How does breathing affect pain?

You may have noticed that you hold your breath, clenching your jaw, tensing up your whole body when you’re in pain. Sadly, all this only aggravates the pain. Trying to relax, breathing into the pain with deep, controlled breaths in and out may help loosen up your whole body, provide proper oxygenation, and relieve your pain.

The easiest and simplest method you can try for pain relief is deep diaphragmatic breathing. Lie down on your back with one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest. Breathe in deeply into your belly and exhale fully through the mouth, pursing your lips as if you’re blowing out a candle. You should not be forcing the inhale or the exhale but allow a natural expansion to occur. When taking deep diaphragmatic breaths, you should feel the hand on your belly move while the hand on your chest stays relatively stable. Deep abdominal breathing does not only expand your belly. You can place your hands on your sides to feel an expansion on both sides of your rib cage. Try this method for 5-10 minutes and see how you feel.

To learn more about this topic, head on to Breathing Exercises for Pain Relief (blog link).