Meditation and Breathing Techniques
Meditation and breathing exercises you can do that decrease pain and relax your muscles.
30 second meditation decreasing pain
Dr Paul from Burswood Health in Perth explains a very simple meditation exercise to decrease pain and relax your muscles.
Breathing techniques as a way to avoid neck pain? Seriously?
It may not be your first thought when you suffer from neck or back pain, to inspect your breathing habits. Yet, in our western world, we have adopted breathing habits that are known as "shallow breathing", or "chest breathing". A lot has been said, written, studied and learned about this topic and it's worth doing some extra searches on that topic. It's also a good idea to talk to your chiropractor so you can learn better breathing techniques.
Chest or Tummy?
When you breathe in, does your chest expand and is your tummy contracting? You are doing what most of us do: your neck muscles draw your chest wall up when you inhale. You are not doing anything that puts you in danger but you are nurturing less-than-ideal breathing habits.
The correct way to breathe is to make sure that your tummy expands, not your chest. And that may take some re-education, so you can teach your body to breathe in a way that is simply better for your body and your overall health.
Breathing with an expanding tummy, also called diaphragmatic breathing, means your neck muscles are not doing all this hard work, drawing up your chest wall each time you inhale. So that, over the course of 24 hrs...a week...a month or a year...makes a big difference to your neck muscles, as you can imagine.
Other benefits of diaphragmatic breathing
1) You oxygenate more efficiently when you use your diaphragm. That's because the bottom third of the lungs is where most of the gas exchange is happening.
2) You will feel less tightness in shoulders (as well as in your neck) and just feel more relaxed
3) You are rebalancing your automatic nervous system - reducing your heart and breathing rate. Meaning you will have less of a fight/flight reflex and you'll behave in a calmer way.
4) You are gently massaging the abdominal organs, aiding digesting and helping lymphatic drainage.
5) You are contributing to good posture.
Step 1 we recommend is to book an appointment to talk to your therapist and get some assistance learning this new technique.
Step 2 could be to do some more reading on the subject so you know why your breathing patterns matter. This Harvard University document gives another scientific view on the subject, and also covers the topic of stress management using nothing but breathing techniques.