Pain Management Toolbox – Breathing

Throughout my career in creating herbal remedies, one question that often comes up during conversation with customers and colleagues is, “Can you recommend any other tools you use for your own pain management”? Obviously, I am obligated to start off by saying that I am not a doctor, so I absolutely do not carry the knowledge and education needed to make formal recommendations. As a patient, however, I have tried many things that have succeeded and failed for me. This gives me personal experience that I am happy to pass on to those who inquire. If they choose to implement those tools, that is of their own will.

Years ago, I came to the realization that there is not a magic blue pill. Yep, it sucks. I realized I needed to find the practices and remedies that helped me make the pain bearable. Throughout the years, I have added new tools to what I call my Pain Management Toolbox. I’m going to share the first one I reach for that can be used no matter where you are or what you are doing.

BREATHE!

Breathing is my number one tool. I have spent hours upon hours learning the art of breathing. There is a simple technique you can use to start adding this tool to your box. It is called simple breathing.

Simple breathing is the easiest breathing technique of them all. The simple act of breathing can make a world of difference in how we feel. We can probably all agree that stress can exacerbate pain and fatigue. So, if we relax our bodies, even for just a moment, we reduce stress and anxiety which in turn can take our pain down a notch or two, or even five when you’ve practiced long enough.

Take a moment to breathe!

Take a moment away from every distraction around you. Turn off the television or radio, silence the cell phone, and close the laptop.  I know, you might say, “I never get a moment for myself, especially at work”, or, “I have kids running around, a moment to myself? You’re crazy”, but I want you to just try to take at least 1 minute away from all of those distractions. Whether it’s in the bathroom with the door shut, sitting in the car during your lunch break, or just before you get out of bed. This will just take a moment and if practiced enough, will become an imperative tool in your Pain Management Toolbox.

Once you have a moment to yourself, sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and eyes closed. Now, slowly inhale through your nose the deepest breath you can take. As you breathe in, imagine the air is filling every crevice of your body. Imagine that the air is bigger than you and it encompasses your whole being. After you get to your max, hold that breath for 5 seconds, and then slowly exhale every bit of air from your mouth. Give yourself about 10 seconds to breathe normally, and then repeat. Do this three times within that moment. Relaxation is a great way to reduce pain. Sometimes we allow our pain to steal that from us, but by simply breathing we can grab hold of that relaxed control.

This is the easiest and quickest breathing technique I use, and it helps me manage the pain every single day and I use it most frequently. When I first started using this technique, I had to reassure my family and friends that I was not giving them a sassy or bored sigh, I was managing my pain. Now, I don’t even know I am doing it. It’s the first thing I reach for when my pain started to rear her ugly head. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!

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