Meditation therapy is a healing technique that can provide both emotional and physical benefits. The goal of meditation therapy is to induce a state of relaxation. During meditation, the mind is quieted, and this can make it possible for a person to receive insights about situations that may be causing anxiety. Meditation can induce a state of relaxation so profound that it can even help manage pain. This type of therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for stress, headaches, premenstrual syndrome, depression, impotence, and many other conditions.
There are various methods to quiet the mind for meditation therapy. During the first appointment, the meditation therapist will typically interview the client to determine which method will be the most effective. One technique is to stare at an object, such as a candle, while trying to clear the mind of everything else. Another method is to try and empty the mind of all thought.
The meditation therapist can gear the style of meditation to the needs of the individual. A client who wants help dealing with a physical problem may be encouraged during a meditation therapy session to visualize a healing energy permeating the body at the cellular level. People who are experiencing a lot of stress may be asked to imagine themselves floating on the ocean, feeling their bodies gently bob up and down with the waves.
Guided imagery is a popular meditation therapy technique. The meditation therapist either reads a script or plays a tape that encourages the client to relax using visualization. Sometimes the client is asked to create a sacred space of his or her own choosing within the mind. At other times the guided imagery will lead the person through predetermined steps. For example, the client may be guided to walk down into a cave or to ascend a holy mountain, becoming more relaxed with each step.
Deep breathing is an important part of many meditation techniques. In today’s busy world, most people only engage in shallow breathing, which limits their amount of oxygen intake and can contribute to stress. While concentrating on breathing deeply, the usual mind chatter about problems at work, difficulties in relationships, and health concerns will fall by the wayside, helping promote relaxation. Meditation and conscious breathing have played an important role in the spiritual practices of various cultures throughout the centuries, and this powerful method of relaxation is an effective form of therapy today.