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Slow Breathing Can Help Reduce Pain

Research has shown that controlled breathing at a slowed rate can significantly reduce feelings of pain. In this study, chronic pain sufferers, specifically fibromyalgia patients, reported less pain while breathing slowly, unless they were overwhelmed by feeling of sadness or depression.

These experimental findings provide support for prior reports that mindful Zen meditation has beneficial effects on pain and that yogic breathing exercises can reduce feelings of depression. They also highlight the role that a person's positive or negative emotions can have on their experience of pain. People with chronic pain may require guided instruction to obtain therapeutic benefit from reduced breathing rates.

Zautra AJ, Fasman R, Davis MC, Crait AD. The effects of slow breathing on affective responses to pain stimuli: An experimental study. Pain. 2010 Jan 13.



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