Bioscience

Slow breathing reduces pain

January 20, 2010

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: Science Daily] – Research performed by a scientist at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center has shown that controlled breathing at a slowed rate can significantly reduce feelings of pain.

Chronic pain sufferers, specifically fibromyalgia (FM) patients, also reported less pain while breathing slowly, unless they were overwhelmed by negative feelings, sadness or depression.

The research was led by Arthur (Bud) Craig, PhD, at Barrow, and was done in collaboration with investigators in the Department of Psychology at Arizona State University. It was published recently in PAIN, the refereed journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP). The findings offer an explanation for prior reports that mindful Zen meditation has beneficial effects on pain and that yogic breathing exercises can reduce feelings of depression. These results also underline the role that a person’s positive or negative attitude can have on their feelings of pain.

For more information: Slow Breathing Reduces Pain