Melanoma and Meditation
In the past 50 years, the health benefits of meditation have been well studied and documented in the West. In fact, some studies suggest that when you are meditating you are actually in deeper relaxation than when you are fast asleep. Meditation can become even more powerful when you combine it with other therapies like positive thinking and visualization – it can make those techniques even more powerful.
Effect of Meditation on Melanoma
The ability for meditation to help patients reduce stress and find peace around their condition makes this a wonderful Melanoma treatment.
Research Evidence on Meditation
Herbert Benson, a professor at Harvard Medical School, documents a significant “relaxation response” after studying the effects of meditation on the body. The research of R Kieth Wallace at UCLA demonstrates that the state of rest and relaxation when meditating is actually deeper than deep sleep. Most importantly, meditation has been shown to have a positive effect on fighting cancer. For example, Dr. Ainslie Meares, an Australia psychologist performed a study on 73 patients who were fighting cancer, and found that there was a positive effect on slowing tumor growth, and that in many people it reduced stress, tension and depression.1
How to Use Meditation
There are a variety of meditation techniques used today. The Chinese, who originated many of the meditative techniques, describe meditation in simple terms as “sitting still, doing nothing” or “mental fasting.” The basic idea is to clear your mind of all of thoughts and give your conscious mind a rest. By doing this, we begin to be able to train the two aspects of our temporal mind that govern our lives: emotion and intent(1). Here are some of the many techniques used for meditation. Keep in mind that you may find that one type of meditation works better than another for you. So feel free to try a few of them until you find the one that fits best:
- Transcendental Meditation – This is probably one of, if not the, most popular and well studied form of mediation.
- Concentrative Meditation – The most simple form of meditation. You sit in a relaxed pose and clear your mind of all thoughts. You then focus on your breath: in – and - out. You keep focusing on your breath until all you are thinking about is the air coming in and going out.
- Mindfulness Meditation – This is, in some ways, the opposite of Concentrative Meditation because rather than focusing on just one thing, you focus on everything – all of the thoughts, feelings, sensations, sounds, etc. that pass through your mind. In this form, you sit in a comfortable position, in a quiet spot, and witness all of the thoughts passing through your mind. The goal is to not react to, think about, or become stuck on any of them. Rather, you would simply become aware of them as they pass through.
(1) Meditation, Transcendental Meditation – Mind Body Therapy and Alternative Therapy