Breathing exercise for pain
Prescription painkillers are an essential aid for many people. If you’re living with some sort of chronic pain, painkillers might be necessary just so you can function and lead a normal life.
However, they can also come with strong side effects. That’s one reason you may want to find alternative ways to relieve pain—but there are many other reasons too:
- Your medications aren’t doing enough.
- You want to find a more natural solution.
- You don’t have pain medication on hand.
Whatever your reason, here is a very simple breathing exercise you can use to find some relief from all types of pain. Whether you’re suffering from headaches, an injury, or a chronic condition, this exercise can help you take control of your body and manage your pain.
Breathe Deep and Relax
- Sit or lie down in a comfortable spot.
- Put one hand on your stomach, right above your belly button
- Put your other hand on the middle of your chest
- Take a deep breath and notice how the hand on your belly rises first, followed by the hand on your chest.
- Briefly hold the breath, then slowly let it out. Notice how your chest and abdomen move as you exhale.
- Continue breathing deeply while concentrating on the air entering your nose and mouth. Picture it filling your lungs.
- Try to make your breaths longer and slower.
- As you inhale, imagine the air is surrounding all the pain in your body.
- As you exhale, imagine you’re blowing pain and stress out of your mouth.
- Take notice of how the pain has lessened already, and continue.
Why Does It Work?
Have you ever paid attention to the way you breathe when you’re relaxed? Probably not. It sounds a bit boring, doesn’t it? But you should take a moment to think about it now.
When you’re at your most relaxed, you take deeper and slower breaths than usual. This is one reason that deep breathing can calm you down. It makes your body feel like it does when you’re relaxed, which helps you actually relax. In a way, it’s similar to how studies have shown that the physical act of smiling can make you feel happier.
In addition, deep breathing oxygenates your blood and stimulates the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers.
Preventing other issues
Another thing to keep in mind is that when you’re in pain, your heart rate increases, your blood pressure rises, and your body releases stress hormones. Pain can also affect your quality of sleep, and lead to changes in your mental state.
If you’re in pain often, those changes can take a toll on your body over time. For example, it can weaken your immune system and increase your risk for heart disease.
However, concentrating on relaxing can counteract those changes. With a little practice, you can train yourself to have better control over your body’s reactions to pain. And that can help you avoid other health issues down the line.
Other Pain Management Techniques
If you’re looking for other simple ways to help manage your pain, take a look at this list:
Music therapy: Simply listening to your favourite music can work wonders for relaxation and taking your mind off of pain. However, some studies show that making music is even more effective, so consider taking up an instrument or at least humming along!
Heat and cold: Sometimes the tried-and-true methods are the best way to go. Cold is great for numbing painful areas and heat can help relax tense muscles or stiff joints.
Mental Health Therapy: Sometimes chronic pain can be related to your mental state. Did you know that conditions like depression or anxiety can increase your sensitivity to pain? That’s why seeing a mental health professional can help relieve pain.