Learning to Breathe Deeply when in Pain (instead of Shallowly, which Is What We Tend to Do)

This touching note came to the office for Belleruth from a woman in chronic pain from her auto-immune condition.

Aside from being a beautiful thank you note and a reminder of the effectiveness of guided imagery for reducing pain, it also makes an important point about how we stop breathing when we're in pain, when what we need to do is breathe more deeply and fully. Please read on. Here is the note:

If possible could you pass this on to Belleruth.

I just wanted you to know how grateful I am of the work you have been doing and continue to do. A friend gave me one of your CD's and I have been listening to it for a very long time now. I have suffered so badly for years with an auto immune arthritis condition, which has been very difficult to cope with because I'm so sensitive and unable to take the typical biologic drugs that are needed in order to help with the inflammation process.

So what is left after I incorporate a really good diet, exercise when I can, and whatever medicines are tolerated at any given time, I have relied on your chronic pain CD, which honestly has been a Godsend for me.

I have to spend lots of down time in order to get my body perfectly still and at peace. Not sleep time.......but getting perfectly still. I am then aware enough to notice that I am able to calm my body down...and be completely relaxed.

The breathing is a must for me as well. It's so very easy to stop breathing when you're in this kind of pain. And I know you know what I'm referring to. I don't mean 'stop breathing' like being dead......just that very shallow breathing....which only makes the pain worse.

Anyway......I'm babbling here, and just wanted to let you know how much you have helped me. I also listen to Jon Kabat-Zin as well..... but [guided imagery is] my favorite by far.
If I had a platform, I'm sure I would be sharing my experience with chronic pain and the use of meditation and guided imagery.

Thanks for making my life more bearable, for I'm not sure there is much more that can be done for me now, except by God's hand.....but with His help, and a new level of acceptance and peace in my body and mind, I will be ok.

Peace and love my dear.....you were for sure sent by God to help people like me.

C. M.

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