Slow breathing reduces pain

Slow breathing can reduce pain, according to a recently published study in The Journal of Pain. Researchers at the University of Tulsa led by Satin Martin evaluated the effect on pain of slow breathing, normal and fast breathing in 30 healthy volunteers. Pain was induced by an electric shock to the leg. Slow breathing (50% of normal rate) significantly reduced pain perception when compared to normal or fast (at 125% of normal rate) breathing. Slow breathing has been long utilized for the reduction of pain and is usually included in biofeedback, meditation, and other relaxation methods. This study provides solid scientific support for this simple and ancient technique, which should be utilized more widely in the management of pain, including migraine and other headaches.

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