This is from Neuroscience News…
Breathing is basic. Better breathing is healthy. Access to breath control through training is access to relaxation. (We could go on all day about that by itself, and on this Blog I have – if you search the terms you will find many Posts). And relaxation is key to stress management on many many levels. (Right now I am reading The Unthinkable, where the importance of breath control is highlighted as the primary means of controlling fear in an emergency situation.)
be here now
“According to new research done at the Center for Mind and Brain at the University of California, Davis focusing on the present moment can significantly reduce your levels of the stress hormone cortisol. ‘If you start rehashing the past or worrying about the future, try drawing your attention back to the present by focusing on the sensations of your own breath,’ recommends lead author Tonya L Jacobs.”
Notice that she said the “sensations” of the breath.
Notice that she talking about drawing “your attention” back to the present…
One of the things that happens with people in pain (think back pain in the case of many of our patients) is that their breathing gets altered in negative ways. That becomes a habit (unconscious). Later, whether they are in pain or not, their breathing is still affected, and now it is causing subtle problems that eventually become not-so-subtle.
Another thing that commonly (almost always) happens with people who experience back pain, especially long term back pain, is that they are not relaxed and they are unable to will themselves to relax. Proper breathing is the key that opens the door to relaxation.
The secret (actually, the secret is out!) to breathing properly and to eventually relaxing (clear into any conversation about medication) is to NOTICE the breath. Just notice for starts. Draw your attention back to just noticing.
You can do this in the car on the way to/from work. You can do it at home while watching TV. You can do it while on your walks. And you can do it while laying in bed before going to sleep or when you wake up.
Anyone can do this. It’s profound. You will get better and better at it. Eventually you will be able to move on to more challenging practices like abdominal breathing and bracing.
Doing this will help with your recovery.