Breathing retraining has been an integral part of respiratory rehabilitation for the patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (C.O.P.D.). Techniques used for breathing retraining have been studied for many years. These techniques include such breathing retraining modalities as relaxation conditioning, positioning maneuvers, abdominaldiaphragmatic breathing, pursed lip breathing and intermittent positive pressure breathing. Controversy concerning the therapeutic value of many of these techniques has developed. In this descriptive case study on three subjects with C.O.P.D. the experimental technique of sensory stimulation was investigated as a breaching retraining method. Sensory stimulation consisted of five minutes of repetitive brushing and two to three seconds of quick icing. The areas brushed and iced were the anterior and lateral thoracic dermatomes T6-T12. Repetitive brushing has been suggested as a technique to stimulate the C-fibers of afferent pathways. Quick icing has been suggested to stimulate A-delta fibers of afferent pathways. Two subjects were placed in the head—down position of 12.6 degrees for sensory stimulation testing, while one subject was left in supine position. Tidal volume and end-tidal PCO2used to measure effectiveness of sensory stimulation in promoting deep breathing. Tidal volume was computed from minute volume taken on a Bonus Ventilation Monitor LS-75 model. End-tidal PCO2 was measure by the RMS II by Perkin-Elmer Company. Sensory stimulation occurred over a period of four days in which data were collected before and after sensory stimulation. No significant change in tidal volume was found following sensory stimulation. Significant change (p=0.05) was observed in the end tidal PC02 of two subjects following sensory stimulation.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

L. Lucile Lewis

Second Advisor

John E. Hodgkin

Third Advisor

Lavaun W. Sutton

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Respiratory Therapy.



Page Count

ix; 98

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives