Prioritize your care, improve your inbox.
Subscribe to our newsletter today!Sign up
The root of most relaxation techniques is a simple action we make day in and day out: breathing. Your breath is a powerful tool you can use at home to help manage pain, soothe stress and calm restlessness.
Diaphragmatic breathing is a deep-breathing exercise that works by activating the parasympathetic system, which controls your body’s relaxation response. Also called belly breathing, this breathing technique can relieve stress, lower your blood pressure, slow your heart rate and more.
Whether your discomfort is acute, chronic or post-surgical, diaphragmatic breathing works to alleviate the anxious, heightened state induced by pain. Calming your nervous system in this way not only reduces discomfort but also creates a friendlier, more comfortable environment for healing.
You can try diaphragmatic breathing anywhere, any time. We recommend finding a quiet environment where you can rest comfortably. If you have kids at home, invite them to join you for a few minutes to recharge during the day or to wind down before bed.
Follow these steps to breathe deeply to relax and reduce pain.
This article is brought to you by OrthoCarolina's SouthPark Physical & Hand Therapy office.
We're here to help you stay healthy, informed and uplifted as we navigate unprecedented change in our communities together.
This article was originally published on September 11, 2017, and has been updated on April 8, 2020.