Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Good News!

A lot of people have chronic disorders, including movement disorders (that's me), chronic pain and other conditions for which traditional treatments (i.e., drugs) are either not effective or can cause side effects as bad or worse than the condition for which they are taken (that's me again).

Meditation may be one effective alternative, as reported by Jonah Lehrer. He reports on a study at Wake Forest University in which, after only a few days of meditation training - teaching people to better focus their attention, concentrating less on their discomfort and more on a soothing stimulus - subjects reported a 57% reduction in the "unplesantness" of their pain, roughly equivalent to the use of morphine.

A couple of years ago, I learned how to meditate using Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. It's been a huge help to me in dealing with both the chronic discomfort caused by my spasms and shaking but also in moderating those symptoms.

This has been a great lesson in understanding how much power we have to heal ourselves.

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