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!