While preparing for any chronic pain coping method, it is important to learn how to use focus and deep breathing techniques to relax the body. Learning to relax takes practice, especially while in pain. It is beneficial to be able to release muscle tension throughout the body and start to remove attention from the pain.
Coping techniques for chronic pain begin with controlled deep breathing.
Setting oneself in a relaxed, reclining position in a dark room and either closing both eyes or focusing on a point.
Slowing down the breathing and taking deep breaths, using the chest (and not the abdomen). If distracted, thinking of a word, such as “relax,” to help control the breathing and gain focus can be helpful. This process may be performed by repeating the syllable “re” while breathing in and “lax” while breathing out.
Continue with about 2 to 3 minutes of controlled breathing.
After relaxation and focus are achieved, imagery techniques can be used.
Eleven specific imagery and chronic pain control techniques that are effective for pain management include: Altered focus, Dissociation, Sensory splitting, Mental anesthesia, Mental analgesia, Transfer, Age progression and regression, Symbolic imagery, Positive imagery, Counting and Pain movement.