When I was dealing with Gastroparesis I suffered from extreme anxiety & had very bad sleep problems. I don’t think anyone wants to be ill like you are with Gastroparesis day in and day out, it will drive a person crazy. Also none of my doctors really wanted to admit at the time that I had a physical problem and were feeding me the line that it was in my head. They could not find anything wrong physically with me, so it of course, had to be mental – this is what doctors like to do when they can’t figure out the problem; blame the patient.
During this time period I did see a real psychiatrist & a counselor to supposedly help me deal with my problems. Perhaps the only useful thing I got out of these visits was the suggestion of meditation. In my view though, meditation can only go so far to help a person who is really suffering from an ailment. Perhaps it’s just me as I am very analytical & suspicious of things, so it’s hard for me to let go and assume that clearing ones mind & breathing deep is going to result in actual healing. Perhaps though meditation isn’t really meant to be a healing mechanism(though some may have positive results from it), it’s more of a coping mechanism.
My counselor recommended a book called :book-fullcatastrophelivingaff: written by Jon Kabat-Zinn. I was willing to try anything at the time, so I bought the book. The book is somewhat interesting, it details how Jon helped people in chronic pain use meditation to reduce or alleviate the suffering they were experiencing from it. As for how this helped my gastroparesis situation, unfortunately I can’t give it any accolades there. I was still anxious and suggestions in the book did not really help me a whole lot. Ultimately getting over my gastroparesis(thanks possible to a :bcomplexaff:) allowed me to greatly reduce my anxiety & slowly get off of Prozac. I am sure people who recover from illness or injury feel a great deal of mental relief, unfortunately this doesn’t happen for everyone though.
The book was not all lost on me though. The deep breathing exercises, which arguably are one of the fundamentals of the book and of meditation in general, do indeed help me out from time to time. Just last night I was feeling a little bloated & the stomach was gurgling while lying in bed getting ready to sleep. I placed my hand on my stomach, breathed in deeply expanding the stomach, breathed out slowly retracting the stomach. I repeated this multiple times. This technique did help quite a bit. I am not sure if it was the mind easing off of the discomfort or perhaps the expansion of my stomach helped it digest better. Regardless, it did help.
Ultimately others may find meditation more useful than I have. Perhaps it’s my mind set, I am usually always pondering stuff and thinking of different fixes for my IBS or my life in general or other people’s lives… It’s hard to just let go. I do like relaxation though, light music, warm room, warm tea, resting… Very comfortable. Digestive sufferers should set aside some time to do something peaceful & quiet, to help the soul & the body. Perhaps it’s a warm bath or shower or reading a book. Though it’s understandable if this is difficult to do for some. Life already has enough drama in it, adding IBS or some other illness on top of it, just makes things that much harder to handle. Hopefully though, everyone out there will find some relaxation and comfort, at least once in awhile.
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