Written by Julie Taylor
Increase the Effectiveness of All Treatments…
The benefits of meditation are indisputable! There is a brilliant neurosurgeon in North Vancouver, Dr Brian Hunt, who found with his own patients – often young athletes with brain injuries – that just a few minutes a day (actual meditation techniques didn’t matter) made a measurable difference in healing. Somehow the meditation increased the effectiveness of treatment, surgery and drugs and also in healing generally.
Some of these patients were in the acute treatment ward and so, of course, in bed. Their beds and blankets made natural meditation cushions to support their legs. In ‘real’ meditation, to make kneeling more comfortable meditation pillows are used. It’s also quite possible to use meditation chairs – or sit on the edge of a regular chair and use cushions so that your back is straight, your thighs and calves are at right angles and your feet touch the ground. There’s no need to sit cross-legged or to be able to do yoga in order to meditate here’s a versatile and comfortable-looking Thai cushion/mat available in different colours that can be folded into a custom shape.
The neuro-rehab department at VGH where I was a patient the benefits of meditation were accepted without question. They had a ‘quiet room’ where patients were tucked into bed with meditation pillows and cushions under their legs and rested for just 20 minutes in the pitch dark whilst listening to meditation music. Whenever we felt overwhelmed by the pace or content of our rehab, that’s wehre we went! They also use Tai-Chi as part of their rehabilitation program – as a recreational component – because they found the benefits of meditation to be positive. The concentration and deep breathing seems to have a similar calming and focusing effect on the mind.
Several people I know who have also rebuilt their lives after serious trauma agree wholeheartedly with Dr Hunt: they have experienced better healing and greater wellness when they meditate and soon notice the difference when they miss a few days or stop. Eventually they seem to end up in coss-legged yogi-like positions! It doesn’t seem to be necessary though! The Soul of Healing Meditations by Deepak Chopra is a lovely meditation companion – click here to hear samples of each track
I get so busy that I often forget meditation – which is nonsensical as it’s not only free, but so freeing! I guess I haven’t yet built it firmly into my routine and I forget. However, when I do remember, I feel healthier – and I must remember every day! I walk on the beach here several times a week and (again when I remember) I stand still for a few minutes with my face to the sun, listening to the waves, breathing deeply. Something powerful and magical happens and I can almost hear my cells singing. Try it!
Here are some pictures of some suggested ways to meditate. There’re also some FREE downloads here of simple relaxation/guided meditations to get you started.