Counselor's Corner: The Pain Drain
Written by Margaret Heaton-Ashby, LMFT
There are many ways to engage the breath once you have the basic diaphragmatic breath down. One lovely option is to integrate imagery to further facilitate relaxation and assist with pain management. An example of using imagery is an exercise called the “pain drain.” The pain drain exercise goes as follows: once you have become centered using diaphragmatic breathing, continue with deep breathing practice while you begin to visualize the pain and tension in your body turning into a liquid substance. Imagine the liquid substance draining, slowly and steadily, out of your body through your fingers and toes. Allow time for the pain and tension to flow out of your body. Next, imagine a gentle rain trickling over your head, further helping you to clear away any remaining pain and tension. Allow yourself to sit with this sense of comfort and ease. This exercise is adapted from the Arthritis Foundation’s book, Good Living with Fibromyalgia.