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Putting meditation to the test - New Scientist

I’d been using breath meditation fairly religiously while swimming, but at the moment don’t have a good perspective on how effective it was, as Monday while swimming I lost track, in the sense that I left the gym realizing that I had quit well before I had intended to. It’s been a bad few days, with a lot of fuzzy-headedness intruding, and culminated in my sort of blanking out and sliding down today, fortunately not striking anything but my butt. Something I ate? I have a slight suspect. Change in weather? Might have contributed. Physical discomfort, maybe a bit, from adding PT exercises on to swimming. Life stress, surely. Some from focusing hard on preparing a presentation whose responsibility landed on me, and from worrying about deterioration in my mother’s thinking ability/memory. Meditation experience hasn’t protected me from responding to all this. But this is a different kind of test.
(Sorry for the rant, but not sorry enough to erase it.)

I have never had formal instructions on meditation, but I have had a couple of therapists and docs recommend “relaxation” exercises. I’ve been given a few audio discs and it turns out that what they wanted me to try was meditation under a different name. I’m not even going to say that I am good at it, but I have developed a technique through meditation/relaxation where I can restore several minutes of balance in just a few seconds. From the little bit that I am able to do quickly, I imagine that if I were to get some formal instruction and practice it daily I wouldn’t be wound so tight.

I bet the Dalai Lama and some uber meditator types can have major control over their brain waves.

I bet us “mere mortals” can achieve significant changes in our brain waves with focus on the breath. It would seem that anything we can do to bring on more calmness on a daily basis - psychologically and physiologically - might make it at least a little less likely that our migraine brains would reach the threshold for “going off.”

That’s why I asked Scott a few weeks ago about studies on yoga & migraine (yoga, for those who haven’t tried it, may look like it’s all about twisting you into a pretzel but there’s a huge focus on deep breathing). Meditation is along the same lines. I’ve read about walking meditation - never heard about it in re swimming, but that’s really a perfect fit, David. (So sorry to hear you’re dealing with your Mom’s cognitive problems - been there, done that, and it’s extremely stressful.)

I bought a gentle yoga DVD which just arrived, but my problem is finding time to do it, with all the overtime I’m having to put in lately… :?

I have been practicing mindfulness meditation for almost a year now, and it really helps in dealing with this chronic disease. I found it was best to take the 8 week “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction” class at my local hospital to really get into it properly and develop a regular practice.

It’s wonderful to go to a place of peace and quiet after a day of struggling with motion sickness!

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Unfortunately the links in the original post no longer work. The original article is however still available but unfortunately only by subscription for interested parties. I bumped it up because its a useful thread for anybody looking at Meditation. The first other half decent internet post I found on Mindfulness Meditation started off suggesting we commenced by chewing a square of chocolate mindfully! Not really for MAVers I thought that one.

Over the years I’ve tried any ‘alternative therapies, but didn’t think Mindfulness Meditation was amongst them. I now discover it encompasses ‘Deep Muscle Relaxation’ and I did a lot of that through one winter I now recall. It was slightly relaxing but I don’t recall it ever released tight neck muscles caused by the migraine/vertigo. My sister in law whose trained in massage/aromatherapy style tells me there’s a build up of lactic acid involved there somewhere and the only way to shift that is hands on massage, and heat/cold. Of course Mindfulness Meditation appears to encompass a much wider spectrum than Deep Muscle Mediation and could be beneficial for some. Personally I fell down with the Visual Imagery but we are all different. Helen



How do you do meditation when you’re unbalanced and feeling rocking and swaying most of the time.

You need to stabilise yourself first before doing anything like meditation. It’s a cherry on top, a nice to have so not a first line of defence.

If you ever wind up in A&E you will notice a distinct lack of patients practicing yoga and knocking back green smoothies.

Got to disagree with you there Andy. ‘Waiting until you are stabilised’ for many if not most people is like waiting for tomorrow. It never comes. And meditation can be prescribed for some very early on, before meds start even. I was ‘prescribed’ CBT initially which did me neither good nor harm I see no reason not to try meditation when acute. Some forms are very relaxed, you can do them sitting down with/without closed eyes depending on individual triggers. You don’t necessarily have to be sitting upright and cross legged on the floor. It’s a question of finding a type that your own current disabilities can cope with.

Whether meditation is a good idea is another question. I remember @ander454 saying he found it made his dizziness much more apparent and I feel sure it pushes people deeper into themselves and their own feelings although I appreciate they should really be thinking of ‘nothing’. That’s near impossible to achieve. I feel what tends to happen is people sit still and instead of clearing their mind tend to dwell on the enormities of the condition and end up constantly reliving the trauma involved and looking out for the next wobble/spin etc which defeats the object. Perhaps some absorbing hobby/distraction/way of keeping busy might prove more beneficial than attempting meditation in the first place. Must admit I gave up on meditation. Deep Muscle Relaxation and certain exercises OK. Doing something is easier than doing nothing. Sure is.

When it comes to people in A&E practising yoga. Perhaps not in the Waiting Area. No I’ve not seen one either though I’ve sat in an A&E ward cubicle doing Tai Chi several times. And I’ve sat in a hospital bed waiting to go to theatre doing Tai Chi. Helen

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I find it to be piss farting around the edges so we have to agree to disagree :grimacing:

You are obviously still blissfully unaware of the vast impact both physically and psychologically MAV can have on some people. For many it is totally devastating. They need both medication and emotional support to get through it. For some both can prove essential.


Again, not a first line of defence. Can benefits be had from it, sure. When they are treating someone with acute injuries / symptoms with mindfulness… get back to me.

Add me to that list. It has totaly ruined the last 5 years of my life with no end in sight as of yet and thats with treatment and medication
Jo x


It’s totally destroyed my life but meditation isn’t bringing that shit back unless I’m missing all the success stories about it.

If something isn’t working, cut it loose and move on. The current medication & treatment options aren’t fit for purpose.

I couldnt survive without Botox Injections Andy…so that is a treatment that"s fit for purpose…well in my case anyhow. But struggle badly still with vestibular symptoms


Don’t give up guys. Have faith…that’s the only thing that keeps me going and my family…


I’m glad Botox works for you Jo but still… sticking poison in yourself isn’t the way to go. The medical industry is grasping at straws.

I’ve said in previous posts that I’m not against any medication or treatment if it helps an individual. I just don’t praise them either as they simply aren’t good enough. I understand when your quality of life has been decimated a drug that can offer ~50% back sounds pretty good… but it’s still a shitty deal.

Yes i agree it is a shitty deal but ive been that poorly and not able to go to work now for weeks im past caring what contents is in Botox…if it can give me a taste of normality im gonna grab it with both hands


With you there Jo!! :two_hearts:


Do you have a better alternative to the MAV protocol ? If you want to rant so be it but not at the cost of belittling what is working for others.


I’ll try for a third time as my spelling might be a bit off…

I’ve said in previous posts that I’m not against any medication or treatment if it helps an individual.