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Blog: On Health. On Writing. On Life. On Everything.

Five-Minutes Meditation

December 18, 2010

Tags: order, aches, anger, anxiety, boredom, breathing, egg timer, emotions, energy, fears, Five-Minutes Meditation, holiday stress, high blood pressure, insomnia, itches, jealousy, meditation, Kabat-Zinn – Jon, listlessness, pain, pain killers, procrastination, purpose, sadness, sleeplessness, stress, stress reliever

This is the height of holiday stress. Here a fast stress reliever:

• Choose a quiet corner
• Turn egg timer on 5 minutes
• Sit with crossed legs on the floor on a cushion; or on a chair
• Keep your back straight - let the top of your head touch Heavens
• Hands: palms-up and open on your knees
• Closed eyes
• Breathe in and out slowly – always start with exhaling (counting regularly might help the beginner)
• Do not move at all except keeping your back straight
• Empty your brain from thoughts and outside disturbances
• Pay attention to your sensations: breathing, aches, itches, fears, etc.:
• Let them happen.
• Stop when the clock rings
• Go on with your day with renewed energy and purpose.

The Five-Minutes Meditation is useful when
• you are stressed out
• your emotions overwhelm you (anger, sadness, anxiety, jealousy, etc.)
• you are tempted to binge out on food (perfect to do before each meal in obesity, for instance)
• you suffer with sleeplessness - just do it before retiring to bed
• you are listless and bored and procrastinating
• you have high blood pressure
• you have pains - instead of taking pills

For really learning to meditate, there are good programs, groups, and courses available.
Do not attempt to increase the time above 5 minutes.


Citation
"Meditation is not about feeling a certain way. It's about feeling the way you feel. It's not about making the mind empty or still, although stillness does deepen in meditation and can be cultivated systematically. Above all, meditation is about letting the mind be as it is and knowing something about how it is in this moment. It's not about getting somewhere else, but allowing yourself to be where you already are. If you don't understand this, you will think you are constitutionally unable to meditate. But that's just more thinking and, in this case, incorrect thinking at that."
"But to stay at it for even five minutes requires intentionality. To make it part of your life requires some discipline. " (From: Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are).

Aches and Pains

May 11, 2010

Tags: food, aches, Aches and Pains, allergy, anti-inflammatory, apple, banana, blond hair, blue eyes, bursitis, celiac disease (see: gluten), corn, dairy, eggplant, fasciitis, fish oil, food allergy, food intolerance, food sensitivities, garlic, gluten, gluten enteropathy, inflammation, itis, joint pains, milk products, milk, nightshades, nuts, olive oil, pain, peanut, peppers, phlebitis, phyto-nutrients, potato, probiotic, red hair, rosemary, shrimp, sprue (see: gluten), arthritis, tendinitis, tomato, turmeric, Zyflamend

In my twenties doctors had different explanations about the weird aches and pains I complained of. They were either from aging (in my twenties!!), or they were all in my head, or – poor redheads all over the world! – it was just that redheads had lower pain thresholds.

Research meanwhile has confirmed that redheads have actually higher pain thresholds. Besides, I had a whopping but unrecognized case of gluten intolerance, probably since birth. Took me many years to figure it out.

You, too, might have gluten intolerance. Estimates go that one of one-hundred-five people has, most of them not yet diagnosed. Most of them are blond and blue-eyed – but not all of them (otherwise the diagnosis would be easy!).

Of course, aches and pains can have other causes than celiac disease (another word for gluten intolerance; as is non-tropical sprue). But food is often the culprit - dairy, in my opinion, the worst since it is highly inflammatory (besides fattening). If you have arthritis, tendinitis, bursitis, fasciitis – or any “…itis" in your body, leave out milk and milk products for at least a month, and see if you get better.

Other suspicious foods are nuts (which, on the other hand, are very wholesome if you can tolerate them), nightshades (tomato, potato, eggplant, bell and hot peppers). Food additives can give bad reactions (and should not be in your food in the first place). Food intolerances can be very individual – for some it is an innocuous apple, for others shrimp or peanut or banana. By keeping a food journal you might find out – or help your doctor to find out.

Finding the cause and avoiding the offender, is the first step. On top of it, there are many herbs that reduce inflammation, like turmeric, garlic, rosemary. In fact, so many plants contain inflammation-dousing phyto-nutrients that eating more vegetables and herbs already might give you relief. If you want an herbal preparation, I usually recommend Zyflamend (be sure you have no allergy to any individual herb in there).

A good fish oil (you should not burp up fish!) has excellent anti-inflammatory action. As does olive-oil (unheated) in your salads. And lastly, a good probiotic, to quench the fire in your belly: Most inflammation originates in an inflamed bowel.
Aspen eyes, by Peggy Peters

Iguazu Falls, by Xin Liu

Alexa Fleckenstein M.D. 2012, by Lolita Parker jr.

Tags - see also the non-captalized entries below!