Episode 37: Meditation Healing Stories

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There Isn’t One “Right” Way to Meditate

In Episode 24 of this podcast, we delved into the Mind-Body Connection and the impact it can have on our health. There’s an entire field of research called Psychoneuroimmunology, which studies how our thoughts and emotions affect our immune system. Negative and stressful thoughts increase inflammation and can exacerbate autoimmune symptoms. Positive and peaceful thoughts send an anti-inflammatory cascade through our bodies. That’s a power we want to harness, and meditation is a tool for doing so. I know many of you think you can’t do it. My goal is to show you otherwise. There is no ONE right way to meditate. I have a series of guests who all do it differently and will be sharing how they incorporate meditation into their lives and the difference it’s made for them.

Listen to the Show

Show Notes

  • Intro (0:00)
  • Update: We won 3rd Place in Paleo Magazine’s Best of 2015 awards! Thanks for voting!
  • Thank You to our Podcast Sponsor – Paleo on the Go (1:51)
    • A frozen meal delivery service, they have a large menu of items for the paleo autoimmune protocol (AIP).
    • Use the code PHOENIX for 10% off your first order.
  • Astrid Fox on Yoga, Mind Rest and Subliminal Soundscapes (2:49)
    • Astrid is the former blogger behind Heal Me in the Kitchen and is using the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol to heal her ulcerative colitis.
    • She has been practicing yoga for over 15 years. After receiving her UC diagnosis, she could no longer do the power yoga of her past, but she made sure she still practiced gentle yoga daily for at least 5 minutes. She said, “Yoga saved my life.” It gave her something to focus on besides the pain and fear, and helped her move forward. Over time, her gentle, restorative sessions helped her body become strong again. Yoga Download is her favorite yoga resource.
    • Astrid also practices a technique called “mind rest” – where you unplug and put your life on hold for 5-10 minutes. She originally learned of this practice from the book, The Creativity Cure. She now uses Sound Rx by Anne Angelone for these mind rests. Sound Rx is a collection of soundscapes to assist meditation. They include music, tibetan bowls, nature sounds, delta wave rhythms for deep relaxation, and subliminal messages designed to help the immune system heal.
    • Astrid notices a direct effect between stress and her UC symptoms, so when she manages her stress through these practices, she feels better physically as well.
    • For those of you who are adult coloring book fans, Astrid has some free coloring pages available through her website: Astrid Fox Art & Designs.
  • Kristen Boehmer – a Meditation Beginner (14:50)
    • Kristen blogs at Living Loving Paleo and is managing her Crohn’s disease with the paleo diet and lifestyle.
    • Meditation was intimidating to Kristen at first, but she gave herself a 30-day challenge to make it part of her daily life. After just 2 weeks, she came to love it and it’s now one of the favorite parts to her day. She was completely surprised.
    • She initially used Headspace for guided, short meditations in the morning. They’re great for beginners, because they help focus your mind. Now she uses Pandora for calming music while she meditates. And she feels like her next step will be silent meditation.
    • Like Astrid, Kristen also finds stress to be a big trigger for her disease, so stress management plays an important role in her autoimmune health. Some other benefits she’s noticed from meditation are that it boosts her energy and sets a positive tone for each day.
    • Kristen also writes a weekly post on her blog called Motivation Monday, to kick off the week positively.
  • Catharina Delmarcel on Breathing Exercises and Affirmations (23:04)
    • Catharina has a Dutch Paleo AIP blog, and is managing her Hashimoto’s through the paleo autoimmune protocol.
    • Her meditative protocol includes yoga, breathing exercises and positive affirmations. One breathing exercise she recommends is the alternate nostril technique.
    • When it comes to affirmations, they can be challenging at first, especially when we are used to criticizing ourselves, rather than speaking to ourselves in a loving way. Catharina’s experience has been that it gets easier with time, and she finds her critical thoughts diminishing, and her self-love growing, which she believes is essential for autoimmune healing. “With autoimmune disease, your body is attacking itself. What are you doing with your thoughts? Are you attacking yourself as well?”
    • One of Catharina’s favorite techniques is to look in the mirror and say “I love you. I love you exactly as you are in this moment.” She recommends Louise Hay’s books on the power of affirmation: You Can Heal Your Life and Meditations to Heal Your Life.
    • Like Kristen and Astrid, Catharina feels stress is the greatest culprit of her illness, and her meditative practices have been essential to managing stress and integral to her getting her disease into remission.
  • Jeanne Drennan on MBSR Classes and Walking Meditation (43:32)
  • Eileen Laird (Podcast Host) on Her Meditation Practice (59:43)
    • Eileen is reversing rheumatoid arthritis through the paleo autoimmune protocol.
    • I began meditation when my rheumatoid arthritis was at its worst. It was the one thing I could do to ease the emotional trauma that came with the flares.
    • After my flares subsided, I stopped meditating, but later set myself a 30-day challenge to make it a regular part of my life. I practiced at night, to help me transition from being a “night owl” to more healthy sleep habits.
    • Now, I practice a wide variety of ways, and at different times of day. I’ve learned that meditation can dispel a bad mood, boost my energy and eliminate fatigue, give me more patience, or simply reduce anxiety or stress. It’s been fascinating to see its power. I usually notice the benefits within 30 minutes.
    • Here is another post that discusses the benefits of meditation and ten different ways to meditate.
  • Outro (1:04:52)

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24 comments on “Episode 37: Meditation Healing Stories”

  1. Hi Eileen, I really enjoyed this episode and look forward to trying the MBSR. I wanted to share something I’ve used to help with relaxation and concentration. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Dr. Jeffrey Thompson and his Center for Neuroacoustic Research, but he’s done some interesting and very effective work trying to heal people with sound. Maybe he and his work would make a good future podcast.

  2. This came at the perfect time for me. I have been flaring a lot lately. After listening to this, I signed up for Headspace (did my first 10 minute freebie this morning) and I’m researching MBSR class in my area. I’m going to do this as a Lenten challenge, since coincidentally today is the first day of Lent.

  3. Hello Eileen, I listened to your podcast on Meditation Healing stories and loved it. You have amazing podcast and I love how you get right to the point so thank you so much for all this amazing information. I had to reach out to you to let you know of this guided meditation with hypnosis. It’s so incredible and brings you to another world and you feel incredible after listening. If you go to the App store on your phone and search for Glenn (with 2 n’s) Harrold (2 rr’s) you will see quite a few of them for free. Its a really neat concept with the hypnosis. Anyway thought I would share because its so worth it. If you decide to try one, let me know what you think? Oh and his got so many different ones and I love the anxiety one (short version is free) and the Heal your Body but that one I purchased. Check it out! and THANKS for all your hard work!!!

  4. I teach yoga and meditation, both in my own studio and in a drug rehabilitation community for young men, and so I see the benefits of the practices all the time. The beauty is that the effects of meditation are both instantaneous and long-term. Simply by sitting still and concentrating on the breath cycle, the central nervous system calms and moves towards a parasympathetic state. In the long term, concentration improves, one’s outlook is more positive, and life flows more smoothly. When I developed debilitating inflammation issues a few years ago, my yoga practice had to change. But my meditation practice has remained a constant source of peace, strength and positive energy. I have absolutely no doubt that I would be much, much worse off if I hadn’t had these practices.

  5. Great podcast! I really need to meditate more often!
    Thank you for the comment on my blog….yes, I am enjoying my Instant Pot! It certainly does make life easier! Thank you!
    Oh, and your book is great! I love that I have an easy to grab, quick, reference guide that can go with me anywhere! You put a lot of common sense, easy to understand info in there…a little bit of “kick in my pants” info as well! LOL Motivational!

  6. I love Jeanne’s comment about really listening to people instead of formulating your answer while they talk. That’s why I like your interviews because you let the person talk. I find it stressful trying to listen when someone is interrupting so here’s a stress buster on two accounts! You totally deserve to win by the way!!

  7. Love this podcast so much! I know peacefulness/mindfulness/stress-management are my final piece to healing, as I’m sure is for many with AI disease. All the interviews were outstandingly informative, and Catherina’s interview was very perspective forming. Hope you win for Paleoag Eileen!

  8. Great podcast. It is nice to hear others perspective on meditation. It was encouraging to hear how this has helped them with their autoimmune diseases. I am going to incorporate into my treatment regimen. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s a year ago and am always looking for ways to live life to the fullest while dealing with this disease.

    1. Sharon, there is sound. I just tested. So, that means something’s going on with the speakers on your computer or phone. The podcast went live on my website minutes ago. It doesn’t show up in iTunes for a few hours. It will be there by this evening.

      1. I never had trouble with my phone before. Sorry I didn’t wait longer and check on my computer before contacting you. I just listened to the episode. I learned “constructive rest” – an Alexander Technique practice 2 yrs. ago through Brooke Thomas’ site, Liberated Body. I have tried to do it every day and when I do it, it makes a world of difference. For me, prayer to Jesus makes the most difference – because He heals my heart as well as my body. But I think any practice that helps you focus rather than wander can help with focusing on prayer too and all of those things help to calm the body and mind. FYI-I listened to Donna Nakazawa’s interview 6 times and have read both her books on childhood trauma. That episode of your podcast changed my life! I even began getting EMDR therapy and there has been a big shift in my emotional health. The Lord has clearly led me to so many means to healing my body and you have been a tool He has used. Thank you!

        1. Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Sharon! There are so many ways to reach that peaceful place. And I’m so pleased Donna Nakazawa’s interview resonated with you so strongly. EMDR is fascinating, and has helped so many. May you continue to feel better and better.

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