It turns out a bad start to a bad day. You are already in pain when you wake up and you wonder how you are going to get through another day!
Chronic pain affects millions of people everyday. It grinds you down over time. It erodes your soul and makes you more tired than you ever thought possible!
Many people don't realize that there are many things you can do to help bring your pain level down.
We underestimate the power of controlled breathing, declaring that we have tried it and it doesn't work but most of us just didn't stick with it long enough.
When I was struggling to finish my degree at university, I was diagnosed with ME and Fibromyalgia. I went to a rheumatologist who examined me and told me he wanted to refer me for some breathing tests.
I came out of the clinic absolutely fuming with rage, thinking this specialist was just as hopeless as the previous one.
On the day of the tests I duly turned up and did everything I was instructed to do. I had to wear breathing apparatus that was hooked up to a computer and had to do a series of breathing exercises. I also filled in a questionnaire about my current symptoms. I filled in my current issues such as fatigue, muscle pain and weakness. Stomach pain and headaches.
One month later I returned to see my specialist who announced that the test had shown up that I did indeed have breathing issues and referred me to a physiotherapist who could teach me how breath properly again. He explained that due to my background (childhood trauma) and my chronic pain, my body had started to breath way faster than the average person. This had affected my CO2 levels in my body and that in itself was causing a lot of my symptoms.
I still thought this specialist was way off the mark but attended the physiotherapy sessions anyway. Anything was worth a try, I was in constant pain daily!
The physiotherapist explained that my tests had show that I had a resting breathing rate nearly double what it should be. Slowly week after week with her help, I managed to retrain my body to slow my breathing down with controlled breathing exercises.
Amazingly after 8 weeks of exercises my resting breathing rate started to go down. To my amazement I started to have less and less of the symptoms that I thought were connected to the ME and Fibromyalgia.
I had less headaches, less dizziness and a little more energy.
I have never forgot how I scoffed to myself about how hopeless that specialist was!! He had suspected an underlying issue and been spot on!!
It is useful to be aware the affect that chronic pain has on the body and how it can affect your breathing, yet so many people like I was are so quick to scoff at the idea of breathing exercises to help with chronic pain!!
When you are having a bad day with pain it can be of huge benefit to do some simple breathing exercises to calm your breathing down.
When we are in chronic pain and it last over a long period of time, our breathing rate can increase and this in turn can alter the CO2 levels in the body, which in turn can exacerbate our symptoms.
It is amazing what the power of our breath can do when we take time to breath deeper and slower.
Never underestimate the power of your breathing pattern!
Here at Life With Help we help you get through life.
Making positive changes to your life can be tricky. Life is always so busy that you start a new routine but find it hard to stay on track.
I know so many people who are dealing with weight issues. Each New Year they post on Facebook that "This will be the year I get fit and lose weight" They then squeeze themselves into last years active wear which is even tighter than it was and determinedly head to the gym.
They start off all guns blazing for the first week, committing fully to the 3 days a week hitting the gym.
Then gradually the motivation decreases, family and work get in the way. They start to feel guilty. They tell themselves what a failure they are and give up......until next New Year where they repeat the cycle. And each year they are heavier and more unfit than the last year.
Each time we set our minds to make a positive change in our lives and we fail, we are reinforcing to ourselves that change is simply too hard to implement. In time we shrug our shoulders and say its not worth it.
If you want to make a positive change in your life go for it but plan things out and take SMALL manageable steps towards your goal. The smaller the steps are the more achievable they are. Smaller steps can often enable us to gradually reach our goals. When your steps are small enough and you can achieve them, your motivation and determination to tackle the next step will be higher.
A good way to start weight loss for example is to not start with hitting the gym in your Lycra active wear. You can start by removing some of the naughty foods you eat. Making small changes to you diet first can help you start to lose some weight and give you more energy.
What ever your goal. Sit down and plan out small steps and a REALISTIC timeline for you to accomplish them. You will be surprised at how much easier it is!