By adding complementary medicine techniques to chemo and radiation, studies have shown a reduction in stress and increased sense of well being among patients who practice these techniques. Meditation, yoga and visualization are all easy to do and do not require any elaborate equipment.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is the bringing together of the physical body with the mind and the spirit. Physical postures called asanas, breathing excercises and focused concentration are joined together to energize the body and the mind.
It the oldest system of personal development in the world, encompassing body, mind and spirit. The first stones showing figures in yogic positions date back to 3000BC in the Indus Valley.
Who Can practice?
Anyone can practice. You do not need special equipment or clothes. Depending on how you are feeling Yoga can be modified to be practiced sitting in a chair or even in a hospital bed. It is important to let your teacher know your physical limitations.
What are the benefits of Yoga?
Where can I find a class or a teacher?
- Improved health
- Improved flexibility and strength
- Lowered stress
- Lowered blood pressure
- Your healthfood store
- Wellness publications for your area
- Adult education programs
- Health clubs
- The phone book, under Yoga
What is Meditation?
Simply put, meditation is any activity that holds the mind in the present moment.
How do You Practice?
There are many different kinds of meditation practice. The most common are:
What are the benefits of Meditation?
- Sitting quietly and focusing one's attention on the breath
- Mindfulness- sitting quietly and observing whatever goes through your mind without getting involved
- Naming - sitting quietly and observing whatever goes through your mind and naming anything that comes up like thinking, anger, sadness without getting attached
- Mantra - focusing your attention while sitting quietly on a sound (mantra)
When should I practice?
- Reduced anxiety
- Improved immune function
- Reduced stress
- Pain management
Once in the morning and then again in the evening is usually recommended. Start off slow with 10 minutes at a time, working up to 30 or 45 minutes. If you have trouble sitting still, try a walking meditation.
Where can I find a teacher?
- Local newspapers
- Adult education programs
- If your community has a wellness center, check with them
- Buddhist centers
What is visualization?
Visualization is a flow of thoughts one can see, feel and smell in one's imagination. When starting out visualization is best done with a guide.
How do you do it?
What are the benefits?
- With a guide
- Audio or video tapes on Visualization
- Making your own tape from a script that you can listen to
How can I find someone to teach me?
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Reduces pain
- Stimulates the immune system
- Slows the heart rate
- Helps people tolerate treatments better
For more information try the following books:
- Local wellness center
- Look up guided imagery or visualization at the library
- Simonton Cancer Center - training and referral -
310 459 4434
Wherever You Go There You Are, Kabat-
Zinn, Hyperion NY, NY
Guided Meditations, Explorations and Healings, Stephen Levine, Doubleday NY,NY
Minding the Body, Mending the Mind, Joan Borysenko.
Bantam, Reading MA
Getting Well Again. Carl Simonton MD
The Sivananda Companion to Yoga, Lucy Lidell. Simon and Schuster NY,NY.