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Meditation techniques to treat your Eczema
Meditation and Eczema
Meditation and Eczema
Eczema sufferers endure a lifelong journey to treat and conquer this hurtful disease. Now, more and more research about eczema and its treatments is surfacing, and much of the new methods suggest a more holistic approach to helping your body overcome and thrive.
How does meditation have anything to do with you and your eczema triggers and symptoms?
The quick answer is: Meditation is scientifically proven to
-lower blood pressure,
-reduce anxiety and depression,
-improve digestion and mental focus.
Meditation is even proven to decrease perception of pain and increase your brain size! Wow!
For example, the official Vipassana page online has a section on Itchiness: http://www.vipassanadhura.com/howto.htm#m
If you're still skeptical, don't take just science's word for it- take mine.
*** This page is my personal advice and should not be taken as medical advice. ***
Eczema and Me
My Journey with Eczema and Discovery of Vipassana
It all started when I was just 4 years old. My kindergarten teachers saw the scratches and patches on the inside of my arms and legs and told my mom I had SCABIES. She has her Masters in Nutrition, and was pretty horrified by the situation and started sending me to a dermatologist.
Then came the doctor’s appointments and creams- as many of you know, eczema is an individual and personal disorder with differences for each sufferer. Going to the doctor and trying different medicines felt like I was doing an experiment on my own body- and that’s exactly what it was. Eczema sufferers have to be open to new ideas and treatments, and we are all looking for that elusive, magic cure.
Through to high school my eczema was “manageable,” with only a few patches here and there accompanied by dry, flaky scalp. However, during my studies at UC Berkeley the disorder became more severe- resulting in oozy, bloody patches from my forehead down to my shoulders.
The situation was dire and desperate- more effective treatments were needed as it was affecting my health, happiness, sleep, studies, confidence, etc. My eczema was starting to take over my life, and at times I felt like giving up.
Discovery of Meditation- Purity, Clarity, and Comfort
After managing my eczema through cortisteroids and ORAL STEROIDS (one 10- pack every 3 months) I noticed that both my anxiety and habits from suffering from eczema were still present, even as a 24 year old having suffered for over two decades.
My lingering habits and anxieties were:
- continuing to scratch at the same places even though the eczema had cleared up
- never feeling comfortable with my skin, especially in social situations
- involuntary scratching, especially at night (sometimes you start scratching and don’t even notice it!)
- inability to completely relax accompanied my muscle tension
- being preoccupied with skin, lotion, eczema, etc.
So, one day I decided to take a 4- week long Vipasanna Meditation retreat in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
In short, Vipasanna is “Insight meditation”- it incorporates breathing techniques, cognitive behavioral elements, mindful movements, and habit reversal in order to bring the practitioner closer to truth and peace. I must emphasize that Vipasanna is full of useful methods and practices that you can incorporate into your daily life, no matter who you are!
Everyday Vipassana Techniques
Everyday Vipassana Techniques
So, where do you start with Vipassana in your everyday life?
For a quick overview, visit: http://buddhist-meditation-techniques.com/vipassana-insight-meditation/
In my practice, I first take a relaxing shower- every few days I exfoliate gently and immediately after gently towel drying I put on a fresh coat of moisturiser all over my body.
Here’s also my secret that I will share with you! If you are having a severe flare- up and have been prescribed cortisteroids by your physician, it’s best to put it on at night right after a shower, before you put on your moisteriser. That way, all the medicine is absorbed quickly and effectively. However, I have nearly stopped using cortisteroids all together. What do I use instead… TIGER BALM! Tiger Balm is all natural, and contains anti- itch and anti- inflammatory soothing agents like, menthol, camphor, and peppermint with no added chemicals! It clears my sinuses, relaxes my muscles, soothes and cools my skin which relaxes me and empowers me with the energy and calmness to battle eczema another day. Even my friends without eczema love it after I introduce them to it! It practically sells itself- you have to try it!
After a shower and application of moisteriser and Tiger Balm, I slip into my loose and comfortable clothes, find a quiet and comfortable corner of any room I’m in, and start to meditate.
Posture is key!
We are hunched over our computers and desks throughout the day. Meditation is the time to align your spine to maximize airflow and bloodflow to all your organs! Airflow and bloodflow are so important for your nutrient- starved eczema patches. How can your lungs function properly when they are compressed down by your hunched- up organs.
Breathing is everything!
Oxygen is the life force for all your body’s healing powers and thus meditation is a time to reset and recharge your body through breathing techniques. You want to maximize the effectiveness of your diaphragm, lungs, and abdomen.
For indepth breathing instructions, look here: http://www.vipassanadhura.com/howto.htm#e
More indepth mental Vipassana tools:
Vipassana emphasizes acknowledging one object at a time, and thus isn’t the same as having an “empty mind” as you may have heard. By acknowledging how and what you’re feeling one moment to moment, it cleanses and focuses your mind and it’s ability to change habits. Habit reversal was one of the hugest accomplishments Vipassana helped me achieve! Read more about it here: http://www.vipassanadhura.com/howto.htm#k
Okay, so I’ve provided you with a good intro and links to more indepth practices… but what should you do tonight to start your journey to healing and empowerment?
Set aside 20 minutes after your shower. Apply Tiger Balm to your neck, and other patches of eczema you may have avoiding your eyes. Grab a cushion, go into a comfortable corner, sit- up straight and relaxed, and breath deeply as possible with your eyes closed. Acknowledge your thoughts from each moment to moment, trying to narrow down your mind to one thought or feeling per moment. 20 minutes later, you’ll feel refreshed and who knows… maybe you’ll find that your eczema isn’t a huge deal after all- and you’re more in control than you realize.
For more info on Vipassana visit: http://www.vipassanadhura.com
Thank you and I appreciate your open- mindedness! We are all in this together!
My Everyday Ezcema Miracle and Meditation Partner: Tiger Balm
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