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Take A Deep Breath
6 Replies
Canada17 - February 2

Found this article, tested it out. Seems to work, but you have to remember to keep your breathing controlled:

"Breathing slowly could be as good as some medicines at banishing pain.

Taking half as many breaths as normal not only reduces short-term pain from burns or cuts, but could help thousands who suffer chronic aches in their joints and muscles.

In a new study people were able to put up with higher levels of pain and for longer if they practised controlled breathing sessions in which they halved their breathing rates.

Most healthy adults take between 12 and 18 breaths a minute.

But new research shows that slowing this down to as few as six a minute can have a powerful pain-busting effect. U.S. researchers studied a group of healthy middle-aged women and a group of women with fibromyalgia - a condition that causes pain and for which there is no obvious cause.

Both groups were exposed to probes that generated heat against their hands at different temperatures.

Scientists wanted to measure how much pain they could tolerate.

Taking half the amount of normal breaths, both groups of women rated the pain as less intense than when they breathed normally.

One theory is that slow breathing reduces pain by having a direct effect on the sympathetic nervous system - fibres in the central nervous system which help to control blood flow and skin temperature.

Studies have shown that dampening down the sympathetic nervous system can block pain."

Read more: dailymail. co. uk / health / article-1247878 / How-breathing-deeply-reduce-pain . html #ixzz0eOcHsdIc


iliveinpain - February 2

The problem I would have is whenever I try to think about how I'm breathing, I wind up hyperventilating and it'll go on for hours at times. I'll have to read up on this article tho, good find :) hey, anything that helps!


Noca - February 2

Every time our pulse registers it will give pain if we are already in pain. Slowing down our breathing effectively lowers our pulse. At least that's how I think of it.

If your hyperventilating you are raising your PH level making is more alkaline. This constricts the blood vessels which supply the brain oxygen. Its said that FMS suffer from low oxygen levels, thus faster breathing will decrease the amount of oxygen getting to our brain there by increasing pain(I think). Slowing down your breathing will get more oxygen to the brain.


solanadelfina - February 2

Huh, considering the effects that stress has on us, this makes a lot of sense. Maybe that's another reason that yoga and meditation can help us out.


Canada17 - February 3

In response to Noca's theory, please re-read the last two paragraphs of the original thread.

Also, research has shown that slowing your breathing, thus reducing the amount of oxygen you are taking it, makes for better carbon dioxide to oxygen transfer in the muscles. A lack of oxygen in our muscles and tissues does create pain of us as Noca said. Better transfer of the oxygen into our muscles should mean more oxygen in our muscles and thus less pain.

Also, you should not be hyperventilating as you should be taking slow, deep breaths not fast shallow breaths. As solanadelfina mentioned, this is why we tend to benefit from yoga and meditation.

This technique is not an easy one to master but I tested it out for myself. I am in the middle of a flare right now and yesterday I controlled my breathing for just five minutes and felt less pain. Maybe I felt less pain because I was concentrating on my breathing, however, when I went back to breathing normally, my pain did return. No other "distraction" has given me the relief that the controlled breathing did.

Whatever the reason, this technique does work for me.


Jerica - February 19

Look into the Buteyko method he recommends breathing only a few times a minute and says that people who are the most healthy breathe less. I am a chronic hyperventilator so I always have bouts where I feel like I am smothering and have air hunger, etc. I can't take a couple of real deep breaths without wanting to pass out and I yawn a lot.


Canada17 - February 22

There seems to be a difference of interpretation here.

The article does not talk about deep breathing, rather slower breathing.

While deep breathing and slow breathing may sound alike they are different (in my opinion anyway). It is possible to breathe slower while still taking in the same amount of air as a "regular paced" breath.

Yawning is our body's way of increasing our oxygen levels, it forces you to take a big, deep breath.



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