The benefits of deep breathing for those in chronic pain are profound, far surpassing what many of us might imagine.
It is a pain management tool, finally, that gives us an immediate, healthy, empowering response and method-at-our-fingertips to deal with a life lived in constant pain.
For many an immediate way to deal with chronic pain…no Doctor’s, Specialists, pills, appointments, insurance, money, in any situation or environment, any hour of the day constitutes, hands down, a miracle…
The creators of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT): John Teasdale, Mark Williams and Zindel Segal “wanted to provide a structure for noting, grounding, and allowing—in the midst of challenging situations or whenever automatic pilot took over” a tool. They designed what has become known as the 3-Minute Breathing Space– “a practice for approaching experience from two attentional lenses, both narrow and wide”. By that they meant immediately calming the body’s response to pain/stress/anxiety by lowering the heart rate/pulse and flooding the system with oxygen (as opposed to the shallow breathing, oxygen-deprived condition pain/stress/anxiety/panic causes) and too, putting us in control, a “big picture” stance rather than the knee-jerk, powerless response of being victimized by our circumstance.
A right here, right now tool, the 3-minute breathing practice can help you handle many aspects of pain management including a spike in pain or an anxiety/stress-triggered pain-flair that can happen, we know, by the “normal” events in life, any event we know by now that is probably, more than less likely, going to lead to our pain responding in kind.
Taking regular, throughout the day, 3-Minute deep breathing breaks is a great habit to get into. The practice has the power to revolutionize your life. They can help to relax us generally and too, let’s us, always, have something in our back pocket, within our power, to counter our body and mind’s “dance” with pain, a way to disrupt the signal and send a signal of our own- calm.
Calm, the very opposite of the flight-fight message of pain.
A short video can be found here.
The Three-Minute Breathing Space Practice
*as per the creators of CBMT
“We wanted to create a sort of choreography of awareness that emphasized shifting attention, checking in, and moving on.”
“There are three steps to the practice:
- Attend to what is. The first step invites attending broadly to one’s experience, noting it, but without the need to change what is being observed.
- Focus on the breath. The second step narrows the field of attention to a single, pointed focus on the breath in the body.
- Attend to the body. The third step widens attention again to include the body as a whole and any sensations that are present.
Accordingly, each step of the Three-Minute Breathing Space is roughly one minute in length.”