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Introducing Guided Breathing Exercises

Our guided breathing program clinically targets both body and mind to provide relief for members in our Women's Pelvic Health program and those with high levels of chronic pain.

Published Date: Apr 26, 2024

Product Team: Arielle Slam, Rafa Hernandez, Margaret Tung

At Hinge Health — the world's largest digital clinic for joint and muscle care — we know that the most effective treatments for musculoskeletal pain (including pelvic health issues) must address the body and the mind. Breathing deeply turns on the body’s relaxation response, which triggers a cascade of physical and mental reactions that bring you back to a calm state with less pain.

Hinge Health members - specifically those in the Women's Pelvic Health Program and members with high levels of chronic musculoskeletal pain - are now offered guided breathing sessions as part of their treatment toolkit. Created and narrated by mindfulness instructors and physical therapists with special training in psychologically informed care, each breathing session starts with a written and audio introduction of what you will learn during the session, and then seamlessly transitions to a short guided breathing exercise accompanied by a calming soundscape. By following along with the instruction, you adjust your breathing pattern, practice mindfulness, and activate your body’s relaxation response. You also learn new ways to think about your pain and other symptoms, while pursuing the things you value most.

“I struggled with chronic back pain for years after a rear-end collision. I was devastated when the pain didn’t go away after seeking various treatments. While working with our expert clinical team on developing the guided breathing content, I learned that my pain was in fact, neuroplastic,” said Margaret Tung, a product designer at Hinge Health. “Now I’m able to identify my pain triggers and remind myself to breathe and be kind to myself whenever my brain is sending me a false pain alert.” 

“Since launch, we’ve heard from some members that these guided breathing sessions are what have been missing from their pain recovery journey,” says Arielle Slam, product lead of the Women’s Health Program, “we understand that pain is biopsychosocial and the importance of providing our members a holistic treatment.” Rafa Hernandez, product lead for experiences for our members with high pain shares that “members in our muscle and joint pain program have told us the guided breathing exercises were exactly what they needed for pain management on high pain days, some even stating they forget about their pain during the breathing session.”

“Hinge Health’s personalized exercise therapy plans have for years been helping members significantly reduce their pain and get back to doing the activities they love. Traditional physical therapy ‘exercises’ are one part of the story,” says Maureen Lu, PT, DPT, a physical therapist at Hinge Health and pain specialist who designed the guided breathing sessions. “Practicing different techniques to calm your nervous system and relax your body is also a critical part of managing persistent pain. And it’s one that most physical therapy programs and products sorely overlook.”

We understand that an array of biological, psychological, and social factors influence pain.  Introducing a guided breathing experience to our community supports our members, helping them in their pain recovery journey, one step and one healthy mindset at a time.