What’s chest physio? In a nutshell, the body becomes a drumkit for a physio to percuss and shake. This helps dislodge mucus, and makes it a while lot easier to spit out!
To put that scientifically… Chest physiotherapy is an airway clearance technique to drain the lungs, and may include percussion, vibration, deep breathing and huffing or coughing.
The person receiving physio gets in different positions to use gravity to drain mucus (postural drainage) from the lungs’ lobes.
A physio/caregiver/partner/(person you’re ok having this done by!) then cups their hands and percusses the chest (one side at a time).
They can then vibrate the lungs as the person does deep breaths in and out. Some people may also use a PEP or acapella, which put additional resistance on the lungs to make it harder to breathe out.
All of these actions work to help dislodge and move the mucus to the larger airways where it can be coughed and huffed out of the body.
To read more about the technique, visit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s website.