Body Scan Meditation for Eating Disorders.

September 24, 2012 – 3:38 am

Body Scan Meditation includes going into a deep meditative state and scan your body while meditating. This kind of meditation not only slows down your brain waves, it also helps your brain to produce Oxytocin which is hormone of love and bonding .

Eating disorder sufferers don’t have enough of this hormone produced and that is why they have so much problems with love and bonding.

Now, how to do this meditation?

Make sure that you are not driving, not walking and not operate any machinery as we are going to go deep into a meditative state.

The purpose of this meditation is certainly not just to relax. The purpose is to know your body, to develop body awareness and awareness of your own thoughts and the mind. An equanimity, which is a term that means balance of the mind, composure, equilibrium. It means not reacting with either craving for what is pleasant ( food), or aversion for what is not pleasant. It means a form of acceptance, unconditional acceptance.

It is not a way of getting rid of unpleasant sensations. It is not a way of attracting pleasant sensations or pleasant experiences. It is a way of learning to accept whatever is there and get on with life. Relaxation becomes a byproduct of that, because when acceptance is increased, you relax.

Start by focusing all your attention to your nostrils, and look at the incoming and outgoing breath, as it comes in, as it goes out. Do not judge whether this moment is pleasant or unpleasant. Learn to be balanced, not reactive, neutral.

Move your attention to the top of your head and see whatever sensation you feel over there. You may not feel any sensation yet. Certainly you will not feel the subtle ones. There are millions of sensations on top of your head that your mind hasn’t been sharpened enough to feel. In time this will come if you persevere. For now, you may feel perhaps some gross sensations, itching, ants crawling, pressure, temperature of some type. Anything, or maybe you’ll feel nothing. It doesn’t matter. It is still an experience. Not feeling anything is still an experience, therefore you just observe, no reaction.

If any thought overpowers you, maybe a recurring thought, then go back to the awareness of breathing in and breathing out for a few seconds, even half a minute if you can. If it’s still overpowering, breathe slightly harder. Not too hard, slightly harder. We don’t want you to hyperventilate. And then as soon as you are aware of the breathing again, the thought is gone, then start slowing down the breathing. And again, when you can slow down the breathing and you feel relaxed again, go back to the sensation where you left and continue scanning the entire scalp area. And then move to the forehead and survey the entire forehead area.

Survey the eyebrows. Start with one, continue with the other. Move down to the nose. Look at any sensation on the nose. Move further down to the mouth. Survey the lips, any sensations in your lips. Look at the tongue, any sensation on the tongue. Of course your mouth is closed, or the lips gently parted, but you are breathing through the nose. Look at the chin, any sensation on your chin. Move up to the left cheek, and then move aside to the right cheek.

If you have any sensation, don’t get attached to it in any way, just move further. Move up to the left ear, and move aside to the right ear. Now survey the throat area, any sensation in the throat area. It can be anything, pain, strain, tingling sensation, itching sensation, pulling, throbbing, sweating. Any sensation is a sensation, it is an experience. Just observe.

Keep moving. When you finish surveying the throat area, survey the entire neck area and move to the left shoulder. In fact, you could start by any shoulder as long as you keep the same order all the time.

Survey the entire left arm and left elbow. Patiently and calmly survey the entire left wrist and left hand. Then go up to the right shoulder.

Move down to the right arm, and the right elbow. Move to the right forearm, and down to the right wrist and the right hand. Then move up to the upper chest area, the upper chest. Piece by piece. Then move down, piece by piece, survey the entire thorax and abdomen area.

If you feel your heartbeat and you interpret it such as that, then you are not looking simply at sensations. You are interpreting the sensations. Try to remain with the task of pure observation, no evaluation, no interpretation. Just observation.

Then move up to the upper back area and look at any sensation you may find in your upper back area. Very calmly, equanimously. And move down to the lower back area. Try not to get caught in your thoughts. As soon as you think something, quickly go back to the awareness of any sensation you were looking at, and move further. Maybe you haven’t felt a sensation for some time, so the mind is bored.

Now keep moving down to the buttocks and survey the entire buttocks area. Start with the left, and once this is surveyed, then move to the right buttock. Move down to the left thigh and survey the entire thigh down to the left knee. Then move down to the left leg.

Even though there may be gross sensations like pain perhaps, or pressure, tension, be very still accepting every experience. Within the worst and most painful sensation, if you come across any today or another day, you will find that if you are very very still, there is an underlying current inside that sensation. An underlying sensation, a flow of very tiny little sensations running through.

Go down now to the left ankle, until you survey the entire left foot. Now go up to the right thigh and survey the entire right thigh, part by part. Keep moving, down to the right knee. The right ankle and the right foot.

You have now surveyed the entire body from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. Now start from the tip of your toes and go up back to the top of your head. Start from the left foot and move up to the left thigh. And then the right foot, move up to the right thigh. Then survey the buttocks, and the lower back. The upper back, and then the lower abdomen. The entire abdomen and chest. From the upper chest go up to the throat. And from the left hand go up to the left shoulder. From the right hand then, go up to the right shoulder. Survey then the entire neck area, and then the face, part by part, and the entire scalp area.

Scan your body entirely, as long as you can give it time. As you will practice correctly, your mind will become increasingly detached at the deepest level, at the level of body sensations. Remember, the most important thing is that all sensations and all thoughts are temporaryby nature. The impression that they remain is because we react to them, we reinforce them. Reacting to it is only increasing reinforcement and conditioning in daily life.

What you do during this training will be reflected in your daily life. It is a very effective technique. Watch that as you practice, of course you will react, but watch that you react less and less, and the results are surprising.

More about meditation for eating disorders go to http://meditation-sensation.com/

Mindfulness of Breath or Mindful Breathing for Eating Disorder sufferers.

September 21, 2012 – 3:44 am

Mindful breathing originates from Buddhism and it has been taught for centuries. In fact it is one of the major principles of Buddhism and you must learn it first of all in order to be a Buddhist.

We need to learn mindful breathing to be able to control our body and mind as well as our cravings, urges and feelings. When people have eating disorders they don’t breathe properly: their breathing is usually shallow, erratic, superficial, sometimes difficult. How often have you been out of breath – just for no reason at all? How often have you been unable to take a deep breath although you felt like you need one?

Breathing is a vital body function and therefore mindful breathing is an important part of your recovery from an eating disorder.

Now, I ask you to sit in a chair comfortably, or cross-legged on the floor –whatever you like the best. Relax and be mindful. This means you should focus all your attention to your breathing without judgment and reactivity. Just a word of judgment will slow down the healing process significantly, so don’t judge, don’t react. Just surrender.

This set of exercises teaches you to concentrate your attention on your breath without stretching any muscles. This what we call – mindfulness of breathing.

Mindfulness of breathing will make you relax without any stretch, wherever you are, at home, at work, alone, even in bed. Being able to observe the breath and have a degree of control over our reactivity, or perhaps attitude towards the breath is important in the sense that we are starting to learn self control, not just relaxation.

This set of exercises will also help in developing a degree of concentration in your mind. Often our mind is busy, stressed, obsessive, where we repeat over and over negative thoughts, unhelpful thoughts. This exercise will help you focus and remain focused.

Make sure you sit comfortably, in a chair which keeps your back straight, and this time your neck must also be kept straight. Neck straight, back straight, comfortable seated. Focus all your attention at the entrance of your nostrils and be aware of the breath coming in, going out. Simple breath, only breath, your own breath.

Feel the air you breathing – it may feel warm or cold. Just feel it without judging and be simply aware that the air is flowing continuously at the entrance of your nostrils. Notice if it comes more through the right or left nostril, if it deep or shallow, fast or slow.

When you are aware of the incoming and outgoing breath, there is no past or future. You are in the present moment, from moment to moment. Time almost doesn’t exist.

It is not often that your brain is in the present moment. Your mind wanders: in the past, in the future, in other dreams or fantasies but very rarely stays in the present moment. There are reasons for which this occurs. There are parts of the brain which are constantly activated by habit or because there’s a memory that is more or less stressful or emotional. The strength of this activation in the brain is such that we tend to repeat the thought or the memory. And because of this repetition, these pathways in the brain are activated and the thoughts related to these pathways keep intruding. They keep intruding over, and over, and over again, until you stop nurturing them by not thinking them.

Try just observe what is, rather than thinking of what is. Don’t count “One, two, One, two.” Or “In, out, in out…”,. It can actually make you forget about the breath. It can put you right in the mode of thinking, not just observing.

Learn about your own mind by focusing on your breath, from moment to moment, without judging, evaluating, or reacting to the experience. Keep practicing.
For more info about meditation for eating disorders go to http://meditation-sensation.com/