Breathe easier with POWERbreathe IMT – reviewed in Daily Mail

The Daily Mail online features worldwide news stories from the Daily Mail and Sunday newspapers. It is the second-biggest-selling daily newspaper in the UK. And today (21st November 2017) online it features an article about devices that will help you to breathe easier. One criterion specified by freelance journalist, Adrian Monti, is that the devices are to be available on the High Street. Another, quite rightly, is that the devices must be able to back up their claims.

Chest Physician chooses ‘Breathe easier’ devices

In order to approach this from a clinical viewpoint, Adrian has been speaking to a specialist chest physician and GP.

Dr Simon Taggart is a dual accredited Consultant Chest & General Physician. He has wide experience in the field of general medicine and is a specialist in respiratory medicine at The University of Manchester. His current NHS post is with the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust. He is also Sub-Speciality Tutor for Respiratory Medicine at The University of Manchester. He’s an expert.

Because of his expertise, Dr Taggart is knowledgeable about the devices and solutions that claim to make you breathe easier, and that are available on the High Street.

Device reviews

For each device that was suggested, supporting data and research were assessed. And in order to be able to provide a rating for each product, each one was personally tested.

Each review in the paper begins with stating the device’s ‘claim’. Dr Taggart then follows this up with his ‘verdict’ after using the product. And finally, a rating out of 10 is awarded. This he comes to after assessing the related research and user experience.

POWERbreathe IMT – a selected device

Although the description of how to use POWERbreathe IMT is inaccurate, the specified aim is. And that is to ‘gradually make breathing muscles stronger’.

You make the breathing muscles stronger by breathing IN through the device against a resistance. It’s this resistance that makes your breathing muscles work harder. And the more you use it the easier the training gets. So this is when you increase the resistance to challenge your breathing muscles again. It’s the same principle as increasing the weight of dumbbells to increase your arm strength. In fact, it is affectionately known as ‘dumbbells for your diaphragm’. And stronger breathing muscles result in a resistance to fatigue too. So both your breathing strength and stamina improve. In addition, POWERbreathe IMT is scientifically proven, and because it is drug-free, it’s being used in many clinical trials where being short of breath is an issue.

POWERbreathe – the verdict

In the paper, Dr Taggart reports using POWERbreathe IMT devices with patients to treat chronic bronchitis. He says that strengthening their respiratory muscles with it helps ease their breathing. He goes on to add that it’s also useful for those who suffer from weak lungs that would benefit from a bit of training.

Rated: 9/10

Also worthy of inclusion – Shaker by POWERbreathe

With the premise that a device must stand up to its claim to make breathing easier and be available on the High Street, we feel another device to be worthy of inclusion. That of the Shaker by POWERbreathe.

The Shaker is a hand-held device that is designed to loosen mucus. And it is also suitable for children (with supervision) as it’s so easy to use. Simply put, as you breathe out through the device the weighted ball inside ‘shakes’ mucus. This loosens it so that you’re able to cough it up and expel it. The result is that you’re able to breathe easier.

The Shaker by POWERbreathe is available in three models, one of which is autoclavable. As a result, it’s able to be cleaned in an autoclave, sterilising it and making it suitable for multiple-use and clinical settings.

Phlegm in lungs – clear naturally with drug-free Shaker

You will usually find phlegm in the back of the throat or in the lungs. It is produced by the lower airways. Mucus on the other hand will normally be found in the mucous membranes inside the nose. It acts like a filter protecting your lungs as you inhale. To clear it you simply blow your nose. Phlegm however is thicker and more viscous. You usually only notice it when you cough it up. An excess of this secretion can be a symptom of a respiratory problem such as bronchitis.

Why you should cough up phlegm

Although unpleasant, you can safely swallow mucus. This is because your body can safely reabsorb it. Phlegm however must be expelled from the body. Advice from healthcare professionals is to cough it up. This is because it will contain virus and dead bacteria. As you cough it up you are helping your body to get rid of the infection.

What to do when phlegm is problematic

Secretions will be more of a problem at night. This is simply because of gravity. These secretions will feel heavy in your chest. This can bring on coughing. You can allieviate this by elevating your sleeping position. Simply prop yourself up more with a pillow. Coughing is actually your body’s natural way of expelling the phlegm. This will help you to get better.

Expel phlegm with drugs – or drug-free

Expectorants can be prescribed to help increase bronchial secretion. They are intended to help make it easier to cough it up. But expectorants are medicines. Shaker by POWERbreathe however is an effective drug-free alternative.

Expel phlegm naturally with the Shaker

The Shaker by POWERbreathe literally ‘shakes’ secretions in your chest to make them more mobile. The shaking breaks these secretions down and makes it easier for you to cough it up.

How the Shaker works

Inside the Shaker device is a weighted ball. As you breathe in through the device the ball rises and then falls again under its own weight. This happens quickly and feels like vibrations. This vibration and gentle resistance dislodges and thins phlegm. You’re then more able to expel it by coughing.

Who can use the Shaker

Because the Shaker is drug-free and easy-to-use, children and adults can use it. And because it shakes up phlegm, it is ideal for people with respiratory problems. These include Chronic Bronchitis, Bronchiectasis, Emphysema, Asthma and Cystic Fibrosis. There are however some precautions which you will find on the Shaker Classic, Shaker Deluxe and Shaker Plus product pages.

POWERbreathe Medic helps patients with breathing problems AND saves NHS money and resources

Health bosses announced back in October 2014 that the NHS in England needed extra money and an overhaul to services in order for patient care not to suffer.

When it comes to respiratory care the NHS could save both money and resources if they prescribed POWERbreathe Medic Respiratory Muscle Training (RMT) for patients with medical conditions such as COPD, Heart Failure, Asthma, Thoracic Surgery, Ventilator Weaning, Cystic Fibrosis and Neuromuscular Disease.

In a 2005 study of the benefits of a 12-month programme of POWERbreathe RMT, researchers observed significant reductions in the use of healthcare resources.1

POWERbreathe RMT for COPD

Accordingly to Professor Peter Calverley (Lung Report III. British Lung Foundation), in the average PCT serving 250,000 people, there would be 14,200 GP consultations per year for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and 9,600 inpatient bed days. Reducing length of hospital stay is an NHS productivity indicator.

POWERbreathe reduced hospital bed days by 29% and GP consultations by 23% compared with placebo (see table above).

POWERbreathe RMT for Asthma

In another study, Weiner et al2 observed an 86% reduction in hospitalisations/emergency room visits following respiratory muscle training in moderate/severe asthmatics (from 1.4 to 0.2 per 3 months per patient).

And in three separate studies, Weiner et al. observed an average 51% reduction in β2-agonist consumption (from 3.9 to 1.6 puffs per day)2,3,4 after respiratory muscle training, and in one study3, corticosteroid use decreased ~80%.

How POWERbreathe Medic could save NHS money & resources

In 2005 when this study was conducted, the total potential annual savings derived from POWERbreathe Medic prescription per average PCT due to reduced hospital bed days and medication consumption (not including savings due to reduction in GP consultations) were substantial.

The POWERbreathe Medic offers an evidence-based, drug-free treatment for patients with medical conditions such as COPD, Heart Failure, Asthma, Thoracic Surgery, Ventilator Weaning, Cystic Fibrosis and Neuromuscular Disease. It is the only Inspiratory Muscle Training device for RMT available for prescription that has been used in research into the benefits of IMT for a variety of medical conditions and prescribed by medical professionals as either a standalone intervention or as part of a rehabilitation programme.

For respiratory care professionals there is a POWERbreathe Medic Try-Before-You-Prescribe demonstration kit; an educational tool designed to help healthcare professionals and patients understand and experience the effect POWERbreathe Medic has on the respiratory muscles.

Since the approval of the POWERbreathe Medic for prescription in 2006, POWERbreathe has introduced the revolutionary, electronic POWERbreathe KH1, intended for use by healthcare professionals for respiratory muscle training and assessment in patients with dyspnoea, including patients with asthma, COPD, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, heart disease, neuromuscular disease, Parkinson’s disease and spinal injury.

The POWERbreathe KH1 is also suitable for use with disposable TrySafe filters and can be used bedside, on the ward, as part of a pulmonary program, or for single patient use at home under medical supervision.

Launched after the POWERbreathe Medic, following the latest technological advances in research and design, is the next generation POWERbreathe Medic: the POWERbreathe Medic Plus for patients to use at home, straight out of the box, with improved airflow dynamics and a more comfortable user experience. And for healthcare professionals (and their patients), is the new POWERbreathe KH2 with Breathe-Link Medic Live Feedback Software.


  1. Beckerman M, Magadle R, Weiner M, Weiner P. The effects of 1 year of specific inspiratory muscle training in patients with COPD. Chest. 2005 Nov;128(5):3177-82.
  2. Weiner P, Azgad Y, Ganam R, Weiner M. Inspiratory muscle training in patients with bronchial asthma. Chest. 1992;102(5):1357-61.
  3. Weiner P, Berar-Yanay N, Davidovich A, Magadle R, Weiner M. Specific inspiratory muscle training in patients with mild asthma with high consumption of inhaled beta(2)-agonists. Chest. 2000;117(3):722-7.
  4. Weiner P, Magadle R, Massarwa F, Beckerman M, Berar-Yanay N. Influence of gender and inspiratory muscle training on the perception of dyspnea in patients with asthma. Chest. 2002;122(1):197-201.

POWERbreathe Meet Physios At The London Clinic

POWERbreathe popped in to meet up with new members of the physiotherapy team at The London Clinic (23rd July). The London Clinic is one of the UK’s largest private hospitals, dedicated to providing the best, personalised healthcare with a breadth of surgical and medical expertise.

We presented POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training to 10 new members of the team and to their clinical specialist, respiratory physiotherapist, Anne Pitman.

The physiotherapy team already use the POWERbreathe K5 with Breathe-Link Live Feedback Software to test and monitor breathing parameters in patients, and then patients use their own POWERbreathe Plus device for breathing training at home.

We provided training to the new physiotherapists on how to utilise the analysis from the POWERbreathe K5 Breathe-Link Software results for the initial set-up of each patient’s own POWERbreathe Plus device. The physios took a turn using the POWERbreathe K5 to help them understand how Inspiratory Muscle Training worked, what it felt like, how to perform the training properly, what breathing parameters it registered, and how this data can help in prescribing a breathing training program that’s bespoke for each patient.

We’d like to thank the team at The London Clinic for their time and kind hospitality.

IMT facilitates weaning from mechanical ventilation in ICU


Inspiratory muscle training facilitates weaning from mechanical ventilation among patients in the intensive care unit: a systematic review

This study, published in the Journal of Physiotherapy, questioned whether Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) improves inspiratory muscle strength in adults receiving mechanical ventilation. It also asks if it improves the duration or success of weaning; if it affects the length of stay, reintubation, tracheostomy, survival, or the need for post-extubation non-invasive ventilation; if it’s tolerable; and whether it causes adverse events.

The intervention used was Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) versus sham or no IMT.


The study revealed that “Inspiratory muscle training improves weaning success, with potential reductions in length of stay and the duration of non-invasive ventilatory support after extubation. Patients who are having difficulty weaning may particularly benefit from the training, especially in weaning success and the duration of mechanical ventilation.”


POWERbreathe For Older People In Slovenia

POWERbreathe Slovenia, with the kind assistance from Tanja, a physiotherapist at Ljubljana hospital, held two POWERbreathe training sessions for over 100 physiotherapists who’ll be implementing POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) as one of the therapies they’ll be using with the older population within their communities.

Older adults experience a higher intensity of breathlessness than younger people, simply because of advancing years or as a result of illness, but by exercising and strengthening their breathing muscles (their inspiratory muscles) with POWERbreathe, they will learn how to breathe well again.

Research has in fact shown that IMT may be a useful technique for positively influencing exercise capacity and physical activity in elderly individuals.

Why POWERbreathe is ideal for the senior population

  • It’s scientifically proven to reduce breathlessness and restore breathing power
  • Does not involve drugs and has no interactions with other drugs
  • It’s quick and easy to use and effective within 4-weeks
  • It increases breathing muscle strength by 30 – 50%

Other therapies the physio’s will be including is Nordic walking and general exercise to get this more sedentary group moving, with the intention of making savings in the long-term for the health service.

You can view photos taken at the training sessions on POWERbreathe Facebook.

POWERbreathe for Firefighters with Chronic Respiratory Conditions

A study recently published (February 2014) in the International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health assessed the prevalence of chronic respiratory conditions in (South Australian) metropolitan fire fighters. It also studied associations between occupational exposure, use of respiratory protection and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in firefighters with and without chronic respiratory conditions.

Study: Chronic respiratory conditions in a cohort of metropolitan fire-fighters: associations with occupational exposure and quality of life.


Respiratory symptoms, medical conditions, occupational tasks and exposures and consistency of using respiratory protection were inquired by questionnaire. The Health Survey was used to measure physical and mental health-related quality of life.

Fire-fighters were categorised in subgroups: asthma; COPD/emphysema/chronic bronchitis; no chronic respiratory conditions; and as being ‘not involved’ or ‘involved’ in fire-fighting tasks, the latter further categorised as ‘consistent’ or ‘inconsistent’ use of respiratory protection.


Ten percent of metropolitan fire-fighters reported underlying chronic respiratory conditions. Presence of such a condition in combination with suboptimal protection from inhaled exposures may lead to poorer physical health-related quality of life.

Read Abstract: Chronic respiratory conditions in a cohort of metropolitan fire-fighters: associations with occupational exposure and quality of life.

How could POWERbreathe help?

A project conducted at the University of Birmingham Sports Medicine and Human Performance Unit into the respiratory performance in firefighters unearthed some not-so-surprising findings:

  • Lung function is impaired whilst wearing SCBA (Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus)
  • Respiratory muscle strength and lung function are impaired further after physical work in SCBA
  • Firefighters adopt a special breathing strategy to minimise the breathlessness induced by working in SCBA

Looking at data from scientific studies, if firefighters performed POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training for a minimum of 4-weeks, they could:

  • Increase their inspiratory muscle strength
  • Reduce breathlessness
  • Reduce heart rate (1)
  • Reduce the rate of air use from the cylinder (increasing wear time by around 1.5 min from a 15 min cylinder) (1)
  • Increase time to exhaustion (findings from a standard laboratory treadmill test)

(1) Donovan K, McConnell A. Fire-fighters’ Self-contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA): The Effects of Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) during Fire-Fighting Simulations in the Laboratory. In: Hanson, Lovesey, Robertson, editors. Annual Conference of the Ergonomics Society; 1999: Ergonomics Society; 1999. p. 348-52.

Read more about how POWERbreathe could benefit those in the Fire Service.

David Beckham gets short of breath – how POWERbreathe could help

An article published on the Mail Online (11th December 2013) revealed how David Beckham gets short of breath when he’s out running early in the morning with his 11-year-old son.

Although retired, 38-year-old David Beckham still maintains a level of fitness yet he admits how he struggles to keep up with his son, Romeo. This revelation came out during a chat at the National Football Museum in Manchester.

Beckham said, “He’s one of those annoying runners who always wants to be one step in front of you. We ran three and a half miles and the third mile was the quickest of all of them. I was breathing hard.’

There is however something that Beckham could do to help alleviate that feeling. He could warm-up his breathing muscles before he heads out for a run in the early morning cold by specifically exercising his inspiratory muscles with POWERbreathe.

POWERbreathe was developed as a training tool to exercise the breathing muscles. It does this by utilizing the principles of resistance training. As you inhale against the resistance, your breathing muscles are effectively ‘lifting a weight’ which trains them to work harder, and like all weight training, improves their strength and stamina.

Over time, usually around 4-weeks, the breathing muscles have become much stronger and less prone to fatigue, and the resistance can be increased, just as you would increase your weights. Each mechanical POWERbreathe (the Classic and Plus series) has a vast training range, but the K-Series is limitless and will be the only inspiratory muscle training device you’ll need.

So for David we’d suggest the POWERbreathe K5, with additional valve heads for each member of his family. They can all then monitor and compare their breathing training using the K5’s Breathe-Link software, and watch their improvements on screen in real-time.

Even though there’ll be no doubt that the Beckhams will perform a warm-up before their runs, it’s unlikely that they’ll target their breathing muscles, and yet research has shown that a standard pre-exercise warm-up routine fails to prepare the inspiratory muscles for the rigors of exercise.

Not only would David benefit from a POWERbreathe inspiratory muscle warm-up, but also from spending about 5-minutes per day using his POWERbreathe to train his inspiratory muscles, making them stronger and more resistant to fatigue, which will benefit him (and his children if they choose to train with it too) long-term.

Read more about why POWERbreathe should be an essential component of everyone’s fitness training, or if you’re already using POWERbreathe to help alleviate breathlessness when you exercise, then please leave a comment here or on the POWERbreathe Forum, Facebook page or Twitter as we’d love to hear from you.

And if you’re David Beckham reading this (well, we can all dream), then please get in touch and we’ll arrange a demonstration.

Coping with respiratory problems in the colder weather

Well here in the UK summer seems to have come to an abrupt end, with cooler weather and colder, damp air.

If you have a respiratory problem, such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder) or asthma, then the cold air that accompanies the change in season might affect you when you venture outdoors.

Respiratory consultant Dr Mat Jones at Nevill Hall hospital says, “Patients with airway diseases, particularly asthma often have hyper-responsive airways which are susceptible to the cold. In response to cold weather they can bronchoconstrict excessively (excessive bronchial narrowing) which can then trigger an exacerbation of their condition.”

“Patients with chronic lung disease have an increased susceptibility to infections of the lung given the structural changes in their lungs. This, accompanied by the frequency of infective organisms in the community in winter months would explain this trend of cold weather having an adverse effect on the lungs.”

The colder and drier air at this time of year, and even more so in the winter, will have sufferers of asthma and COPD feeling breathless, tight-chested and wheezing and coughing.

Although you may feel like staying in the warm and not venturing out, there are a few things you can do to make you feel more comfortable when you do have to venture outdoors.

Here are five handy tips that the British Lung Foundation suggest to help prevent your respiratory problems from worsening in the cold weather:

  1. Wash your hands regularly to avoid picking up winter bugs.
  2. Wrap up warm when heading outdoors, covering your nose and mouth with a scarf as this will help to warm up the air before you breathe it in.
  3. Keep your home well ventilated – air quality inside the home becomes more important in winter as most of us spend more time indoors. If you have a bronchodilator, use it half an hour before going outside.
  4. Make sure you carry your medication with you at all times as cold air can tighten the airways in lung disease patients making it harder to breathe.
  5. Try to breathe through your nose instead of your mouth as this will help warm the air.

You can also warm-up your breathing muscles with your POWERbreathe. In fact a POWERbreathe inspiratory warm-up is used by athletes to warm-up their breathing muscles prior to competition.

You warm up other muscles prior to exercise, so why not your breathing muscles? Physical activity at a moderate intensity is widely accepted as an acceptable and effective means of warming-up your locomotor muscles so that they’re ready to work at an intense level. But this moderate intensity activity is not enough to warm-up your breathing muscles. This was demonstrated in a study reporting that a rowing warm-up:

“that was similar to the routine adopted in preparing for a rowing race had no effect on inspiratory muscle (IM) strength despite the significant improvement in leg muscle peak torque the rowing warm-up elicited. On the other hand, they found that ventilatory activity applied to inspiratory muscle at moderate intensity could increase the force generation capacity of the muscle (Volianitis et al.2001a). Such specific inspiratory muscle activity (‘‘warm-up’’) in addition to a rowing-specific warm-up protocol was further shown to improve subsequent performance in a 6-min all-out rowing test and the improvement was partly attributed to the reduction in intensity of breathlessness sensation (Volianitis et al. 2001b).”

Your POWERbreathe warm-up is simply performed on a reduced load setting.

POWERbreathe uses the principles of resistance training to exercise your breathing muscles, making them work harder. This exercise in turn makes your breathing muscles stronger and less prone to fatigue. And because POWERbreathe is drug-free, it can be used by those with respiratory problems such as asthma and COPD. Because it has no side effects or drug interactions it can be used alongside your regular respiratory medication.

Chris Mulholland, head of British Lung Foundation Wales, said: “As respiratory conditions are often exacerbated by the cold weather, those with mild, early stage respiratory problems – that would otherwise go unnoticed at any other time of year – may notice an increase in symptoms. If you notice you’re getting more chest problems in the winter, perhaps becoming breathless, wheezy or have a persistent cough, then it could be an early warning sign. It is really worth going to see your doctor at this point because the earlier problems are diagnosed, the earlier they can be treated and managed which will have short and long-term benefits.”

Read more about how POWERbreathe could help relieve your symptoms of asthma and reduce dyspnoea in COPD, or if you’re already using POWERbreathe to help with your respiratory problem then please leave a comment here or on the POWERbreathe Forum, Facebook or Twitter as we’d love to hear from you. You can also read about how POWERbreathe has helped others with breathing problems, including asthma and COPD, in our “I have a breathing problem” blog category.

Why I came to use POWERbreathe, by Martin Helm, ‘man in the street’

“I am no Olympic athlete or even competitive sportsman – just a 64-year-old man who enjoys walking and a regular cycle ride but has worried for years about his shallow breathing.  I had simply assumed my lungs were clapped out when I struggled to swim the length of a small swimming pool without taking a breath.

The fact that I can now fill my lungs with good fresh air – freely, naturally and easily is entirely due to just one month of using my Powerbreathe plus. To me that is a greater achievement than any performance enhancement an Olympian could make.  You can almost feel that extra oxygen surging round your body.

My rejuvenation has come as a complete surprise to me. I had been searching for several years for a way to train and improve my breathing. I never imagined there was a machine that could train me to suck air deep into my lungs again – let alone that it should be so simple, quick, pain free and cheap.

A month after first starting my training, my wife is now totally bored with hearing my daily updates on the impact Powerbreathe plus has had on me.

I am just sorry that it took me so long to find this great product. I am sure there must be many thousands of men and women who could feel just as rejuvenated as me if they only knew where to look. It is a shame that it is mainly already fit sportsmen who are getting the most benefit and I hope that Powerbreathe can spread the word to GPs and journalists so that everyone has a chance to use it.

I bought the blue Powerbreathe Plus and for the first day or two struggled even with level zero. I have now worked my way up to level six. If my own deep breathing was not telling me how much more I am using my lungs now, clicking back to level zero and finding how easy it is can be is a good morale booster.

I first saw your machine online and then, almost immediately afterwards, for real in John Bell and Croydon, in London’s Wigmore St. They had the complete range on display and
an assistant able to guide me. I bought it immediately and it is probably the best £50 I have ever spent.

I would unreservedly recommend this solution to anyone who feels short of breath or wants to give their breathing a boost.”

All the best

Thank you so much to Martin for getting in touch and sharing his experience. If you too are using a POWERbreathe to improve your quality of life, as opposed to using it for sports performance gains, then please leave a comment here on the POWERbreathe Forum as we’d love to hear from you.