The Tuesday, January 28, call-in discussion group will be discussing Chapter 28 (“Breathe In”) and 29 (“Set Goals”) in Steve Ozanich's book The Great Pain Deception starting at 9 pm Eastern Time. It lasts an hour, sometimes a little longer. Phone lines will open half an hour early so you can talk to hosts and early callers. Here's how to join the discussion (for detailed instructions, visit www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Connect ) If you're connecting by phone, dial 1 201-479-4595 and when prompted enter the pin code 18311499 followed by the pound symbol. If you're connecting via your computer (Fuze Meeting), go to www.fuzemeeting.com/fuze/app/48fb7aa8/18311499 and follow the instructions from there. For more information, visit www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Call-In_Peer_Discussion_Group. Breathing comes naturally. We don’t even have to think about it. But we should, if we want to be our healthiest. Most of us breathe shallow. That doesn’t send much air to our mind or body. They need full breaths to function properly. Steve opens Chapter 28 on breathing says we need to breathe with conscious awareness. Our breathing goal needs to aimed at a state of alpha conscious awareness. That can be achieves through deep, relaxed breathing. Steve quotes Dr. Andrew Weil from his CD, “Breathing: The Master Key to Self Healing,” saying it is key to living healthily. “It is the doorway to control of the autonomic nervous system.” To practice deep breathing, sit still and tall somewhere comfortable. Close your eyes and being breathing through your nose. Inflate your stomach like a balloon for a count of 2. Hold the breath for a count of 1. Exhale gently through the mouth, deflating the balloon while counting to the count of 4 and then say “I am at peace.” Some people prefer to breathe in longer, holding the breath to 4, and releasing the breath at 6 or 8. The most important thing is that the exhale is longer than the inhale, not the absolute length of the breath. Repeat the deep breaths for at least five minutes. You’ll notice a big difference in your mood as it changes from angry or anxious to having a profound calming effect. Steve says we should breathe in, but not forget the out part. Dr. Weil agrees, saying that they exhale, many pain sufferers stop at a certain point before fully releasing the breath. But the last amount of air that needs to be breathed out is important. It is this last small portion of the exhale that takes the autonomic nervous system over activity with it. It brings down tension as the lungs fall empty and the body accepts the breathing fully, in rhythm. In golf it’s called the “follow through.” We swing the club and hit the ball, but if we don’t complete the body movement that creates the swing, the ball won’t go where we aim it, or we may not even hit the ball. A complete deep breath has to end with a correct exhale. Dr. Robert Fulford says many health problems including pain are the result of the lack of fullness in the first breath we take when we are born. Steve says people whose breath is short and not complete are unwilling to relent, relax, and let go so their spirit can soar and they can heal. The Latin word for spirit is spirare, “to breathe.” In Chapter 29, Steve says healing from pain often requires setting new goals or redefining old ones. He points out that there are two types of goals: long-term and short-term goals. Long-term new-life goals require us to reflect deeply and create a new future vision where we envision our self at peace. We need to decide what we want to do with our life. Short-term goals are more easily set. They are movement goals, not mental or life goals. Most people Steve knows who healed from TMS pain set short-term goals for themselves. One man about 80 years old was so crippled with TMS pain he couldn’t climb steps. He began to set goals for himself that began with climbing one step, and then another, until he was able to get to the top of the stairs. When you achieve a goal, reward yourself. Think of the reward while you on your way to achieving the goal. During this time, visualize yourself moving pain-free and easily. This reminds the brain to associate a reward or pleasure with whatever pain you feel, whether walking, sitting, standing, etc. Steve cautions, however, not to make pain reduction your goal. That means you are monitoring your progress in achieving the goal. Goal-setting must be seen as rewarding activity. The pain eventually will leave as a byproduct of increased activity and confidence. “Finish the goal, whether the pain is present or not. Just do it!” Most men fear going to a doctor or the hospital. A friend was like that. He feared going to the hospital to get a hernia repaired. Not a life-threatening operation, and he could have been home that day or the next. He decided he simply had to have the operation so he went to the hospital and stood in the entrance for five minutes. Then he went back outside and walked around the building. Then he went back into the hospital and stood in the entrance for fifteen minutes and felt no anxiety or fear. The next day he returned to the hospital and walked over the entire first floor without anxiety or fear. On the third day he took an elevator to the fourth floor and signed himself in for surgery the next day, all without fear or anxiety. He said he set a goal of having the operation and a reward of buying a Blu-ray DVD player for his home video system. He got the operation and bought the reward he envisioned for himself, then invited me to his house to watch a new movie in fantastic clarity. The person in pain may be fearful of creating structural damage by walking, standing, sitting, or other activity. Then do the activity slowly in increments, like the man climbed the steps one at a time over a period of time until he climbed to the top. If your feet hurt and you can’t stand without pain, sit down and rest. Then after a while, stand up again and, if unsteady on your feet, hold on to something. Try standing for half a minute, then a minute, then two minutes, until you can stand as long as you want, and without pain. Then reward yourself for achieving your goal. The goal can be food, buying a new dress, a DVD of a new movie, a hot bath by candlelight. Set a goal and be good to yourself with a reward. For small steps toward your goal, a reward of a candy bar or piece of pie might be good enough. Completing the goal could call for a more substantial or satisfying reward. Be good to yourself. You deserve it! If you set a goal to do an activity without pain, and work steadily to achieve it, you will achieve that goal. We hope you will join the call-in and share your thoughts and experiences on the subjects of breathing and setting goals to becoming pain-free in walking, standing, sitting, exercising or other activities. We’d love to hear your success story! If you set a goal to be free of pain, what did you reward yourself?