Clearing lung technique I found by accident

Posted by wal6578 @wal6578, Tue, Mar 3 5:59am

I just recently started going to Mayo Clinic. My Dr. Scheduled a CT Scan and some pulmonary tests on the 28Th. I had been diagnosed with bronchiecstasis and mac lung by my pulmonologist in Tallahassee but all they were addressing was the mac lung and doing nothing about clearing my lungs so the Mayo clinic was set up as a second opinion. When they put me through CT scan on my back with knees bent I noticed mucus came right to my throat. I had been nebulising with albutrol and 3% saline since my first appointment on 2/11 and although I felt good after albutrol I was still not coughing up much sputum even after flutter valve. After CT I had an hour to waste before next test I went to my car and I coughed up a huge amount of sputum. I thought wow I hope I have more for my sputum test. After my pft I sat for 20 minutes with saline and produced nothing. I told tech about what happened after CT scan and she put me in a recliner for 5 minutes and I was able to bring up sputum. I googled this and it is an actual technique that I am now using everyday with success every time. After nebulising or if you can if mucus gets in your throat Lie on your back with your hips on two pillows and knees bent. Your head should slightly off bed. Do this for 5-10 minutes and the mucus is in your lower lungs will drain to your throat. I also clap my lower lungs to get it moving more. I also put my hands over my head and inhale and hokd it several times just like CT scan. It might not work for everyone but it works every time for me with large amounts of sputum that I have not been able to bring up even with a flutter valve. Google it.

I have difficulty getting anything up as well! Even when I nebulize with 7% saline, I cough up a tiny amount when it first hits my lungs but no more. I feel like my sputum is just spit! I’ll definitely try that technique. I do know that before diagnosis, reclining in the evening to read made me cough up gobs, but has no effect now. Thanks for the idea!

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@wal6578 Thanks so much for your great tip. Kate

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I think it’s called “postural drainage”

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@wal6578 I also found that method by accident and it's the only way I've been doing it for the past two years. And I don't even have to raise my hips ( but I probably should). I just lie down and my lungs start the draining process. Postural drainage. I doubt it works for everyone but thank goodness it works for me. Nan

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Hello wal6578, Thanks for posting. It reminds me of the time before I was diagnosed with MAC/Bronchiectasis I would mention to my PCP and my Pulmonologist that I would have the most productive cough when laying back in my recliner or a dental chair and I would get this blank look like that was the first time they ever heard that. I have been on the big 3 antibiotics since Sept 2019 and doing somewhat better but after reading about nebulizing with 7% saline on this site I have been doing that twice daily for about 2 weeks now and can tell a big difference in the lower frequency and productiveness of my cough. Thanks to all of the members here on MAYO that enlightened us about this.

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@sam33

I have difficulty getting anything up as well! Even when I nebulize with 7% saline, I cough up a tiny amount when it first hits my lungs but no more. I feel like my sputum is just spit! I’ll definitely try that technique. I do know that before diagnosis, reclining in the evening to read made me cough up gobs, but has no effect now. Thanks for the idea!

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Glad to share. I am the same way with a recliner but at the hospital it was the one that went all the way back. I hope whem you try it you get the same results as me. Clear lungs feel so much better.

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@alleycatkate

@wal6578 Thanks so much for your great tip. Kate

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Your welcome. Hope it works for you.

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@poodledoc

Hello wal6578, Thanks for posting. It reminds me of the time before I was diagnosed with MAC/Bronchiectasis I would mention to my PCP and my Pulmonologist that I would have the most productive cough when laying back in my recliner or a dental chair and I would get this blank look like that was the first time they ever heard that. I have been on the big 3 antibiotics since Sept 2019 and doing somewhat better but after reading about nebulizing with 7% saline on this site I have been doing that twice daily for about 2 weeks now and can tell a big difference in the lower frequency and productiveness of my cough. Thanks to all of the members here on MAYO that enlightened us about this.

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I got the same response when I mentioned it. But when it worked they were surprised. Another Dr said he had a patient that can use saline for 30 minutes with no sputum but then lie down and within 5 minutes bribg up junk.

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I started laying down before I went for my dental cleanings and it always clears my lungs so I don’t cough while they’re working on me.
Do you use both albuterol and saline or just one or the other?

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@marilynk

I started laying down before I went for my dental cleanings and it always clears my lungs so I don’t cough while they’re working on me.
Do you use both albuterol and saline or just one or the other?

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Marilynk I stopped getting my teeth cleaned for over a year because i knew I would cough a lot, very embarrassing, but have recently started back. I only use 7% saline, works well for me.

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The only thing with postural drainage is to be careful if you have GERD – I can't do it because of that, but would be an effective method for me too otherwise.

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Thank you because there is a possibility of GERD. Jane

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@poodledoc

Hello wal6578, Thanks for posting. It reminds me of the time before I was diagnosed with MAC/Bronchiectasis I would mention to my PCP and my Pulmonologist that I would have the most productive cough when laying back in my recliner or a dental chair and I would get this blank look like that was the first time they ever heard that. I have been on the big 3 antibiotics since Sept 2019 and doing somewhat better but after reading about nebulizing with 7% saline on this site I have been doing that twice daily for about 2 weeks now and can tell a big difference in the lower frequency and productiveness of my cough. Thanks to all of the members here on MAYO that enlightened us about this.

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@poodledoc It makes my heart so glad when I hear of someone doing better because of the saline use. When I first came on this site many yrs ago; hardly anybody was doing the nebulized saline. I have repeatedly recommended its use since 2015 to our group, and now; most of us are using it. I have noticed a marked difference in the member's health over the yrs. They do not seem to be quite as sick and miserable with this mac as they used to be. Has anybody else noticed that?

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@windwalker …I too started 7% Saline after seeing your posts…Thank you from the bottom of my heart and lungs!! 🙂 This was immediately after being diagnosed with MAC and Bronchiectasis about 2 years ago and told by my pulmonologist…"Absolutely no added moisture to the lung." I say this as each of us must determine what/who we need to listen to and to do our own homework. I have reduced sputum and kept healthy!! I will always be appreciative, Terri, Thank you….Kate.

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Well said – I second that @alleycatkate ! Thanks to @windwalker (and you too!) & all those who have been going through this before us and are willing to share their journey & discoveries! I can't do 7% yet (hemoptysis issues), but can now mix my 3% with the 7. When I started this bronchiectatsis/NTM journey, my infectious disease doc told me…" you WILL treat. I don't have anyone that doesn't treat within at least 3 years." Well, I am now at the 3 year mark (diagnosed, but surely had it much longer), and instead of being closer to treatment, I have improved greatly in health & strength. Yes, as they tell me, I meet the "clinical" requirements for treatment, and I may have to some day, but I am ever thankful that God has blessed me with this time of no treatment – and he used this group to inform me and arm me with tools to change the direction of my journey. I have zero doubt that, without the things I have learned & implemented from everyone here, I would have fulfilled my ID doc's prediction. So thank you, ALL!!

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