Hi, Welcome!

The community is a safe space for people living with and connected to arthritis to ask questions and share experiences. Get started by registering here and posting your first comment or question!

Sign In with a Versus Arthritis account

Help us improve our website, chatbot and online community
We’d love your help to improve our digital services. It’s important to us that our website, chatbot and online community continue to support and provide information people with arthritis in the right way. We’re excited to be doing research to understand more about what’s working for you and what’s not so we can continue to improve what we’re doing.
You don’t need to be familiar with our digital services or a digital native to take part. The research will take one hour and will be run by a research consultancy SnapOut. Simply fill in the survey below to get involved. Together, we can continue to do more for people living with arthritis.

Fill in this survey to take part

Relaxation via meditation

stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,968 ✭✭
edited 6. May 2014, 03:16 in Living with Arthritis archive
Does it work for you? It really doesn't for me.

Earlier this week I was trialling a course which involved it. I brewed up in advance before switching on and realising I was supposed to give this tape my whole, undivided attention. I guess ideally I'd have left my lovely, big, relaxing cuppa to go cold but it was my last chance to get one and not need the loo while out that evening with friends. It's important not to need the loo if you can't access it :lol: So, it stayed.
I pressed the start button and the musak began. It did little other than irritate me. (Prior to starting I'd been listening to Vaughan Williams' Lark Ascending. Much more relaxing.) Then the voiceover, deliberately slow, equally irritating, joined in. I did my best to comply.

I closed my eyes and breathed in deeply as requested and breathed out all that was on my mind. Then I was told to breathe slowly in and out (Sorry, in...........and.........out), breathing out all the things on my mind, one per breath. Hang on a minute! I'd just done that. Should I breathe 'em back in so's I could breathe them out individually? Oh bilhooks! I breathe out the irritating woman only to find I must have breathed her back in again as she's still droning on.

Now I'm in a supposed hallway (after a quick swig of tea to relax me) with a marble floor and stone walls. (I'm sure I shouldn't be puzzling over this rather odd combination :? ) There is, it seems, a door with my name over it so, as bidden, I go out of the door and onto the beach which I'm told is outside it. In my mind it's my beloved Venice Beach of course. (I'm getting into this now.) I'm told to make for the palm trees so I do. I well know the little circle of palms just up from Muscle Beach and the loos, opposite the 'Medicinal Marijuana' booth. I stand slightly sideways on, with most of my back to the boardwalk and gaze out to sea as directed and see the beautiful, blue Santa Monica Mountains to the right. Utter perfection. I am relaxed as I always am here.

Now I'm told to walk round my island. Island? It's not a blinking island, woman! It's Venice Beach. It's vast, empty sand, sea, sky and mountains if I turn one way and all the wonderful contrasting bustle of the boardwalk the other. There's no island. Who wants an island?

I'm told there's a bottle in the sea and I should pick it up. “I can't bend that far” seems unacceptably truculent (albeit true) so I take another swig of tea and pretend. What's in it? Hm. Ardbeg would be nice. Or Chenin Blanc. But no. I'm told it's just your typical message in a bottle and in a language I don't understand, to boot. Great. Very relaxing :roll:

I now, apparently, see footprints in the sand. Are these mine, I'm asked, then told they are. Oh no they're not :o because these are straight and normal and mine are most emphatically not.

I'm to return to the door. The voiceover woman hasn't noticed the boardwalk so I guess I'm supposed to ignore it. We go into reverse and the musak starts up again while the irritatingly slow voice continues. I finish my rather cold cuppa while they do their thing.

This just isn't my thing at all. I presume some people must find it helpful or it wouldn't be so popular, in all sorts of forms, for all sorts of people but, as for me, I get straight back to Classic FM and Yorkshire CCC's progress on Cricinfo. Now that's relaxing :D:D:D
“There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken

Comments

  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I agree with you on this: we have to find our personal ways of relaxing etc. and these fake things don't cut the mustard for yours truly in any way, shape or form. My idea of paradise would be another's view of sheer hell (it's a bit like pain, one man's hell is another's mild twinge) but an unknown female voice droning on at my inappropriate moments won't work for me (and neither would an unknown male voice) because I prefer mine listening to mine. :wink: DD

    PS I thought your title said 'mediation' - wrong specs. :oops:
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • barbara12barbara12 Posts: 20,777
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hee SW I was nearly there with you on that beach..never mind they don't work I think you should make a tape of your own...mind you I now need the loo...
    Love
    Barbara
  • Boomer13Boomer13 Posts: 1,931
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I don't find those relaxation tapes very helpful, but the mindfulness meditation tapes geared specifically to chronic pain are. It takes some dedicated practice and discipline to see results. Not really pain relief, but helpful in dealing with it long term.
  • hileena111hileena111 Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi
    I've tried those {what I would call visualisation tapes} on a tape and also with a person doing it. {actually in the room with a group}
    Didn't work for me :(
    Relaxation tapes......where someone is speaking but it is relaxing you from head to toe.....Reminding you to check the tension in your body.....{surprising how tight you can get and not realise it}.......That works but does need you to do it every day for a few minutes to get used to it.......At the moment it doesn't take the pain away {I wish :lol: } but I do feel a lot better after it.
    As for the visualisation......nope....doesn't work for me but it must work for a lot of people. As DD said you have to find your own way.
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,968 ✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    DD - mediation, eh? You mean someone to bargain with the arthritis on our behalf? I think this could have legs - which is more than can be said for many of us :wink:
    Barbara[/b - am I to blame? Should I market myself as a diuretic?
    Anna – interesting that some are geared towards pain
    Hileena – the body tension remark reminded me of my first pregnancy classes (Didn't realise my memory was that good) where we were told to go through the body systematically tensing then relaxing the muscles. It made me realise how tense one could be while thinking one was relaxed.

    Whoops. Got the bold all wrong. Sorry :oops:
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • bubbadogbubbadog Posts: 5,852
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sticky, I don't use those tapes, I have to TRY! and meditate 30-60 minutes a day to try and keep calm and relaxed because of my Epilepsy. I use my bedroom or the conservatory depending on the weather. I shut the door so I don't have any disturbances sit in the middle of the bed close my eyes and block out the noises around me and meditate. It does help especially if I've had a rubbish day.
  • FionaPFionaP Posts: 39
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi all,

    I'm quite new here so very interested in all things 'relaxation' etc. I have been having hypnotherapy for relaxation and then we moved on to pain relief. It has helped hugely, although, I must say when things are particularly bad it's harder to get into.
    I would highly recommend it though.
    I am also working on mindfulness which I find to be a peaceful experince and sometimes quite moving too.

    X
    Fi
    x
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,968 ✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks bubbadog and FionaP.

    I am genuinely interested in whether or not people find these things helpful and, as I said, I know some must because of their widespread use. To my way of thinking, anything that helps that isn't meds-related has to be good.

    I think I'm just too much of a control freak - except when watching cricket and listening to music :wink:
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • FionaPFionaP Posts: 39
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Lol stickywicket, I too used to be a control freak when it comes to my life. I am slowly, very slowly, learning to let go.

    I also use GoPo rosehip, it's naturally and has really made a difference to my everyday aches and pains in my joints. I would say it makes as much difference as the Naproxen. You can get it on Amazon too.

    X
    Fi
    x
  • appleroseapplerose Posts: 3,619
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sticky, you do tell a good tale. Always have me giggling. I've tried meditating a few times but the tapes annoy me so I make sure I won't be disturbed and sit quietly. I read somewhere that it's not necessary to completely clear your mind but to let things pass through without dwelling too long. I find that's easier than madly trying to push things out. I concentrate on going to my own happy place rather than one some voice tell me to go to.
    Christine
  • daffy2daffy2 Posts: 1,713
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    An object to focus on can be helpful. Many years ago I attended classes with an excellent yoga teacher who recognised that there wasn't a 'one size fits all' for relaxing the mind and body so would try different things.Sometimes she would bring in a beautiful rose bloom, or a lovely irridescent green vase and we would sit round quietly in a circle and just gaze at it while we waited for our brains to slow down and settle. In winter with the dark evenings she would light a candle and put out most of the lights, which I think everyone liked. I always preferred these sessions as I didn't like the 'talking' relaxation techniques - like some of you I found they made me think(argue!) too much and the speed never seemed right.
  • Boomer13Boomer13 Posts: 1,931
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have an aquarium that my OH maintains for me. It's the most calming, de-stressing thing, watching the fish and the water. I love it, I couldn't do the maintenance though.

    Listening to mindfulness meditation cd's is a good starting place if you're new to meditating (can get the ones specific to helping people with chronic pain online) After listening a few times I just practiced on my own. I did it diligently for awhile last year when I just couldn't stand the pain any longer. I got really frustrated and thought it wasn't helping so I stopped, that's when I saw the benefits. I could calm myself down more easily and focus better. I think I manage to do things despite the pain now rather than let it stop me. I don't practice enough as much as I should :roll:
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,968 ✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm rather surprised, and pleased, that so many people have such varied suggestions on this topic. It seems to be that the basic, and very wise, consensus is to relax how you can, not how you can't :wink: but that relaxation is an important part of our coping strategies.

    Anna, I quite agree about the fish tank. A friend's daughter had a massive one that took up half a wall. People would have conversations while gazing, mesmerised, at the fish. It was immensely absorbing and relaxing. However, like you, I struggled with our one goldfish :roll: These things are so much more relaxing when someone else does the spadework :lol:
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Bumped for Slosh. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
Sign In or Register to comment.