Breathing a bit easier

How to Do Diaphragmatic Breathing:  To begin, sit with your feet flat on the floor or lie on your back.  Place one hand on your high chest and the other over your rib area (above the abdomen). As you breathe deeply, your upper chest should be still.  You will feel your entire torso (rib cage and abdomen) expand as you fully inflate the lungs. Now exhale completely, pushing the air out with the abdominal muscles.  As you exhale—relax your face, shoulders, neck, chest, back and anything else that is tense.

This will become easier with practice, until you automatically engage the diaphragm—not just while sitting or lying down.  Try deep breathing several times per hour until it becomes a natural part of your life. Most people see improvements right away and don’t need 6 months. You will begin to feel less stress and tension.  You now have a secret weapon to use against pain flares, too—anywhere, anytime you need it!

About the Author: Becky Curtis

After a horrific car accident nearly took her life and her own long and complex recovery journey, Becky has assembled a vibrant team of specially-trained coaches—healthcare professionals who have gained proficiency in teaching and coaching, many who live successfully with chronic pain. Becky travels extensively to speak about the role of health coaching in pain management and has been a regular speaker at PAINWeek®, and many other conferences, in addition to coaching and managing TCC’s program. She lives in Utah with her husband and dog, Quigley.

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