Using Your words to Heal Your Body

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In his seminal work, The Hidden Messages in Water, Masura Emoto created a special technique to demonstrate the effects various words have on the formation of water crystals. The water was exposed to words by speaking to the water. Then the water was frozen. Crystals were examined and photographed under a microscope.

Emoto discovered that when the water was exposed to positive words such as “love”, “hope”, or “thank you” symmetric beautiful crystals formed. If the water was exposed to words of hatred, either no crystals formed or crystals that were of a regular shape form.

Credit:  https://www.masaru-emoto.net/en/crystal-2

This is an example of a crystal that was shown the words love and gratitude. Notice it’s very symmetrical and overall very beautiful.

Source: Emoto, M. (2001). Hidden messages in water. Atria. 

It is easy to see from these pictures that using words with a high vibration lead to beautiful well-form crystals. Using words that are low vibration lead to no formed crystals or something that’s not as attractive.

In his work, Emoto reminds us that we’re made of 70% of water. His theory is that water holds a memory of the environment in the energy has received.

Then that means what happens to the water in our body when it’s exposed to violence, words of anger, anything that is less than love?

Choose Your Words For Healing

If you think about your body being made mostly of water that is constantly interacting with your environment, this helps you to refrain how you approach your mind body and soul. On your own healing journey, how do you speak to yourself? Do you use words of kindness to yourself? Or are you having thoughts that constantly lower your vibration because they are less than love?

Healing Words

In my book, 21 Day Meditation Journey, one of the meditations captures the idea of using healing words. During the meditation, we created positive affirmations.

You can get started with this right now. In my own person practice, when I feel my thoughts becoming negative, I replace those thoughts with positive thoughts. Even if I don’t feel the thoughts, I notice a difference within a few minutes.

Positive Affirmations for Healing

  • “I provide love for myself and others”
  • “I am God’s Creation”
  • “I am as I am meant to be”

Create your own list of positive affirmations. Make it fun! Make a wallpaper on your cell phone, or your computer screen.

Programming your thoughts for positive will change the vibration in your body. It would not be good to carry the negative words in the water in your body.

You can use your words to heal yourself. Its so simple, yet effective. Even if you have to “fake it”, do it until you feel how your positive thoughts change your vibration.

Download a free copy of “9 Ways to Ground your Energy”

This free Ebook is a great way to ground your energy and feel better right away.

Applying Meditation for Chronic Low Back Pain

stack of stones
Photo by mali maeder on Pexels.com

Chronic low back pain is one of the most common reasons patients present to primary care physicians for care.  Most patients initially present with low back pain feeling that the symptom is purely physical. They are often unaware of how psychological stress is playing a role in driving the pain, along with mechanical injury.   I have presented in my previous post on chronic pain as well as my podcast. In today’s post I’d like to use low back pain as an example of applying meditation to help ease the burden of back pain.

The anatomical location of the root chakra is located somewhere around the base of the spine. It is likely the energy center that governs the lumbar spine, legs and feet.  This energy center is associated with our most basic needs of survival such as acquiring resources and shelter. Many of us hold stress in the lower back in the form of tight muscles and improper posture.

I have noticed similar patterns of stress related to work, finances, or the home often presenting with lower back pain. Patients will often present describing the origins of the lower back pain, then a side note of an argument at work, or defaulting on a mortgage comes in towards the end of the visit. During a typical clinic visit, I don’t often have the luxury of spending time with patients to discuss this relationship.

This month I have been discussing primarily chronic pain. We should review acute low back pain and chronic low back pain before delving into how these can be improved with the use of meditation.

Acute Low Back Pain

Acute low back pain and back pain that occurs for period of time less than 3 months. Acute low back pain tends to be associated with injury such is abrupt lifting, lifting an object that is too heavy, sudden twisting, or purchase a pain in physical activity without appropriate conditioning.

Acute muscle strain

Many individuals presenting with low back pain often or suffering from small tears in the large lumbar muscles. this can create a lot of pain with very few physical findings other than muscle spasms. This type of pain tends to resolve fairly quickly. It also doesn’t tend to cause pain radiating down either leg. This is the kind of low back pain that may occur after a sports injury or lifting large objects.

Sciatica

Sciatica is a cause of acute low back pain in which a nerve originating from the lumbar spine is being impinged by a structure in the spine. This can be from bony overgrowth or from a bulging lumbar disc. This tends to present acutely, sometimes associated with lifting or twisting, and can cause pain radiating down either leg.

Vertebral Fracture

Of all of the acute low back pathologies, this is likely to be the most serious because it implies other medical issues including severe osteoporosis. Vertebral fractures in the lumbar spine may present with a sudden onset of pain with little to no activity. The pain May radiate or may stay in one place. The pain from vertebral fractures tends to be severe and unremitting.

Chronic Low Back Pain

Chronic low back pain is typically present for at least 3 months or 6 months. Some of the issues that started as acute back pain can evolve into chronic low back pain.

Lumbar Disc Degeneration

Lumbar disc degeneration is very common cause of chronic low back pain this is an overarching description of several issues that can occur in the bony part of the spine that lead to bone growth, or bone chips that may get dislodge or displaced and cause pressure on the nerves that run down to the leg. Often people have something called facet degeneration, which is often a common target of doing steroid injections into the lower back.

Disc Herniation

Disc herniation occurs when the vertebrae put strain or stress on the vertebral disc. The vertebral disc have a consistency similar to silicone. They serve as the shock absorbers within the spine. When herniation occurs some are part of the disc is forced out of its space and can cause impingement on one of the nerves that goes down the leg.

Meditation to alleviate lower back pain

No matter what is causing the lower back pain rather it is acute or chronic, adding meditation to the treatment plan can be beneficial.

There are a variety of ways one can consider meditation. Most importantly is taking your individual limitations in your current pain level into account.

Standing meditation

Many individuals suffering from lower back pain often for relief if they’re able to stand up. Standing can be very appropriate for performing a short meditation. Keep in mind that if you suffer from balance issues or vertigo this may not be the best way to start meditating if you’re lower back is hurting.

A simple meditation can consist of standing with the feet firmly planted in barefoot if possible. Closing the eyes and inhaling the exhaling to the count of five for three minutes. Using a guided meditation while standing can be beneficial as well.

Seated meditation

Seated meditations are the most common. Seated meditations are going to be the most accessible posture as well. When getting started with meditation it may be helpful to make sure your meditation chair allows for proper alignment. Check for the following to make sure your seat will be optimal for meditation.

  • Make sure your feet touch the floor. If your feet don’t touch the floor consider using a sturdy object like a large book or yoga blocks to bring the floor closer to your feet.
  • Make sure your knees are at a roughly 90° angle. If they are not, consider using yoga blocks or a large book to bring the floor closer to your feet.
  • Make sure the angle of your hips is roughly at 90° angles. This means that you may need to use a pillow behind your back to adjust the seat back.
  • Consider a chair that does not have arm rest. armor may be helpful, but if they cause you to elevate your shoulders that will keep you from settling into a calming meditation.

Lying Down

Lying down to meditate can be very helpful if you’re suffering from fatigue related to chronic pain. Keep in mind, you’re not wanting to fall asleep. You can perform align meditation in the bed but I advise my own clients whenever possible dedicate another space where you can lie down comfortably and supported but aren’t necessarily falling asleep.

The key posture with lying down with lower back pain is that you must elevate the legs and the knees. Most causes of chronic low back pain will be made worse by laying completely flat.

Elevation can be achieved by using a couch and laying on the floor. You can also use large cushions from your couch to elevate your legs. If you have yoga equipment using your yoga bolster to go under your knees can work as well. You can also use a blanket folder to go under the knees which will allow for the lower back to relax.

Body scan meditation for lower back pain

Here is a short description of a meditation practice you can perform easily at your own pace. Once you have chosen the posture you wish to take during your meditation, set a timer for 5 minutes to start with. If you repeat the meditation feel free to add longer durations.

  1. Takes three breaths into the nose and out through the mouth
  2. Focus your attention first on your feet. Observe where your feet are in space and if they’re resting against the floor.
  3. Relax your feet, feel as if they are melting into the floor.
  4. Move your attention up to your calves. Observe where they are in space and if anything is touching them.
  5. Allow your calf muscles to relax and melt into the floor.
  6. Continue this body scan starting with your thighs and working your way up to the top of your head.
  7. You can pace yourself by observing each body part on an inhalation, then relaxing that body part on an exhalation.
  8. After scanning your body continued to inhale and exhale slowly for a few more minutes
  9. complete the practice by gently open your eyes and making observations of how your body is feeling

If you would like to learn more about chronic pain download the art of healing podcast from this week. It is the first part in a three-part series on chronic pain. if you’d like to be notified about upcoming episodes please submit your email below.

Chronic pain is a difficult topic. Any form of human suffering brings sadness. I feel that although there are many more rapidly changing topics going on the discussion of how we manage chronic pain always deserves attention.

Creating Your Meditation Practice to Heal Chronic Pain

Chronic pain from various diagnosis is the most common issue I treat in my medical practice.  This finding is confirmed by studies showing that “one in 10 adults in the general population report chronic widespread pain with possible sociocultural variation.¹”  The options for patients suffering from chronic pain remain limited.  I have been advising my patients that starting a meditation practice as part of the treatment plan in dealing with chronic pain. Patients with the diagnosis of Chronic Pain from any source typically are being treated  by a number of specialists and practitioners. 

They are often spending significant hours weekly pursuing and receiving medical treatments. My biggest worry with patients is that if opioids are being used, without a clear endpoint for treatment that the opioids will become needed for a long duration.  Reliance and dependence on opioids for chronic pain creates a host of issues separate from the original source of the pain.

Learn about types of Chronic pain in my podcast

Chronic Pain Part I

In this post, I am offering my recommendations to approach adding meditation as a treatment regimen for those suffering with chronic pain.

Deciding on a Meditation Instructor, Course, or Free Resource

Cost

Starting a meditation practice can be done for free, but there may be reasons to invest in formal training or a course.    Working one on one with a Yoga or Meditation Instructor may be the most expensive option, but this will also provide the best way to initiate or continue your practice.  One on one work is not mandatory, but for those that are used to pursuing care in this fashion it will be easy to start working with someone.

Least expensive will be finding free meditation resources online.  This is a perfectly fine option.  I often recommend free online resources knowing that my patients may be spending thousands of dollars on healthcare monthly.  Naturally, you won’t have the benefit of one on one attention. Using a free resource such as YouTube allows you to try meditation without investing any money.

Time

I strongly recommend that someone who is new meditation to start with short intervals, no more than 5 minutes.  In the 21 Day Meditation Challenge at Healing Arts Health and Wellness, the majority of exercises are under 6 minutes.  Longer meditations can reap more benefit, however, physical comfort must be considered.  If you have chronic pain, you will have to recognize that the beginning of your meditation journey that your physical needs may limit you to short intervals which is perfectly fine. Luckily, technology has provided so many ways to pursue a structured meditation course.  This will be ideal as it will take away guessing at what meditation to do next, but may require some time to perform daily.  

I recommend assigning a specific time to meditate and possibly treating it like a doctor’s appointment.  This will help to train your mind and body that this time is sacred and intentional.  My own observation is that different types of chronic pain seem to do best with meditation at various times.  If you are suffering from chronic joint pain from arthritis, starting your day with mindful movement may assure increased energy and reduced pain for the rest of the day.  Chronic neuropathic pain, such as diabetic neuropathy typically benefit from evening or night practices.  Settling the nervous system prior to bedtime is a fantastic way to calm the pain of neuropathy.  Patients taking chronic opioids should consider an evening practice, particularly if you are taking opioids more than every 8 hours.  Opioids disrupt your sleep, and when possible it is best to avoid them at bedtime.  Having a relaxation plan to reduce the need for nighttime opioids can help to improve sleep quality. 

Special Considerations for Meditating with Chronic Pain

Once you have decided how you still start your meditation journey, also consider if it may be worthwhile to invest in any special equipment.  One example is you want to use a special chair designed for meditation. Finding a comfortable position will be top priority.  If you are dealing with chronic pain from the lower back, laying down with your legs supported may be your best option.  If your chronic pain comes from neuropathy in your legs and feet, it may feel better to elevate them.  If you have chronic neck pain, having support under your head and neck with a special pillow may be needed.

Getting Advice from Your Physical Therapist

Likely if you are suffering from chronic pain, you are under the care of a physical therapist.  This is an invaluable resource as they will understand the physiology and challenges you experience with your pain.  I would recommend asking your physical therapist for guidance for positioning yourself in your meditation practice at home.  Your physical therapist will likely have useful solutions that can eliminate any barriers in getting started.

Preparing Yourself for Your Meditation Practice

Finally, make your meditation practice as pleasant and sensual as you like.  Consider adding aromatherapy in the form of high quality essential oils.  You may want to invest in candles or nice lighting.  A warm blanket also helps the body relax.  Covering your lap with a warm blanket during a seated practice really helps in relaxing. Also reduce distractions as much as feasible.  This may mean putting your phone on Do Not Disturb.  You may want to let household family members know that you wish not to be disturbed during your meditation practice. Review your medications with your physician. Are there medications you may want to avoid before meditation? Are there medications you may want to consider taking to help you be comfortable with meditation? Would you benefit from adding heat therapy or cold therapy at that time as well?

Chronic pain is difficult, frustrating, and currently has little rapid solutions in our current care models.  Adding meditation is a low risk, high yield activity that augments the treatment plan for any chronic pain diagnosis.  I have created a 21 Day Meditation Challenge, a 21 day course that will allow you to try multiple meditation types in short durations. This course will be a way to start your meditation journey easily.

21 Day Meditation Challenge

Click the link above to learn more about the 21 Day Meditation Challenge


References:

1. Mansfield, K. E., Sim, J., Jordan, J. L., & Jordan, K. P. (2016). A systematic review and meta-analysis of the prevalence of chronic widespread pain in the general population. Pain, 157(1), 55–64. https://doi.org/10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000314

Meditation as a Lifestyle

We are learning in times of crisis that some things are out of our control and our best way to recover is by tapping into our inner strength and healing.  It seems counterintuitive that sitting still and looking inward helps to cope with the ever changing external world.  I believe that having a personal meditation practice can help to create a lifestyle in which you can recover from the challenges that life throws at you.

I started my meditation journey 20 years ago when I accidentally discovered yoga in a discount book store.  I was in medical school, and at the time, I did not fully appreciate what a treasure I had discovered.  

Meditation can become part of your lifestyle.  There are so many reasons why I believe it’s worth carving out the time for this, allow me to share a few of these.

Sustainable energy

As we move through life we’re all aware of things that can add to our energy and make us feel alive such as laughter, love  and joy.  We’re also aware of things that deplete us such as anxiety, dealing with energy vampires, or depression. We have to consider what we feed our minds and our bodies.  We want pure, clean fuel to keep our energy going.  Meditation can be energizing.  Giving your brain a few minutes of rest and closing your eyes even for a few moments is wonderful.  When you slow down your breath and let your diaphragm work to its fullest capacity, you allow the oxygen level in your blood to rise.  Your brain will love that feeling, trust me.

four rock formation
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Self-care is mandatory

We are all learning during the pandemic of 2020 that while we have systems in place to provide care those systems are getting depleted. and one way or another we almost find a way to take care of ourselves. Self-care is no longer an option or a luxury. It is mandatory for survival.

I believe meditation can be part of a healthy, holistic lifestyle. It is a perfect compliment to a lifestyle that revolves around self-care and healing. Meditations, in combination with having a reliable care team, a healthy whole foods diet, and movement of the body that feels good is a powerful combination.

Resilience when avoidance of pain is not possible

During the year 2020 everyone was affected in one way or another. We have all been affected either personally, emotionally, financially and physically.   We are learning that there are times when pain is unavoidable. We are learning that sometimes we must find a way to recover from what has happened.

I have personally heavily on my personal meditation practice to help me during times of uncertainty.  Meditation has helped to calm some of my anxiety related to uncertainty. 

I have created a 21 day Meditation Journey you may want to consider if  you are wanting an introduction to meditation, or would like to have support in developing a daily practice of meditation.  Sign up for my newsletter if you would like updates.

The 5 Best Meditation Techniques for Beginners

The 5 Best Meditation Techniques for Beginners

Meditation is something that many of us want to do well to gain the benefits associated with the practice. Unfortunately, for many of us, the constant mind chatter can make it frustrating to sit down and meditate for any period. If you are starting out with your meditation practice, here are five great techniques that can get you started on the path to mindfulness.

Technique #1 – Breathing Meditation

This is one of the best techniques if you are just starting out in your meditation practice. It is an ancient and powerful technique that is extremely effective. By just paying attention to your breathing, you give your mind a point of focus in a relaxed way. To start this technique, get yourself in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and slowly begin to observe your breathing. Pay attention to how it feels as you breathe in and out. If you find your mind starting to wander, just bring your focus back to your breathing.

Technique #2 – Mindfulness Meditation

In mindfulness meditation you become fully present in the moment by paying attention to the sensations in your body. Start the practice by focusing on your breathing, then allow yourself to become aware of the other sensations running throughout your body. You don’t want to analyze or judge the experience; you simply want to observe.  

Technique #3 – Mantra Meditation

By repeating a sacred word, like “aum” or a meaningful phrase, you can bring your mind into a state of tranquility. With this technique, you can either repeat the mantra out loud or repeat it to yourself silently.  

Technique #4 – Walking Meditation

If you don’t think that you can sit still for an extended period, you can try the walking meditation technique. This can be done anywhere. You simply have to focus on your body as it moves. Focus on how your arms swing, how your legs are lifted and extended, and how your feet rise and touch back down on the ground. If your mind starts to wander, bring your focus back to the movement of your body. 

Technique #5 – Empty Minded Meditation

Photo by Charlyce Davis

Empty minded meditation, allows you to be aware without having to have a specific focus. To practice this technique, sit quietly in a comfortable place. Close your eyes and let your thoughts freely float in and out of your mind. Observe each thought as they enter your mind without any attachment or judgment.

These five meditation techniques are simple enough that you can start your practice today, or enhance an existing one. 

3 Physical Benefits of Regular Meditation Practice

As meditation has become more popular in our culture, scientists have
begun to study the many physical benefits that can be gained through
regular practice. Practicing meditation helps to slow down your breath,
quiet your mind, and find peace. Along with its numerous mental benefits,
practicing meditation on a regular basis can be a useful alternative to
medical treatments for a variety of health concerns. Here are three physical
benefits that daily practice of meditation can have on your life.

Reduced Pain

If you suffer from chronic pain, meditation has been shown to help. Various studies have discovered that if you can focus and calm your mind and body, you have the capability of controlling the pain. Meditation makes it possible for you to face the common symptoms that are associated with chronic pain, like muscle tension, sweating, and irritability. 

Practicing mindfulness meditation will enable you to come to terms with the pain that you are experiencing, instead of just running away from it. Taking the focus away from your pain will enable you not to experience as much of it. Meditation helps to shift your attention away from the illness and into the moment

Improved Cardiovascular Health

Meditation has been proven to help lower blood pressure while allowing the body be less responsive to the hormones that cause stress. When you enter into a relaxed meditative state, the brain releases more nitric oxide which is responsible for the regulation of blood pressure levels, the improved functioning of the immune system, and the enhanced functioning of the central nervous system.

Conditions like stress affect the rate at which your heart pumps blood. When you practice meditation regularly, your heart rate decreases, allowing blood to circulate through the body more efficiently. This helps keep your cardiovascular system in shape, allowing the rest of the body to function with ease and enhances your ability to handle stressful situations.

Strengthens the Immune System

Recent studies show that meditation helps to increase the activity of ‘natural-killer cells’ in the body. These cells are responsible for killing off bacteria and viruses that find their way into our body. With regular practice, you can strengthen your immune system, which will result in the reduced risk that you’ll become ill and enhance your overall health and well-being. 

There are many physical benefits that you can gain from meditation. Engaging in daily mediation will help you improve your overall health, leading to living a healthier life. 

The 4 Best Meditation Postures for Beginners

Meditation is meant to bring you clarity and relaxation. Unfortunately, for many beginners of the practice, sitting for long periods can get downright uncomfortable, leading to an ineffective session. While the standard lotus or cross-legged position is the most popular positions used in meditation, some alternative positions are suitable for beginners or anyone who suffers from back pain.

The Astronaut

The astronaut posture is essentially an inverted sitting position. Rather than resting your back against a chair, you lie on the floor with a chair supporting your legs. To give your head and neck some extra support, place a pillow under your head. Place your hands on the floor beside you and begin your session.

The Corpse

The corpse position is extremely gentle on the back and is useful for people who have a problem keeping in an upright meditation position. It is also suited for guided meditation and pure light visualization. To get into this pose, simply lie down on your back, on either a bed or the floor. Rest your hands beside you with your palms facing upward. Place your feet shoulder-width apart, removing your socks and shoes. If needed, place a pillow under your head to support your neck. 

The Prayer

This is an alternate pose to the traditional kneeling position. It can get extremely uncomfortable kneeling, unsupported with your rear resting on the back of your heels for an extended period. Instead, you can use a kneeling bench with a padded, sloping top. The kneeling bench tilts your back forward slightly, taking the pressure off your lower spine when you assume the position. To keep your knees from feeling the pain, place a cushion or zabuton between the floor and your knees to prevent bruising.

The Sleeping Buddha

Like the corpse pose, the sleeping Buddha is suitable for beginners, as well as those with back and joint pain. To get into this position, lie your side on a flat, horizontal surface. Place one hand under your cheek for a little bit of support. Rest your other hand lightly on the side of your body. Bend both your legs slightly, resting them on top of one another. Place a pillow between your knees and thighs to prevent your upper leg from rotating forward.

Practicing meditation is a great way to bring about self-awareness and healing into your life. If you are just beginning and aren’t able to comfortably sustain the traditional meditation postures, try these four alternatives.  

 

The Top Mental Health Benefits of Meditation

Over the last several years, more and more people have started practicing meditation as a way to stave off stress and health problems related to stress. When you start practicing meditation on a regular basis, your brain’s physiology changes. This mental shift helps to decrease the harmful effects of stress, mild depression, and anxiety. Here are the top three mental health benefits of practicing meditation on a regular basis.

Preserves the Aging Brain

Various studies of the last several years have revealed that when you are in your 20s, your brain begins to decline. This reduction in volume and weight continues throughout your life. Practicing meditation on a daily basis can help prevent many of the neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia. It can also help to stave off the cognitive decline that comes with age. 

Meditating regularly can also help to increase the protective tissues in your brain. When you engage in meditation, you’re introduced to states of intense relaxation and concentration which leads to the growth of new cells. This helps to protect against shrinkage of your grey matter.

Reduces Stress

One of the main reasons why people practice the art of meditation is to find relief from depression, stress, and anxiety. Regular meditation practice helps to reduce the levels of stress and depression, both physically and mentally. When you experience stress or a sudden threat, your body enters into a flight or fight mode. This leads to an immediate rush of adrenaline, which can cause an increase in your blood pressure, pulse rate, and increase blood flow. Meditation helps to relieve these symptoms of stress. 

Need help getting your Meditation Practice started? Have a look at my free course, Starting Your Own Meditation Practice

Training your mind through the various meditation techniques works to increase the mental resources that can help you address stress and depression-related symptoms. The mind becomes clearer, more focused, and calmer, which automatically leads to the reduction of stress.

Improve Attention

In just over a decade, researchers have measured a decline in our average attention span, from 12 seconds to only eight seconds. That’s a whopping 33 percent decrease, and just one second shorter than the attention span of a goldfish. Practicing meditation can help improve your attention span, by optimizing the flow of sensory information that your brain takes in. Meditation helps to make your brain much more efficient at processing information.  

If the hectic pace of today’s 24/7 society has your mind reeling, starting a regular practice of meditation can help. With just ten minutes a day, you can start seeing a reduction in your stress levels and an increase in your overall attention span. 

The Basic Elements of Meditation

Life can get a little crazy. The hectic pace and demands that we often face on a daily basis tend to leave us feeling stressed, tired, overworked, and unhappy. Mindfulness meditation is an easy and effective way to relax your body, calm your mind, and become grounded, finding inner peace amidst the chaos. The basic elements that are involved in the practice of meditation include finding a quiet place to practice, having a poised posture that is comfortable, getting an object to focus on, and being able to develop a passive attitude without any attachments. 

Learn about the best meditation postures here

The Place

If you are just starting your meditation practice, it is important to start the process off right by finding a place that is comfortable. You need a space that will allow you to feel completely relaxed and free of distractions. Before you begin your practice, you need to turn things off, like your cell phone or any form of device that would be distracting. 

The Posture

Another basic element that you need to work on is maintaining a good body posture as you meditate. The posture that you take can impact how your practice goes. While the most natural posture you can take is the sitting position, you need to choose a pose that makes you feel comfortable and focused. Try to avoid using postures that can lead to falling asleep, like lying down or reclining. 

The Object

When you begin a practice of meditation, you need to have an object that you can focus on. The object can either be a repeated mantra, focusing on the breathing process, bodily sensations, or any other object like the flame from a candle. Engaging in meditation that will enhance your level of concentration requires that you have an object to focus on.

The Attitude

The final basic element that you need for successful meditation practice is a positive attitude. When you have a positive attitude, you can look at the external distractions and your internal thoughts in a different way. Having a passive attitude allows you to watch the thoughts as they come and go in your mind, without having any attachments to them.

During the process of meditation, it is important to stay focused. If you notice that your mind has started wandering, bring your attention back to the object of focus. These basic elements of meditation can help you get started on the path to clarity and awareness. 

Need some additional resources? Try my free E-Course, Starting Your Own Meditation Practice, to help get you started.

Reiki Practitioners- returning to your practice

One of the blessings of Reiki is that I have met people I would not have met had I not learned this healing modality. I have met several individuals in my medical practice, personally, and in social media who share with me that at some point in their lives they learned Reiki I or II or even Reiki Master but over the years have forgotten to continue practicing.

These individuals will have to share that so much time has passed that they don’t feel connected to the energy of Reiki.

Herein lies a true gift of Reiki that we often forget. Once you have been attuned to Reiki you are attuned your whole life. You are always connected with the energy and it never goes away. Of course, if you’re not practicing it is easy to forget that you have this gift at your hands.

I advise individuals that the easiest way to reconnect is simply to start performing Reiki on yourself on a regular basis. It is best to do a full treatment from head to toe, however if your life circumstance does not allow the time or place for this even a three minute treatment is better than nothing.

I’ve noticed that many of these individuals often don’t have dedicated space in their home, office, or anywhere in their life that they can practice their healing art. In my course, Starting Your Own Meditation Practice, I give brief advice on how to reclaim that space for yourself. If you don’t have a space you can go to you may need to create one.

Once you know where you would like to start your daily Reiki practice consider setting a timer or a reminder in your calendar. It’s simply a good habit that you’re trying to get back to. Plan to treat yourself for 21 days daily. If you recall in your initial attunement you had a 21-day. Of self treatment that allowed for self-improvement.

Once you decide to return to your practice try not to focus too much on feeling the energy flow or any specific outcome. You may recall when you first learned Reiki you may not have had immediate response or felt anything right away. But if you give it time, your own body’s ability to heal will become apparent to you and it will come to you easily.

I practice Reiki on myself daily. I did not always do this but in the last 2 years because of transitions and stress in my own life I found this to be a lifesaver. There are times I do only a brief 15 minute session and there are times I do a full session that I last more than an hour.

If you need any help getting started I have created a short 9 minute self treatment meditation track that you can find below. I do hope this helps any Reiki practitioner who feels like they’ve lost their gift. I promise you haven’t lost anything you just simply had to pick it back up.

9 minute meditation for Mind-Heart-Gut