Many paths to meditation
Many styles of meditation have developed over thousands of years.
Experiment to find which style works best for you.
Guided meditation is sometimes referred to as guided imagery
or visualization. In this kind of meditation, a person forms mental
images of places and situations that relax them, sometimes with the
help of a teacher or guide.
Mantra meditation involves repeating a word or phrase, silently
or aloud, to ward off distracting or anxiety-provoking thoughts, and
to achieve stillness. This may include a technique commonly known
as transcendental meditation.
Mindfulness meditation means a person increases awareness
and focuses on living in the moment. Practitioners center on what
they experience during their sessions, sometimes by focusing
attention on their breathing.
Movement meditation teaches a practitioner to focus on
breathing while performing slow, fluid movements. Movement
meditation can be as simple as walking, but may also include
techniques from yoga, tai chi and qi gong.
Finding the right method can
be a task, but Dr. Foley says
physicians can help recommend
something that matches a
person’s symptoms. For instance,
someone with cognitive
impairments may be matched
with a form of meditation that
doesn’t require concentrating
for long periods of time. Other
symptoms, such as anxiety,
could respond to mindfulness-based forms of meditation.
Once a person with MS
settles on a technique, it’s
important to start off with a
good dose of patience. Most
people teaching meditation
recommend starting with a few
minutes a day and working up
to 20 to 45 minutes a day.
Nathan Solheim is a freelance writer
and editor in Denver.