By Heather “Feather” Poast
Take a moment and notice your breath.
Are you breathing or holding your breath? Do you breathe only into your belly or only into your chest? Is your breath deep or shallow? Is your breath smooth or choppy?
Take a deep breath in and a deep breath out and relax your shoulders. Feel better now? It’s amazing what a simple deep breath in and out can make.
Most people take very shallow breaths and don’t realize just how healing deep breathing can be. Here at Cureve, our number one goal is to see people living pain free naturally. And deep, smooth breathing is one very simple and powerful way to reduce or eliminate pain.
Breathing deeply is not the only important factor to healing pain in the body, it is also important to breathe into all areas of the body while most people only breathe into their belly or only into their chest. Learning to breathe deeply into all areas of the body is simple to do. It just takes some time and practice.
There are many different breathing practices to help you breathe more deeply and “move” the breath throughout the body. We will introduce one very simple method here called 3-Part Breathing. To do this you can sit comfortably in a chair, on the floor or lie down.
Begin by placing one hand on the belly and one hand on the chest. First, inhale a little into the belly filling it like a balloon. Now, keep inhaling while visualizing the breath moving up the spine. Feel the breath rise up to the chest. As you continue to inhale, visualize the breath rising up even further along the spine from the chest into the neck and head. Now exhale. As you exhale, visualize the breath travelling back down from the top of the head to the chest and then down into into the belly.
You can do this to the count of three. Inhale into the belly and count one. Then, let the breath rise up the spine into the chest for two and lastly let the breath rise up the spine all the way to the top of the head for three. Now, exhale from the top of the head for three, back down to the chest for two and lastly to the belly for one. Keep going counting one, two, three to yourself as you inhale and three, two, one as you exhale. Try closing your eyes while doing this and remember to do your best to keep your spine, facial muscles and shoulders relaxed.
As you do this breathing practice you want to keep the breath as smooth as possible. A trick to breathing more smoothly is to visualize your breath being drawn as a line on a piece of white paper with a black marker as you breathe. Does it look smooth, rough, choppy or bumpy? Try to smooth this line out as you practice this technique.
We recommend doing 3-Part Breathing for three to five minutes daily. If you want even better results or struggle with more intense pain, you will want to shoot for ten minutes each day and do this lying down.
Deep, conscious breathing is one of the most effective and simplest ways to naturally decrease or eliminate pain in the body. So many of us are walking around not paying any attention to our breathing when it is so important! Consistently practicing this breathing exercise will make it feel more natural and you will begin to notice a big difference.
As always, If you have any questions or would like to learn more please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Heather is a 500 hour trained yoga instructor, personal trainer, ultra-marathon runner and chef.