You can ease your chronic pain, lower high blood pressure, reduce anxiety and even drop levels of stress hormones through a simple step. Best of all, it doesn’t cost anything. All you have to do is think — or maybe stop thinking so hard.
The key is meditation.
There are lots of forms of meditation: tai chi and qi gong are meditative, and some people relax by repeating words or phrases, called mantras. Although some forms started as part of Eastern religions, meditation itself is not a religion – and many people use it just to boost their well-being.
Particularly popular among cancer patients is mindfulness meditation. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, research shows that doing this regularly can improve quality of life.
In one study, cancer patients practiced mindfulness meditation for seven weeks. Nearly a third had fewer stress symptoms and nearly two thirds experienced fewer mood disturbances than patients who didn’t meditate.
City of Hope’s Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center offers meditation classes for patients throughout the year. Interested? Call 626-256-4673, ext. 32273 (3CARE), or email them to reserve a spot.
In the meantime, check out this video for a quick look at some of the techniques.