Here's the technique:
Inhale through your nose for six seconds.
Exhale through your mouth for six seconds.
Repeat this for five minutes, three times a day.
There is no holding of the breath.
If six seconds is too difficult, just do what you can, but keep the length of the inhalation and
exhalation the same.
Many people find that it helps if they 'visualize' their breath as it enter their bodies and exits their bodies. They may even visualize the breath going to areas where it doesn't actually go, e.g. to the low back if they have low back pain. Visualization wasn't part of the research on this type of breathing, but with certain people it does seem to help. Others find that if they combine it with diaphragmatic breathing, that helps too. And while we think it's best if you do this without an app (as it makes it easier to shift awareness to your body), some people find they're more likely to adhere to a routine if they use an app. We prefer the "Paced Breathing" app (Android only) and the "Breathe2Relax" app (Android and Apple). Both allow for adjustment of parameters to match those that we recommended above.
I have had some people do this exercise and get immediate relief, but most people need to do it for several days or weeks on a consistent basis before it really starts working. People that have faith and stick with it love it.
P.S. You can't do this while driving because it can cause you to get into an accident. I've had several people do it while driving (against my advice) and drift into the next lane before they realized what was happening.
Relaxed breathing may not sound too exciting, but it is a way of getting a great amount of muscular relaxation with a minimal amount of effort, and it's free.
There are many different philosophies and techniques when it comes to breathing. We recommend the following technique because it has been researched several times with well designed studies, and each time it was found to be very effective. In fact, several years ago an internationally renowned pain management physician told me that this technique has been found to be as effective as muscle relaxers.