Mindfulness Meditation for your Mind and Body (Anoka Acupuncture Pain and Women’s Health)
Why You Should Practice Mindfulness Meditation Every Day
- It’s Free!
- Reduce Stress
- Ease Chronic Pain
- Lower Anxiety
- May Lower Blood Pressure
- May Help with PTSD and Depression
What is the Point of Mindfulness Meditation?
The point of mindfulness (or Vipassana) meditation is to get to a point in your practice where see things as they really are. Add to this a positive side effect of becoming better able to handle stress. You become better able to handle stress in your life-both general, every day little stresses and the BIG kahuna stresses like losing one’s job, deaths, divorce, (you get the idea).
You become more calm. Waves in life that once knocked you down and held you down, no longer have that hold over you. You find yourself dusting yourself off calmly and standing back up. It’s not that the waves (stress) stop hammering us in our lives. Stressful situations are always going to hammer away. Tragedy strikes…We feel the loss… We are human…but we do not stay in that place unable to escape. It is healthy to acknowledge our fear, our loss, our human-ness. It is not healthy to stay in a state of constant up and down or constant state of up (anxiety) or in a constant state of down (depression)-of fear, anxiety and depression. Staying in these states too long creates un-ease which leads to dis-ease.
Meditation can decrease emotional reactivity by increasing self observation. Essentially, Mindfulness Meditation can help us lighten up, stop trying to control ourselves, others and everything else- opening us up to really be present in as many moments possible and, hopefully to enjoy the journey.
There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass.
She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly.
Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.”
~ Pema Chodron, The Wisdom of No Escape: And the Path of Loving-Kindness
Methods of Mindfulness Meditation
There are many ways to practice daily Mindfulness Meditation. One way is to focus on the breath. There are various counts used in breath-focused meditations. Many use higher numbers and include how long to hold one’s breath in between the in-breath and out-breath. These can prove useful to you once you have become accustomed to the daily practice. For now, let’s just focus on the breath with a 1-2 count…
Focus on The Breath (1-2 count) Meditation
One of my favorites is very Easy to do. Just simply focus on your breath. It involves simply counting from 1-2. Easy…
Count to “1” on the in-breath. Then Repeat “1” on the out-breath.
Count to “2” on the next in-breath. Repeat “2” again on the out-breath.
Easy… If you forget which number you were on, just start again at “1.”
Another mindfulness meditation method I like is called the “Body Scan.” The point of the Body Scan is to check-in with your body to feel where in your body you are holding the tension caused by stress. It could be your jaw, your chest or your stomach. This is best done lying down…
Body Scan Meditation
Jon Kabat-Zinn offers us a marvelous body scan meditation on Youtube.com…Again, it’s free. He has many other free mindfulness meditations there, as well.
Jon Kabat-Zinn – American professor emeritus of medicine and creator of Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. I like the way he guides you through the process of mindfulness (Vipassana) meditation (before you give up too soon). He has written many books and cd’s on Mindfulness Meditation and guided meditations in mindfulness.
Some of my favorite books by Jon Kabat-Zinn include:
- Mindfulness For Beginners
- Wherever Your Go, There You Are
- Full Catastrophe Living
- Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting
Ani Pema Chodron – Buddhist nun who has written many lovely books on mindfulness meditation, including guided meditations on mindfulness. I love the way she uses her own personal experiences in her life as well as stories from others to illustrate the lessons of mindfulness (Vipassana) meditation! You may consider her one of your mentors, as I do.
Some of my favorite books by Ani Pema Chodron include:
- Awakening Loving Kindness
- Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better: Wise Advice for Leaning Into the Unknown
- Start Where You Are
- The Places That Scare You
- When Things Fall Apart
Tara Brach – Psychologist , teacher and founder of Insight Meditation Community of Washington D.C. Focuses on Mindfulness (Vipassana) Meditation.
My favorite books by Tara Brach include:
- Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of the Buddha
- True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart
- “Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves” by Sharon Begley
- “The Power of Now” and “Stillness Speaks” by Eckhart Tolle
- The Miracle of Mindfulness, by Thich Nhat Hanh
The book, “Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves” by Begly, uses brain images done by Western Neuroscientists to prove to us in the Western world, what the Buddhist monks from the East have known for thousands of years about the actual extent of human brain malleability (brain plasticity)!
Ever since hearing about this book while listening to NPR, and of course reading it myself, I have recommended it and keep buying it and giving it away-it is that good.
The book, “The Miracle of Mindfulness” by Thich Nhat Hanh, is great to keep us honest about how present we can actually remain from moment to moment, in all the real moments which make up our life. Simple, yet effective teaching method.
The books “The Power of Now” and “Stillness Speaks” by Eckhart Tolle offer constant reminders of how and why to stay in the now (remain in the present). “Stillness Speaks” has more of an impact on me when listened to via audio format, perhaps due to the longer pauses he purposely takes between ideas.
In the past I held a free, guided mindfulness meditation class on Monday nights here at the Acupuncture clinic in Anoka and may do so again if enough interest is there within the community. For now, Amazon, Youtube and your public library are great ways to get your hands on some mindfulness resources in order to start you mindfulness meditation journey!
What Have You Got to Lose?
Try Mindfulness Meditation- It’s Free!
Thanks for reading!
Written by Aleesha Ackerman, LAc
Aleesha Ackerman is a certified and state licensed acupuncturist with a Master’s degree in acupuncture. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree from Hamline University. Aleesha owns and operates Aleesha D Acupuncture clinic for Pain and Women’s Health in Anoka, MN.
She became interested in acupuncture and holistic medicine when acupuncture cured her of debilitating migraine pain after an auto collision with a semi-truck. Aleesha specializes in treating acute and chronic pain and Women’s Health. Women come to her everyday with issues such as hot flashes, mood imbalance and low energy. Read more about Aleesha and what she specializes in Here.
Patients at Aleesha D Acupuncture report feeling cared for, listened to and are happy to get the much-needed pain and stress relief from their treatments!
Why wait? Start Your Relief Today- contact Aleesha D Acupuncture in Anoka today to schedule your acupuncture appointment!
Feel Better, Move Forward
Aleesha D Acupuncture is located in historic downtown Anoka at 207 East Main Street just off Highway 10 with free lots, ramps and street parking.
This article is not intended to replace any health care. No information on this site should be relied on to determine medical diagnosis or treatment for a medical condition. As with any health concerns, always be sure to consult your health care provider with any health concerns.
Licensed Acupuncturist in Anoka Serving Andover, Anoka, Big Lake, Champlin, Circle Pines, Columbus, Coon Rapids, Dayton, East Bethel, Elk River, Forest Lake, Fridley, Ham Lake, Isanti, Lino Lakes, Maple Grove, Minneapolis, Now Then, Oak Grove, Osseo, Ostego, Ramsey, Saint Francis, Saint Paul, Shoreview, Spring Lake Park, Vadnais Heights and White Bear Lake.
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