FINDING A MEDITATION TO SUIT YOU…

While waiting to go into the Doctors I sat reading a Good Housekeeping Health Living magazine. It had a brilliant article on finding the right type of meditation to suit your mood. These are some of the tips to help you find the techniques that work best for you.

  • If you need flexibility then look at the apps that are available for help with all kinds of needs from performance to sleep. They recommend Headspace or Happier and Calm apps.
  • Headspace also runs bite-size guided meditations for anyone who is busy (who isn’t?) All you do is sign up for a free trial at Headspace or you could find meditation courses online but they state they can be expensive from
  • If you are having trouble sleeping (that’s me) then they say there is evidence that mindfulness works. The technique that has the most mental health studies supporting it is mindfulness-based ‘Cognitive Therapy‘, and there is an abundance of details online.
  • If you prefer to be taught personally then they recommend Vedic and Transcendental Meditation which are courses you can start with a one-to-one lesson when you’re given your mantra. Find Vedic and Transcendental Meditation from this website.
  • If your feeling angry or lonely then they suggest you try loving-kindness meditation, where you repeat a positive mantra. Visit Ten Percent Happier for details on this.

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TOP TIPS ON HOW TO FIND YOUR INNER PEACE WITH MEDITATION…

Its been written about many times but now they say we should all benefit from meditation but its something that you need to keep practising to see the benefits.

A basic meditation which you could try for 10 minutes each day is to start by finding a quiet space and sit comfortably with your hands on your lap, keeping your back straight and neck relaxed.

Now breathe deeply and gaze into the middle distance and take nice deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth and on the last exhalation, close your eyes,

Notice your posture, the weight of your arms and hands, the sensation of your body touching the chair, your feet on the ground and what you might smell, hear or taste.

Now turn your mind inwards to scan your body from head to toe, observing any tension or discomfort then scan again making a note of the parts of your body that feel the most relaxed.

Notice any thoughts that arise without trying to alter them.

Now observe the rising and falling of your breathing in your body and where the sensations occur. Focus on the quality of each breath, deep or shallow, long or short, fast or slow.

Count 1 as you inhale, 2 as you exhale, 3 on the next inhalation and carry on in this pattern until you get to 10. Repeat this five or six times and if any thoughts appear to guide your attention back to your breathing.

Spend 20 to 30 seconds just sitting then slowly become aware of everything and slowly open your eyes.

Meditation for beginners

TOOLS TO HELP YOU MEDITATE…

Most people think of meditation as something that you sit and do quietly, but studies have found that music, walking and even laptop tools can help you to meditate. There are over 100 benefits to meditation from lowering your heart rate to building your self-confidence.

You can listen to it on your way to work, at home or wherever your going. Your normal heart at rest should be around 75 beats a minute and music pulsing at around 60 beats per minute can help to bring on an alpha state, which is the same relaxed state that is created by normal meditation.

To get the most benefit you should do it regularly but start slowly and there are a number of inspirational tools that you can buy to help you to meditate. A CD ‘Dr Andrew Weil Presents Vibrational Sound Healing’ is soothing music that’s not just whale noises!

You could also listen to ‘Alla’s Instant Retreat’ a 3D audio CD of meditations to help you relax.

You could also meditate on your laptop by hooking yourself up via fingertip sensors, and guided breathing and visual meditations from Meditations UK.

Iphone fans can also download a phone app which gives you timed breathing techniques and ocean sounds which has been rated as ‘seriously good and so portable’ at around £2 from My Meditation App.

If you like to walk and meditate then ‘Chi Walking’ by Danny Dreyer is highly rated or ‘Walking Your Blues Away’ by Thom Hartmann.

TOP 4 ‘FREE’ MEDITATION APPS …

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Find out how to feel happier, sleep better and beat stress.

It’s as easy as signing up, sitting down, and pressing play. Then just sit back and relax as you are guided through a simple process making it easy to learn how to meditate.

According to Healthline ‘Calm‘ (available from itunes and Amazon )is one of their top meditation apps. If calm is what you need, Calm is the app for you. It starts you out with a seven-day program. This is a great way for beginners to start meditation. Choose between options for sound and length of time, as well as scenes from nature for you to visually focus on while you meditate.

Other features include multiple guided as well as unguided sessions. When you decide you are ready for more than the seven-day program, you can pay for a subscription, which opens up a 21-day program.

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Headspace is another great app (available from Headspace website and Amazon) which makes it easy for people just learning the art of meditation. Their level one course features easy, 10-minute sessions for each day that will help you get into the habit of meditating regularly. There are reminders, and you can choose to focus on aspects like foundation, health, and performance.

Once you have mastered level one, you can purchase a subscription that allows you to access even more features and options so you can expand your practice.

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Another good one is Omvana (available on itunes ) which gives you access to many meditation sounds, music, and guided sessions with meditation experts. Focus options include: mindfulness, stress, relaxation, sleep, and more. You can choose the length of each meditation session, from three minutes to an hour.

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And finally number four is the Take a Break app (available on itunes and Amazon) which allows you to do just that — take a break. You can choose between a short break or a longer meditation break. Both options allow you to choose with or without music and, if you are new, there are easy instructions for how to get started.

The app was designed to give users a quick and uncomplicated break to help relieve stress whenever you need it.

 

 

 

TOP THREE COMPLIMENTARY & ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES FOR PAIN…

Therapy book

In my book ‘Complimentary & Alternative Therapies for Pain’I cover over 50 treatments that are available for pain relief but some of the top choices are –

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  1. Aromatherapy – According to Mary Margaret Chappell in an article in ‘Arthritis Today’, recent studies “corroborate the use of aromatherapy for pain relief”. Apparently “Aromatherapy is effective because it works directly on the amygdala, the brain’s emotional centre,” says Mehmet Oz MD, professor of surgery at Columbia University Medical Centre in New York City. “This has important consequences because the thinking part of the brain can’t inhibit the effects of the scent, meaning you feel them instantaneously”. It is a method of healing using highly concentrated plant oils called ‘essential oils’ that are often highly aromatic and are extracted from plants. Alan Hirsch MD, neurologist at the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, believes you don’t have to limit yourself to essential oils. Limiting the length of your exposure to certain scents however, will ensure they remain effective. “Short-term exposure is key because people stop responding to scents after a few minutes”.
  2. Acupuncture – A UK trial showed patients who received ten acupuncture sessions were far more likely to be pain-free after two years than those who didn’t. An American study saw 60% of back pain sufferers experience a significant improvement after acupuncture. The word “acupuncture” means “needle piercing”. It is a traditional Chinese medical treatment using very fine needles, which are inserted into the skin at any of the 800 specially-designated points. It originated from a Dutch physician, William Ten Rhyne, who had been living in Japan during the latter part of the 17th century and it was he who introduced it to Europe. It works by manipulating the body’s energy flow, or Chi, to help the body to balance and heal itself. Legend has it that acupuncture was developed when it was seen that soldiers who recovered from arrow wounds were sometimes also healed of other diseases from which they were suffering. Acupuncture-300x232
  3. Meditation – Many people are turning to meditation as an effective way to relax and bring inner peace. It can also help with stress, improve your general health and help you to think clearly. It’s something you can do wherever you are, by focusing on something else around you instead of your thoughts, worries and obsessions. You can meditate just by focusing on something; anything will do if you are out. But most people still meditate on breathing, a single repeated word, a flower or a mental image. Meditation is much more than just a way of relaxing, it also clears our minds and makes us more alert. If you meditate for a few minutes each day, the results can be deep and long-lasting. There are many places you can learn to meditate; it could be a candle-lit room, with incense and dreamy music, lying on the floor after a yoga class or at an evening’s class at your local school or leisure centre. images-1