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How to Meditate: A Beginner's Guide
Wellness
Published Tuesday Sep 19, 2017 by Julie Sacks

How to Meditate: A Beginner's Guide

Meditation
Perspective
Personal Growth

Meditation will change your life if you let it.

The pace of our modern life is at least ten times what it was just 10 years ago. Technology improved our lives but also created a more frenetic and stressful pace.

If we decided to stop, breathe, and become more mindful, we would reduce stress and experience much more enjoyment in each moment of our everyday lives.

What is Meditation?

Meditation is the practice of concentrating on a single point of focus, with the goal of releasing tension in the mind. The most popular types of meditation are Vedic meditation, Transcendental Meditation™ (derived from Vedic),  Kundalini, and mindfulness. Though different, all have the same objective: to help you become more present in your life and help alleviate stress.

Schedule Time Every Day

The key word here is practice. We must practice daily, even if it’s just one to five minutes of meditation to start. Then, build up to ten, even 20 minutes.

How to Start Practicing

Start by focusing on your breath to help your body be still and quiet your mind.

1. Turn the ringer off on your phone. (Use your phone as a timer if you need too, but put it face down so you’re not distracted.)

2. Take a moment to stretch, move around, and get comfortable enough to sit for a few minutes.

3. Sit, with your spine straight and your hands on your knees; close your eyes.

4. Focus on your breath as it comes in and out of your body. Breathe deeply through your nose in for five seconds and out for five seconds. Be aware of the cool air coming in and warm air going out of your nostrils.

5. As you breathe in and out, you’ll find your mind may wander, which is fine. When you are aware that your mind has wandered, let any thoughts go and keep your focus on the breath, bringing you back to the present moment.

6. Focus on one thing you would like to improve upon or achieve today, then bring yourself back to a few deep breaths in and out.

7. Start to see yourself manifesting this improvement or achievement. Once you see this clearly, bring yourself back to your breath for a few deep breaths, in and out.

8. Start to move your hands, and feet, stretch and open your eyes.

Right away, you’ll feel more relaxed and calm. The more you practice each day, you will find yourself reacting much less to the outside noise. Your inner calm can help bring you greater happiness, now and in the future.

Julie Sacks
Written by
Julie Sacks
Founder and CEO, Vie
About the author
Julie Sacks is the Founder and CEO of Vie.
Acupuncture Benefits - MINDBODY
Wellness
Published Wednesday Sep 11, 2019 by Amber Scriven

How Acupuncture Can Benefit Your Body

Acupuncture
Recovery
Expert Advice

Acupuncture is extremely beneficial for various ailments ranging from digestion to carpal tunnel, but the level of effectiveness varies from person-to-person. I’ve had Sciatica patients spend months combating their back and leg pain, and others hop off the table in two hours, never needing a follow-up appointment. Some rotator cuffs take six weeks; others take two years. 

Why is this?

While your body's response to acupuncture depends on the complaint or injury, it also depends on your overall health, and how well you take care of the injured site between sessions. If we eat junk food all the time, are inactive, don’t sleep well, or overwork ourselves, then injury is imminent, and recovery is going to be hard. Equally, if we ignore an injury or don't care for it, then we will likely stay injured for longer. 

So, let’s break down what’s best for you when it comes to acupuncture:

 

Acupuncture Benefits - MINDBODY

 

“How often should you get acupuncture with specific ailments?”
This is different for everyone, but here are some general guidelines.

 

More is better.
Acupuncture has cumulative effects, so while most feel relief after one session, it likely will not have resolved the issue. Multiple follow up sessions are needed, and for your own comfort, it’s recommended that you use sessions before the effects have completely worn off each time. 

Every time you receive a session, your relief should be more significant, and the effects should last longer—bringing the injury closer to resolution. With this in mind; the worse the injury, the more frequent you’ll want to receive acupuncture. Several times a week is standard, that way you will get out of discomfort faster, and you’ll need fewer sessions overall.

 

Understanding acute versus chronic ailments.
Some acute symptoms like nausea, dizziness, bleeding, swelling, or anxiety will clear up on the spot. However, for recent injuries pertaining to tissues, like a strained muscle, you can use three acupuncture sessions in one week with great effect. For example, with strained lower back muscles, you will feel less pain in one session, a significant reduction in inflammation and symptoms within three sessions. An ankle sprain is a little more serious and may take two or three weeks, but the general idea is the same.

With stubborn pain, or chronic issues like sciatica, skin rashes, nerve pain, hormone irregularities, it can take a bunch of sessions to see lingering results. Often there will be relief right after each session, but the symptoms return quickly (albeit with a little less vengeance). This just means the results are happening in smaller increments. For this reason, your practitioner will tell you to come in over three times a week for two or three weeks so you’ll get more relief faster, but you can space the sessions out as you begin to feel better. 

 

Acupuncture Benefits - MINDBODY

 

“What can I do to make my acupuncture benefits bigger?”
As mentioned, how you care for yourself between sessions makes a big difference. Here’s a few pro tips.

 

Immediate aftercare.
Your practitioner will give you specific directions they want you to follow for your ailment, but generally, after an acupuncture visit, it is wise to drink a lot of water and rest. 

 

Between sessions. 
Here’s the obvious thing we don’t often consider. If you get instant relief for your pulled hamstring, but then you go running the next day, it’s going to take forever to heal! That injured body part needs to be pampered and catered to. Your acupuncturist will give you food, supplement, lifestyle, and movement suggestions to use between sessions– use them all. 

I’ve seen countless patients walk in with frozen shoulder, spend 90 minutes in the chair with various points and stimulation techniques, and then leave swinging their arm painlessly with 50% more range of motion. If they eat well, do their physical therapy, and are kind to their shoulders, the effects will last. Then, next time, we can add another 50% on to their range of motionBut, if they paint a house or swing a baseball, then I see them go right back to square one overnight. How we take care of ourselves between sessions really matters.

 

Share everything. 
You will want to note any changes; no matter how small or irrelevant they seem. Your practitioner is armed with many protocols and techniques. They will always start with the combo that they’ve seen work best for your complaint, from there they will work backward or tweak it slightly based on the information you give them. Make sure to tell them every detail, even if it seems unrelated.  

One lady, with unrelenting pain, finally revealed a game-changing nugget to me while nonchalantly laughing about her need to wear neck scarves everywhere. I found out she had been experiencing chills and had a significant aversion to wind during the summer. This “irrelevant” snippet made me radically change the protocol, and she was pain-free and healing rapidly within four sessions.


So, there you have it. How acupuncture benefits various body parts depends on the area concerned, but also on how we treat our bodies before, during, and after injury. 


Want to try acupuncture, or another wellness service? Download the MINDBODY app to book something new! 
 

Amber Scriven Acupuncturist
Written by
Amber Scriven
Acupuncturist | Yoga Teacher
About the author
A busy acupuncturist, yoga teacher and trainer, Amber has actively worked in the wellness industry for over 10 years. For her, yoga is a form of health care that she uses alongside acupuncture in the form of retreats, injury rehabilitation, and pain relief. Amber is renowned for building emotional strength while cultivating physical health.