Meditation and Relaxation

Meditation is a safe and simple way to help you move towards harmony and self-enlightenment. Relaxation helps your mind develop a state of restful alertness whilst your body becomes calm, thus allowing your natural healing to take place.

What is it?

Meditation and relaxation use specific techniques that introduce a state of serene being, or total peace, through which the mind and body work together. They require a simple practice that calms and stills physical and mental tension. Meditation, visualisations, breathing techniques and relaxation are all often used as part of Stress Counselling, which helps you to gently let go of worry and anxiety, and gives you a sense of control and tranquility.1,2

Uses:

There is good clinical evidence that meditation and relaxation can be successful in improving sleep, anxiety disorders and reducing tension. They are positive aids in dealing with stress-related illnesses. Relief from chronic pain and balanced digestion can be achieved by calming the stomach and relieving constipation. Meditation may also be used for bereavement, loss, depression and exhaustion, as it can be refreshing and peaceful. Helps combat negative patterns, phobias, panic attacks and addictions. Research shows a positive impact on hypertension, headaches and seizures. Relaxation trials also show real results in helping improve respiratory conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorders.1,2,5-16

 

Treatment Time + approach:

There are many different approaches to meditation and relaxation, but most require the patient to rest in a comfortable position and focus their attention on either breathing, systematically relaxing muscle groups, a sound (mantra), mental exercises, or a combination of the above.1-5 Meditation may require a quiet environment, although the ancient Toaist monks would say that, even in solitude upon a mountain, one may hear a cricket! The benefits that come from regular practice can raise awareness of your body, rebalance energy flows and relax your nervous system. Meditation may last 5 minutes to an hour, but ideally should last 20 minutes each session on a regular basis.1,5,6

 

History:

Meditation has its roots in ancient civilisations, often linked with religions from around the globe from Buddhist monks, Christian convents and monasteries, Shamanic North American Indian traditions to Yoga. Many recent relaxation principles stemmed from Edmund Jacobson (1930s) and Jon Kabat-Zinn, Phd (1970s). Contemplation may help appreciate the rich texture of life.

 

 Recognised Body + References:

http://www.britishmeditationsociety.org/  

 
1          Ernst E, Pittler MH and Wider B (2006) The Desktop Guide to Complementary and Alternative Medicine: An evidence-based approach. China: Elsevier.
2          General Practitioners Committee (2006) Referrals to Complementary Therapists: Guidance for GPs: www.bma.org.uk(accessed 121118)
3          Payne RA (2004) Relaxation Techniques. In: Kolt and Adersen (2004) Psychology in Physical Therapy and Manual Therapy. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.
4          Gosden E (2011) How meditation could help your health, 28 Jun 2011. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8601795/How-meditation-could-help-your-health.html#(accessed 121118)
5          Caspi O, Koithan M, and Criddle M (2004) Alternative Medicine or “Alternative” Patients: A Qualitative Study of Patient-Oriented Decision-Making Processes with Respect to Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Medical Decision Making, 24 (1):64–79.
6          Shreeve C (2003) Complete Well-Being: A guide to symptoms and cures. Paragon Publishers: China.
7          Lewith GT, Jonas WB and Walach H (2010) Clinical Research in Complementary Therapies: Principles, Problems and Solutions (2nd Edition). China: Churchill Livingstone.
8      National Health Service (2012) Does meditation reduce stress? http://www.nhs.uk/news/2007/October/Pages/Meditationreducesstressandimprovesmood.aspx (accessed 121118)
9          Lovas JG, Lovas DA (2007) Rapid relaxation: practical management of preoperative anxiety. Journal of Canadian Dental Association 73(5): 437-440.
10        Jensen MP, Hakimian S, Sherlin LH et al. (2008) New insights into neuromodulatory approaches for the treatment of pain. Journal of Pain 9 (3); 193-199.
11         Joshi S (2008) Nonpharacologic therapy for insomnia in the elderly. Clinics in Geriatric Medicine 24 (1): 107-119.
12        Persson AL, Veenhizen H, Zachrison and Gard G (2008) Relaxation as Treatment for Chronic Muscle Pain – A Systemic Review of RCT. Physical Therapy Reviews, 13 (5): 355-365.
13        Kelly, R (2003) Sacred Sound Therapy for healing, spiritual growth and meditation. Positive Health (93), 13-16.
14        Srivastava M, Talukdar U, Lahan V (2011) Meditation for the management of adjustment disorder anxiety and depression Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. November 2011,17(4): 241-245.
15         Gedde-Dahl M and Fors EA (2012) Impact of self-administered relaxation and guided imagery techniques during final trimester and birth Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. February 2012 18 (1): 60-65.
16   Evaluating an adapted mindfulness meditation course for use in palliative care setting: http://www.helpthehospices.org.uk/members/education-training/past-events/conference-2011/posters/evaluating-an-adapted-mindfulness-meditation-course-for-use-in-palliative-care-setting/(accessed 121118)