Breathing Exercises To Calm Pain

Breathing Exercises To Calm Pain

Here at The Pain
Center of Arizona, we know that living with chronic pain can be stressful. But
one of the best ways patients can help reduce the stress in their lives is by
learning how to relax through breathing exercises.

Deep breathing helps
lower stress in the body because breathing deeply sends a message to the brain
to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to the body. Deep
breathing also causes certain things that happen when stress occurs, such as
increased heart rate, fast breathing, and high blood pressure, to decrease.

Another good
thing about breathing exercises is that they are easy to learn. Patients can do
them whenever they want, and they don't need any special tools or equipment. Patients
can also try out different exercises to see which work best.

The following
methods focus only on breathing exercises, but there are other ways, such as
combining breathing with things like yoga, imagery, and meditation.

The first
exercise presented is called belly breathing and is simple to learn and easy to
do. It's best to start there, especially for patients who have never done
breathing exercises before. The other exercises are more advanced, but all of
these exercises can help patients relax and relieve stress.

Belly breathing
is easy to do and very relaxing. Patients can try this basic exercise anytime they
need to relax or relieve stress.

Sit in a
comfortable position.

Put one hand on
your belly just below your ribs and the other hand on your chest.

Take a deep
breath in through your nose, and let your belly push your hand out. Your chest
should not move.

Breathe out
through pursed lips as if you were whistling. Feel the hand on your belly go
in, and use it to push all the air out.

Do this breathing
3 to 10 times. Take your time with each breath.

After mastering
belly breathing, patients may want to try one of the following more advanced
breathing exercises.

4-7-8 breathing

This exercise
also uses belly breathing and can be done either sitting or lying down.

To start, put
one hand on your belly and the other on your chest as in the belly breathing

Take a deep,
slow breath from your belly, and silently count to 4 as you breathe in.

Hold your
breath, and silently count from 1 to 7.

Breathe out
completely as you silently count from 1 to 8. Try to get all the air out of
your lungs by the time you count to 8.

Repeat 3 to 7
times or until you feel calm.

Roll breathing

The object of
roll breathing is to develop full use of the lungs and to focus on the rhythm
of breathing. It can be done in any position, but while learning, it is best to
lie on the back with knees bent.

Put your left
hand on your belly and your right hand on your chest. Notice how your hands
move as you breathe in and out.

Practice filling
your lower lungs by breathing so that your "belly" (left) hand goes
up when you inhale and your "chest" (right) hand remains still.
Always breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Do this
8 to 10 times.

When you have filled
and emptied your lower lungs 8 to 10 times, add the second step to your
breathing: Inhale first into your lower lungs as before, and then continue
inhaling into your upper chest. As you do so, your right hand will rise and
your left hand will fall a little as your belly falls.

As you exhale
slowly through your mouth, make a quiet, whooshing sound as first your left
hand and then your right hand fall. As you exhale, feel the tension leaving
your body as you become more and more relaxed.

Practice breathing
in and out in this way for 3 to 5 minutes. Notice that the movement of your
belly and chest rises and falls like the motion of rolling waves.

Practice roll
breathing daily for several weeks until you can do it almost anywhere. You can
use it as an instant relaxation tool anytime you need one.

Caution: Some
people get dizzy the first few times they try roll breathing. If this happens,
slow breathing down and get up slowly.

If you suffer from chronic pain due to any condition or
injury, find hope at The Pain Center of Arizona! Our dedicated team of board
certified pain management physicians will work with you to treat your pain,
increase your functionality and quality of life, and get you back into life! We
have locations across Arizona, including Phoenix, Anthem, Surprise, Mesa,
Gilbert, Deer Valley, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, and now Prescott and Tucson!
We take multiple insurance plans; click here
to see if we take yours! To make an appointment and take the first step toward
getting back into life, call us today at 1-888-PAINCENTER. We hope to see you

advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes
only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician's advice or
judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned
here or in any other educational medical material.

©The Pain
Center of Arizona, 2013

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