreathe EMT devices use cmH2O as the unit of pressure. This is because it is what other, long-established devices use to determine lung health. It is the unit for measuring breathing on ventilators, CPAP and BiPAP machines, as well as, breathing training devices.
Having the spring-loaded valve calibrated to increments of cmH2O ensures that the patient’s expiratory muscles will always reach an appropriate training intensity for eliciting benefits, such as improving expiratory muscle strength.
Precautions & Contraindications
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