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.