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Meditation

Tresia23's picture
Tresia23
Posts: 75
Joined: Dec 2010

I have noticed a few posts lately mentioning meditation and I would like to share my experience and compare notes with others. Around the time of diagnosis I asked my yoga teacher for some info on yoga nidra which I had been previously taught in a workshop about sleep problems. I used a 10 minute cd daily and it helped somewhat with sleeping and relaxation. I also used Tratak or candle gazing. I stuck a birthday candle on a saucer and gazed lying on my left side in bed. The candle burns itself out after less than 3 minutes so it is safe if you fall asleep as long as it is on a non combustible surface. This helps to increase secretion of melatonin I think (something to do with pineal gland). Ditto for lying on left side. Then after cancer surgery, I started seeing a psychologist who practices mindfulness based therapies. I have been seeing my psych for 14 months now. She introduced me to Jon Kabat Zinn and I used his CD which includes a book The Mindful Way through Depression. Then she introduced me to Christopher Germer's Mindful Self Compassion. He is my favourite. I have downloaded his meditations from his website on to my MP3 and I practice these daily in rotation according to how I feel. I have also been reading Ronald Siegal's books and have also used his downloadable meditations which are also on my MP3. I practice early in the morning, every day. If I have to go to medical appointments in the city (a hour plus trip via train), I do my practice on the train with eyes closed. The benefits to me have been the ability to create space and sift through my troubles without getting caught up in mindless anxiety and rumination. I can still feel worried and anxious but now I have the ability to drop into myself and breathe which is almost like diving into the water and blowing bubbles. Beautiful, precious meditation. Georgia

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

What great resources. Thank you so much for sharing this info. I also practiced meditation and guided imagery at beginning of cancer diagnosis but gradually fell away from disciplined practice.

I appreciate the specific links and intend to download these as well.

I am familiar with yoga nidra but not the candle gazing. How interesting. I will try this.

Again, I appreciate the info and I will keep you posted on my progress. We all need as much help and encouragement and resources as we can get. Now I need to put them into practice.

Hugs and many thanks. Mary Ann

Susanna23
Posts: 66
Joined: Dec 2010

Dear Georgia, Mary Ann
I have a complementary care doctor here in London and she referred me for a course of mindfulness meditation which I have just started. I did buy a book on this a few months ago but it has really helped to have a health professional guide me through it. Currently I am practising body scan, the three minute breathing space and some visualisation. I've long had a Resperate slow breathing machine to help me with high blood pressure and I do some visualisation with this (internal, having a team to survey my body from inside and deal with any recurrent cells, external, my journey through cancer and check-ups with focus on qualities like confidence, gratitude, peace of mind.....)
Fyi, I am one of the MMMT survivors! Between third and fourth regular check-ups. My complementary doctor has me on mistletoe therapy and various homeopathic remedies but my five year follow-up is with my gyn/onc surgeon who does a physical exam. Between them I believe they provide a complete care package! I feel very fortunate to get this all on the NHS.
I too will try candle gazing.
Many thanks
Susan x

RoseyR
Posts: 464
Joined: Feb 2011

As another MMMT patient, glad to hear that you're gaining so much from mindfulness meditation, which I too hope to begin in a few weeks.

And really impressed that you'll have your "five-year checkup" soon; I assume you were diagnosed at stage IA?

Congratulations and keep up the great approach!

Rosey

TiggersDoBounce's picture
TiggersDoBounce
Posts: 413
Joined: Oct 2009

Going to check them out!!

Laurie

snowbird_11's picture
snowbird_11
Posts: 160
Joined: Oct 2011

Thank you for sharing these resources and your experiences, Georgia. Finding ways to manage our stress and allow ourselves the ability to live in and enjoy the moments of our lives is just so important.
Peacefulness to you,
Annie

Susanna23
Posts: 66
Joined: Dec 2010

The book I use is 'Mindfulness for Dummmies' by Shamash Alidina. I bought it several months ago but didn't really get to grips with it till I started my sessions with the nurse who appears to be teaching me the techniques in the book. I downloaded the accompanying CD onto my iPOD so can now practice wherever/whenever.
Best wishes
Susan

carolenk's picture
carolenk
Posts: 909
Joined: Feb 2011

Just want to show appreciation for this thread. I've started crocheting small blankets for cats & find that it helps calm my mind.

RoseyR
Posts: 464
Joined: Feb 2011

Thanks for sharing these tips and insights.

I assume we all know that uterine cancer patients are, upon diagnosis, notoriously low in melatonin--so much so that there is discussion about including "low melatonin status" as another diagnostic criterion for uterine cancer.

At first the notion of lying on one's left (or right) side could make a difference seems ludicrous.

On further thought, I had slept most of my life on my RIGHT side. Hmmm ... Supposedly that is good for heart conditions but not so good for melatonin secretion?

Since surgery have slept on my back every night but may now start practicing your prescribed ritual while candlegazing. Love candles anyhow and light them every night.

For all of our edificiation: wearing tight garments (waistbands and brassieres, esp) suppress melatonin production.

So let's loosen up, ladies. Might have been more to the bra-burning movement of the sixties than we appreciated!

And sleep in the darkest room possible for maximum melatoni secretion. (Or order a sleep mask online to blot out all light.)

Best,
Rosey

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

Dr. Oz had a segment about sleep and apparently an orange light bulb helps promote sleep = not sure if melatonin is raised but might help raise it.

Just another tidbit to help sleep. I found them on Amazon and will order soon. I'll let you know if it works.

Mary Ann

Tresia23's picture
Tresia23
Posts: 75
Joined: Dec 2010

Hi Rosey, Sorry I made a mistake about position for sleep. It is not left side but right side. I remember this only because in my yoga class it was the same. After savasana we always turned to right side before rising. Cannot find my references as I am not so well at present. My recollection is both from my yoga training and also a sleep workshop I did with Philip Stevens who is a yoga teacher and neurophysiologist in Melbourne Australia. Tratak or candle gazing was a technique I learned from another yoga master Paul Skye who lives in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. He wrote Mastery of Stress an interesting book about reducing workplace stress. You are so right about sleeping in a dark room. I hang a long piece of dark red silk over the top of my window and it blocks the early morning light or moonlight. I can still keep the window open for fresh air though. I enjoy reading your posts. Georgia

I Will Survive
Posts: 27
Joined: Aug 2011

I think all of the information and resources in this thread are fascinating and helpful. My problem with meditation (where someone directs it) is the voice I am hearing. I cannot seem to get "past" that. Any thoughts?

I have room darkening blinds in my room - if I put them down all the way, I would sleep until noon!

Hannah

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