More Techniques for Dealing with Pain

Relaxation is one way to deal with pain and in previous articles I have given some breathing techniques to help with relaxation.  Another relaxation technique is pendulation.  Pendulation not only helps you relax, but also takes you out of the fight, flight, freeze response.  These responses result from a Post Traumatic Syndrome Disorder (PTSD) that frequently precedes chronic pain.  First, find a comfortable or pleasurable place in your body to breathe into and a painful place to breathe out from.  Go back and forth between them  Notice the pain going from contraction to expansion.  It is noticing the rhythm between the contraction and expansion that helps reduce the pain. Many people can shift out of pain to relative comfort.  I find it is the technique that works the best for me. Pendulation is from the book “Freedom from Pain” by Levine and Phillip (2012)

I have found a method that involves both breathing and visualization.  Breathe a gold light into the painful area and hold the breath briefly while you visualize that light whirling around, gathering up the pain.  Then breathe the pain out with the outbreath while vocalizing “Ahhh”. Repeat this until you feel relief.

Another relaxation technique is Cook’s Hookup.

  1. If you are right handed, cross your left ankle over your right ankle. If left handed reverse.
  2. Extend your arms in front of you and cross your hands with your hands back to back.
  3. Turn your hands so your palms are together and interlock your fingers.
  4. Roll your hands under and toward you, resting your hands on your chest and your forearms flat against your chest.
  5. Inhale through your nose slowly with your tongue on the roof of your mouth and then exhale through your mouth with your tongue down from the roof of your mouth.
  6. Hold this position for one to two minutes, breathing slowly and deeply.

Most people find this relaxing in less than a minute (Levine and Phillips, 2012).

Patricia Kay YoungsonPatricia Kay Youngson RN is also a counselor who works with pain issues.  E-mail:  Website:

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