This is the full Brügger exercise and builds upon the steps given in Part 1 (Blowing out the candle) and Part 2 (Head retraction). I have broken it down so that you can build up to these exercises without straining your breathing pattern. Here we add a gentle contraction of the back and some arm movements.

These exercises are also given to help to uncurl the front of the body, particularly helping to open the front of the chest. This helps to counteract the head forward, curling up that modern life encourages. They can be really helpful with

Where to do the exercise:
Whilst the first two parts you can do sitting or reclining on your bed. The Brügger exercise needs you to sit on a chair without arm rests (e.g. dining chair), or to stand. If you are sitting you need to be sitting towards the front of the chair seat as you should not be resting against the chair back.

Your arms should be hanging down by your sides, which is why there should not be any arm rests on the chair.


  1. Exhale fully, letting your arms dangle.
  2. Pause at the end of the exhalation.
  3. Retract your head slightly as you breathe in.
  4. Rotate your arms outwards at the shoulders (which turns the palms to face the front), and gently feel like the shoulder blades are squeezing towards each other.
  5. Repeat.


Chaitow, L., Bradley, D, & Gilbert, C (2014) Recognizing and Treating Breathing
Disorders: A multidisciplinary approach (2nd Edition), Churchill Livingstone


Here’s a short video taking you through the full breathing technique