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Breathe Your Way to Pain Relief

  • Dr. Steve Young
  • 10 Apr, 2023

Take Control of Your Pain: The Benefits of Deep, Slow Breathing for Managing Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can be crippling and overwhelming, affecting not only physical health but also mental health and quality of life as a whole. Deep, slow breathing is one of these methods. It has been shown to turn on the parasympathetic nervous system, which makes you feel calm and lessens pain caused by the sympathetic nervous system. However, there are simple yet effective techniques that can help manage chronic pain and improve overall health. In this article, we'll talk about how deep, slow breathing can help you deal with chronic pain, give you tips on how to use this technique every day for managing chronic pain, and provide tips for incorporating this technique into your daily routine.

To practice deep, slow breathing, find a quiet, comfortable space where you can sit or lie down. Begin by placing one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly. Take slow, deep breaths in through your nose, counting to four as you inhale. Hold the breath for a count of four, then slowly exhale through your mouth, counting to four. Repeat this cycle for several minutes, focusing on the sensations of breathing and letting go of any tension in your body.

It's important to make deep, slow breathing a part of your daily routine and to be patient and persistent in your practice. The more you incorporate this technique into your life, the more effective it will become at reducing pain and promoting relaxation. Additionally, incorporating deep, slow breathing into your routine can help to reduce stress, improve sleep, and boost your mood.

Incorporating deep, slow breathing into your daily routine can also help reduce pain triggers. For example, if you find that stress is a trigger for your chronic pain, practicing deep, slow breathing in response to stressful situations can help reduce pain and promote relaxation. In the same way, if physical activity makes your chronic pain worse, deep, slow breathing before and after physical activity can help ease your pain and improve your overall health.

Researchers believe that slow breathing is a trigger event for the body. Deep breathing boosts the parasympathetic nervous system, which is in charge of making you feel calm and easing pain. By slowing down the breath and focusing on relaxation, we can train our bodies to activate the parasympathetic nervous system and reduce pain. Studies have also shown that slow, deep breathing can cause the body's natural painkillers, called endorphins, to be released, which can further reduce pain and help you relax.

Deep, slow breathing is a powerful technique for managing chronic pain and reducing its impact on daily life. You can improve your quality of life and turn your health from a liability into your greatest asset by using this technique every day, when you feel pain coming on, and with the help of your doctor if you need to.

References:

  • The Science of Breathing and Chronic Pain. (2021, September). Pain Management Center. https://painmanagementcenter.net/the-science-of-breathing-and-chronic-pain/
  • Breathing Exercises for Pain Management. (2021, March). Harvard Health Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/breathing-exercises-for-pain-management
  • Deep Breathing for Pain Management. (2021, June). American Chronic Pain Association. https://www.theacpa.org/deep-breathing-pain-management/
  • Breathing Techniques for Pain Management. (2021, January). Pain Science. https://www.painscience.com/articles/breathing-techniques-pain-management.php
  • The Power of Deep Breathing for Pain Management. (2021, October). Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/the-power-of-deep-breathing-for-pain-management/

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