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meditation

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by arina83, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. arina83

    arina83 Established Member

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    I've started meditating for 10 minutes every day, and I feel a bit better emotionally. Physically not so much, to the point where there were several days I didn't feel well enough to meditate. Yeah, gastroparesis sucks. Just paying attention to my breathing and a body scan. I learned to just be slightly aware of my body during a body scan, since I felt horrible the next day after being too aware during a body scan.

    Just curious if meditation has helped anyone else better cope with the stress of having chronic health issues.
     
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  2. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I found sitting in the same position with my feet on the floor too much. It is much better and less exhausting if I sit up in bed propped up with pillows.

    I also have gastropareisis. Position after a meal can be a real issue. I would avoid meditating after a meal. I usually do it about 30 mins before a meal.

    I find it quite helpful, but I did run in to some difficulties at certain times and had to stop for a bit.
     
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  3. MErmaid

    MErmaid Guest

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    Yes, sometimes I find meditation to be helpful in lowering my stress level. There are many different mediatation techniques. I tried a guided Mindfulness Meditation a few times, but it was not a positive experience, as it only served to increase my awareness of my physical pain level.

    If you are interested in starting a private group here, on S4ME, I would be more open to sharing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
  4. mango

    mango Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    There are tens of thousands of different kinds of meditation techniques. If you don't like one, try another one instead :) There's no need at all to focus on your body, there are many many other techniques to choose from :)

    Yes, meditation has helped me a lot over the years, coping-wise. But it hasn't made me any less ill, and I don't find it helpful for symptom relief either.
     
  5. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    I've tried various CD guided meditations/ relaxations / guided visualisations etc. over the years. I particularly liked ones that took me to a different place - my favourite for a while was swimming with whales, another took me down a series of steps into a tranquil and very safe garden, then back up the steps again at the end. In other words, I was most relaxed by ones that took me out of myself, rather than focused in on my body.

    I agree that ones that focus on the body or on breathing can lead to unhelpful focus on pain or other bodily symptoms.

    My experience was that they were a great way to help me relax physically and mentally when I wasn't particularly stressed or crashed, but that when I tried them when stressed to try to calm myself, I found myself mentally fighting them and becoming more stressed.
     
  6. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Like @Trish says, I too found guided relaxations and visualization very helpful and relaxing.

    Cognitive issues are one of my most disabling symptoms and I find guided relaxation and meditation helpful to get my mind to rest. Before I became ill I relaxed by swimming, walking, exercising - things I can't do anymore.

    It doesn't change reality in any way, just gives me a little break. That helps.

    There are various different methods and like so much in life there is no one size fits all.
     
  7. Daisy

    Daisy Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    If anyone reading this would like to dip their toe into meditation there is an excellent app called Insight Timer which has literally thousands of meditations, guided visualisations, talks, relaxing music, binural beats etc. It's all free. You can sort by teacher, genre, length of meditation etc

    A good place to start with this app is the "new today" section. I usually listen to two or three of the new today everyday and from there I have found the things that I like and don't like.

    I found that different things work on different days depending on how I feel. If I'm more SNS dominant I tend to go for the talks and the guided visualisations. If I'm more relaxed then I find the meditations with periods of silence or chants more useful.

    I always lie down in bed when I am meditating, I'm just not strong enough to sit up. But that's fine and some of the meditations recognise that people lay down to listen to them. It's vital to be comfortable, and I use headphones as it helps me concentrate on the meditation.

    I wake early in the morning, usually around at 5 a.m. So after I have taken my heart rate variability figures I meditate for an hour or so. Then again in the afternoon.

    As long as I'm not too wound up it usually helps to calm me. Also it has given me a lot to think about, about the way I react to things in my life. Some of the talks are especially useful for this.

    As time has gone on I found that what I like has changed. Initially I didn't like the chants or periods of silence in meditation but now I enjoy both.

    It may be for you it may not but it's worth a try!
     
  8. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks @Daisy, I'm downloading Insight timer now on my little tablet computer that I keep by me at night. I'd given up on the CD's because my CD player failed, and the replacement has a horrible loud hum!
     
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  9. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Another resource, for those who want to go it a whirl, is Headspace:

    https://www.headspace.com

    It isn't free, but they let you have a try.

    It is meditation rather than relaxation or visualization and they do use the bodyscan method at the start of each meditation. Plus there is focus on the breath. So not for those who want to avoid that kinda thing.
     
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  10. Daisy

    Daisy Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    @Trish some of the most popular meditations are ones that help with sleep. All of the meditations are scored by users and you can give feedback. You can bookmark your favourites and follow your favourite teachers.
     
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  11. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I've had a little play with Insight Timer @DaisyDaisy, it's a great resource.

    I do more of the classic medutation these days as I'm very sound sensitive, but there are some great resources including some sound tracks that are perfect for times when tinnitus gets really irritating.

    I particularly like the meditation timer. I will definitely use that. Although I was taught not to use a timer, that my body will "tell" me when the time is up, I find it less distracting to use a timer. This one is perfect. It even has a warm up setting.

    :thumbup:
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
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  12. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I tried it fairly early on into my illness with music and various sounds...but I found these distracting/irritating. I’m mild moderate but I also suffer from cognitive overload and found that just lying flat in a quiet place for 15-20 min was enough to deconfuse a bit.

    I later found out about managing sound and find earplugs work in a similar way for me. These are more convenient at work...since I dont have to waste steps getting to a place I can lie flat (car passenger seat).

    I was put off by the apps I tried but these were the sort that had someone talking to you/had sounds . (I found people jabbering on in the background and worse interrupting you with instructions a bit annoying when you were trying to take a break from noisy people). The whale music was equally irritating and the stream just made me focus on wanting to go for a wee.

    I guess there are more sorts from reading the thread so I should explore a bit more.
     
  13. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I know the Headspace app does some guided ones to teach & get you started. So, you do have a voice bring you back to focus (on the breath) maybe two or three times in addition to the startup and finish instructions.

    They do ranges of specific meditaions too that follow a similar format. So if you have worries about anger or grief or whatever.

    There are also unguided ones too.
     
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  14. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    So today I decided to meditate while lying on the sofa instead of on my bed.

    My dog is used to me meditating on my bed and just ignores it. Today she was intrigued..... she knew I wasn't asleep & she knew I wasn't having too bad a day.

    So today in meditation I learned it is really quite distracting when youy dog creeps up close and stares at you. I didn't have to look, I could feel the weight of her stare.
     
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  15. arina83

    arina83 Established Member

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    I also have gastroparesis, and it really makes things tricky. I've tried lying down, sitting on the floor and partially reclined. All cause issues, and I can't do more than 5-7 minutes before I get too uncomfortable. Or become suddenly too weak to sit.

    @Daisy Thanks for suggesting Insight Timer. I'll give it a try.
     
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  16. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    That makes life very tricky and difficult. My own personal experience is not to push yourself into doing somethimg that is not right for you.

    If you can find a comfortable position to meditate for 5 mins that's great. Just go with that.

    Another thing to try that practises some of the skills are brief bursts of mindfulness. So if there are small tasks you can do, without pain, be aware of focussing on that task and as your attention wanders bring it back to the task.

    I'm no expert but in my opinion it's about finding what's right for you.
     
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  17. RuthT

    RuthT Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    I quite like to use this free guided 45 min bodyscan in the afternoons - sometimes I don’t exactly follow it, but helps me to stay resting for 45 mins. Bells at start and end, so if I drift off, helps me not to sleep for long.

    I quite like the ‘hippie’ vibe - is quite relaxed & fun, not too po-faced won’t suit all, but works for me.



    Other free meditations are available here:

    https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/body_scan_meditation
     
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  18. JemPD

    JemPD Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    LOL oh that did make me laugh i had such a mental picture of it. It reminds me of my old cat, she used to come & just stare at me when i was lying on the floor, her face really close to mine & sometimes she'd drool which was so gross so close to my face :rolleyes:
    It also made me think of Frasier with Martin Crane's dog... dont know if you ever watched that?

    I use meditations, but i use them because when i get stressed i lose touch with bodily sensation, the adrenaline makes me feel so much better in my body that i think I'm better than i am & my pacing goes awry. So i do the bodyscan ones which helps me it gives me a more accurate impression of how i actually am rather than how i feel. So that after that 10 mins i either feel worse ie 'i need to stop for the day now' or better, which means i can do something else. When i'm managing my condition well i do short ones throughout the day. But i do find it difficult sometimes for more personal reasons.

    I like the free meditations by Kristin Neff & also the relax ones from Andrew Johnson... but he does a lot of 'woo' as well & does 'healing through positivity' ones too... which i loathe so you have to be a bit picky.

    I dont do too well with many of the tracks elsewhere because there is too much background sound. My sound sensitivity is awful these days.
     
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  19. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yes @JemPD! -Frasier's dog - master of the hard stare. I don't think I should have let my dog watch the Paddington movies. She's perfected it!

    I hadn't heard of Kristin Neff or Andrew Johnson. Brilliant to learn of new resources :thumbup:.
     
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  20. JemPD

    JemPD Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Kristin Neff has this whole 'self compassion' thing going on... a book etc, which i've found helpful. And i like the lack of music in her tracks. I really like the 'soften soothe allow' one when i'm upset about something.

    That dog Eddie was priceless & such a key character. I havent seen the Paddignton movies... must check them out :)
     
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