Thursday, November 29, 2007

essential info: breathing for pain

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When I'm in the worst pain, usually during the throes of a relentless, excruciating migraine, I often realize I've been holding my breath. This is a perfectly natural reaction to pain, but it actually makes your pain worse. Relaxation breathing can make a big difference in your ability to cope with your pain.

Chronic Pain Connection recently featured an article on this topic and shared the link to an article about how to breathe the right way.

Are You Holding Your Breath?
My theory is that we begin holding our breath as a way of trying to lessen the pain – if I don't move, maybe it won't hurt as much. While that tends to be an instinctive reaction, the truth is that holding our breath can actually increase our pain. It can also contribute to a number of other unpleasant symptoms.

This About Alternative Medicine article provides very detailed information about how to practice relaxation breathing.

Relaxation Breathing: Step by Step

It is a good idea to practice these techniques before you need them.
In a way, it's like taking classes before you have a baby. These tips may all sound obvious, but when you're dealing with severe pain you'll find it helpful to be able to draw upon this advice and focus on in and out instead of ouch.

Do you have other techniques or advice for keeping your breath moving when you're in major pain? Share in the comments.

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