Acts 17:24-25 - The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.
Today I’m going to do something that I haven’t done as of yet. Because of its importance and application to chronic pain, illness and emotional pain, I’m going to be doing a cross-over. I’ll be using the same article in both chronic pain and emotional pain blogs. The topic is our breathing.
Many do not know just how effective this weapon is. Just as women use breathing techniques to help with the pain from labor, breathing can also be used for those suffering from pain.
First, let’s take a look at what our usual breathing pattern is. Place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your abdomen. Notice which hand rises first and what happens when you exhale. Does your abdomen swell with each breath or does your chest rise first? The usual way to breathe only uses the upper lungs. This limits the amount of oxygen the body has available.
Now, I want you to keep breathing, but this time I want you to allow the air to fill your abdomen first and then chest. Breathe normally again. Can you feel the difference? Let’s do another exercise.
Breathe in filling both your abdomen and your chest cavity to the count of four. Briefly hold your breath, and then release the air slowly through your lips to the count of eight. It may take you some practice to consistently fill to four and release to eight seconds.
This type of breathing was taught to me, by a nurse, when I was in the hospital and in a great deal of pain. At that point I would’ve tried almost anything to help the pain go away. I really didn’t think it was going to make any difference. Yet, it not only helped with the pain it also helped me to relax. Now I have a weapon I can take out any time whether I’m experiencing pain or anxiety.
Just as the verses above point out – God even gives us our very breath. It’s one of his gifts to us. It’s what keeps us alive and can be the gift that lowers our pain.
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Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.