Meditation…you’ve probably heard about it.
It’s a practice that’s recently gained rapid popularity through public meditation centers and in-office meditation rooms. It’s been well-adopted by rising professionals and is currently a top mainstream trend. In fact, the National Center of Health Statistics, the National Health Institute, and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health found that meditation is the fastest growing complementary health practice; in 5 years, it rose in popularity by over 10 %.
But, as history reminds us, just because something is a popular trend doesn’t necessarily mean it’s useful (remember heely shoes, anyone?) So, is meditation just a trend or something more? Here’s a closer look…
Meditation in Holistic Care
Behavioral health professionals have long recognized the impact of meditation and mindfulness on their clients; however, recent studies have begun to identify the biological mechanisms of how these practices translate into decreased symptoms. Brain imaging from a 2013 study showed increased activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and the anterior insula.
These areas of the brain control worrying and executive function and are less active in patients with anxiety than the general public; therefore, this study showed a direct and concrete link between meditation and decreased symptoms of anxiety. Given the often prohibitively high costs and long waits associated with professional behavioral health intervention, meditation may be a feasible symptom management option for the almost 7 million Americans living with chronic, daily anxiety.
Meditation: The Benefits
Science tells us mediation and mindfulness are more than just trending practices…they are extremely beneficial to one’s mental and physical health. Incorporating mindfulness and meditation into your daily routine presents an opportunity to tap into your own inner resources. Meditation can help you find your inner peace and rise as the best version of YOU as you gain a greater sense of well being and resilience.
Meditation can also evoke compassion, wisdom and renewed happiness so you can live life to the fullest. Mindfulness can help you change your life by learning how to live in the present moment and appreciate it for all it’s worth!
Complementary Care That’s Essential
In addition to the benefits of meditation on anxiety, depression, and other behavioral health concerns, there has been an increase in scientific literature demonstrating the helpfulness of such practices in managing a physical illness. Studies suggest that mindfulness meditation may
help to lower blood pressure, decrease IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) symptom severity, and reduce ulcerative colitis flare-ups. Meditation has also been found to increase activity in brain 3 4 regions that regulate pain responses; studies show that patients self-reported lower rates of both chronic and acute pain after meditating.
When discussing meditation, it is also imperative to recognize that there are various forms of this practice; the studies discussed above and their subsequent benefits refer mostly to mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness refers to the concept of directing attention to one’s own physical and emotional experiences on a moment-to-moment basis; when attention wanders, the individual makes a concerted effort to redirect their attention to simply noticing their experience
Nonjudgmental acceptance and awareness are the cornerstone ideas of mindfulness meditation; in fact, mindfulness is a concept that is built into various modern psychotherapeutic models of treatment including mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy (MBCT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) as well as dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT).
Although mindfulness meditation is the most commonly studied and discussed 6 meditative practice, individuals may find more benefit in other iterations of meditation; in fact, many individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, and depression find the most relief from a meditative practice that combines various forms. The table below provides a brief overview of seven types of meditation, their core principles, and where they have been shown to have the greatest positive impact.
With all of the positive benefits associated with meditation, there’s no better time to begin experimenting and build a practice that fits your needs. We’d love to hear from you: what form, or combination, works best for you?
There are so many wonderful things about the benefits of TMS Therapy!
It’s non-invasive (no surgery, anesthesia, or sedation)
It’s non-systemic (not taken by mouth and does not circulate in the bloodstream)
And it’s a medication-free way to get patients well.
We see this every day at Surya Psychiatric Clinic! It’s part of what makes us proud to be home to Tucson’s first dTMS service. We understand the life-changing benefits of TMS therapy and we’ve seen the therapy transform lives first hand.
We also understand how the mere thought of TMS therapy can make patients nervous and unsure about what to expect. This is is just one reason why we believe in a holistic approach to healing. Our compassionate and welcoming environment can help you through every step of the TMS process from insurance approval for coverage to treatment- it’s part of our commitment to your wellness!
dTMS Tips For A Stress-Free Appointment
Tip #1: Remember That TMS Therapy is not painful
The machine can be intimidating…we get it! But, we always like to remind our new patients that TMS therapy is not painful. During the initial consultation, it may be beneficial to request the opportunity to see the machine in use. This allows patients to hear what the machine looks like from a different perspective. *TMS therapy may cause scalp discomfort and mild headache. These are rare and diminish in a few sessions.
Tip #2 Relaxation is key!
Perhaps the most important aspect of successfully completing each treatment is to find a way to relax through the noise of the machine. We help our patients get comfortable in the chair by sitting with both feet on the floor in a neutral position. The chair should comfortably support your arms and back- giving you comfort physically and emotionally.
Tip #3: Your Coordinator Will Help You Through
You’re in good hands at Surya Psychiatric Clinic! You’ll get to know our compassionate team from the moment you step in the door. Your TMS coordinator will walk you through every step of the process and help you stay calm and comfortable during the 20- minute treatment. She’ll talk about things like muscular activity (right arm movement) and other normal stimulations to help ease undue anxiety. Also, at the beginning of each session, your TMS Coordinator will provide a countdown from 3 to prepare you for the session.
Tip #4: Earplugs can help
We provide all patients with earplugs to help lessen the impact of the sound created by the TMS machine at work. Many patients compare the sound to that of a woodpecker. Keep in mind that each “train” (the actual portion of treatment involving active cerebral stimulation) only lasts for two seconds with twenty seconds of rest between. Therefore, although each TMS session takes approximately 20 minutes to complete, patients only receive 2 minutes of active stimulation. Additionally, it’s important to note that the intensity felt by the patient will vary from session to session; this is normal and no cause for concern.
Tip #5 Simple breathing techniques work
Once the session begins, we encourage patients to try and pass the time through relaxation meditation with a primary focus on deep, even breathing. Some patients find the “four square” model of breathing to be helpful which involves inhaling for a count of four, holding your breath for a count of four, exhaling for a count of four, and holding for a count of four before repeating.
Patients who experience higher levels of anxiety may want to try a breathing method that involves a longer, nasal exhale paired with a shorter inhale through the mouth, as this has been demonstrated to be efficacious in managing symptoms of anxiety. It is particularly important to remember to breathe through the trains; as mentioned before, this is an extremely short duration of time, but holding one’s breath will only increase anxiety.
Tip #6: Muscle stimulation is normal
Sometimes, the stimulation of TMS also provides direct muscle stimulation; during each session. Some patients may experience varying levels of movement in their right cheek and mouth area. To prevent accidentally biting down on their tongue, patients can press their tongue into a “mewing” position; this entails consciously placing and keeping the tongue on the roof of the mouth. If that is not feasible, many patients find a mouthguard helpful.
We’ve compiled these tips based on the input of those who have gone through the treatments first-hand. We understand that the road to TMS therapy and renewed wellness can sometimes be long, confusing, and daunting. Our team is here to help you every step of the way- give us a contact us today!
As healthcare providers, we are on the frontline to identify patients that may be suicidal. To educate the community (and also our colleagues) Surya Psychiatric Clinic has assembled a FREE Suicide Awareness Healthcare Professional Resource Kit. Each part of the kit can be integrated separately into your practice. We would suggest beginning by printing off copies of the 5 Evidence-Based Action Steps to help someone in crisis. You can place these in your lobby for September.
You can open and each of these elements by clicking each of the links below, or send us a note and we will post these to you by email
If you would like us to email these directly, please complete a contact form and note in message box- HCP Kit.
“I’m worried that I’m not going to be able to get everything done”…
“It’s so stressful having to do this alone!”…
“I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in weeks”
Even though caregiving can have many rewards, the stress of caring for a loved one can strain even the most resilient person. The emotional and physical demands of caregiving can really take a toll on your health, relationships, and state of mind eventually leading to caregiver burnout.
If you are experiencing caregiver fatigue, there are many ways to manage your stress. Start with these tips that will help you be a caregiver to yourself as well as others.
Caregiver Risk: Feeling lonely and isolated
Solution: Stay connected!
Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone, go for a walk, and talk to a friend about things outside the realm of your caregiving roles.
Caregiver Risk: Physical and emotional burnout
Solution: Take time out from the demands of caregiving
Be realistic about what you can and cannot do and reach out to those in your family and community for support.
Caregiver Risk: Self Neglect
Solution: Pencil in “me time”
Many caregivers are so consumed by their roles as a caretaker that they forget to take care of themselves. Be sure to take care of your
mental and physical health by maintaining a healthy diet, getting adequate sleep, and taking a break every once in a while.
Regain your energy and optimism by making yourself a priority. If you’re struggling to find the perfect balance of support, compassion, and understanding, come see us! At Surya Psychiatric Clinic, we’re committed to providing you and your loved ones with exceptional care in a compassionate, confidential, and friendly atmosphere.
Thousands of students from across the nation will soon be packing up and heading off to their first year of college. Armed with the latest dorm-room supplies, new course books, and career ambitions, they’ll enter a new stage of life.
As exciting as the transition to college can be, it’s important to have a plan for support. When you think about it, college students are separated from their traditional support systems overnight.
On top of that, they’ll also face many new challenges socially, academically, and mentally. It’s no surprise that anxiety often spikes during this time of transition. Luckily, there are some ways both students and parents can prepare for this season of change during the summer months.
Work On Time Management
For the majority of first-year students, college brings a new sense of independence. The household rules of high school are quickly replaced with Greek Life, clubs, socialization, and, of course, studying. With the immense pressure to get the full college “experience”, it’s more important than ever to develop good time management skills. Work on prioritizing your schedule and commitments. Be sure to block off a time for classes, sleep, and other obligations. Deciding how to prioritize and organize your time is an individual skill. Make sure to include time for self-care and relaxation!
Put A Support System In Place
Preparation is an essential part of a healthy transition. Make sure your family has a great support system in place. Create a safe, judgment-free zone that’s both uplifting and encouraging. This type of system is vital for facing the ups and downs of campus life.
Learn Stress-Management Skills
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, a shocking 85% of college students reported they had felt overwhelmed by everything they had to do at some point within the past year. Mental health among college-age students continues to be a rising
concern. Work together as a family to discuss healthy outlets for stress than can help manage the tension of everyday life. Everything from sports, exercise, and meditation are great ways to manage stress. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your support system both on and off-campus.
Understand The Importance of Sleep
It might be tempting to burn the midnight oil to finish a project, but remember that sleep is not optional…it’s essential! Sleep deprivation can affect the way you handle everyday stressors. Also, insufficient sleep can put you at his for health conditions like obesity and depression. Make your health a priority!
Healthy boundaries are an important part of all relationships. Before heading to college, have a family conversation about your plan for communication. It’s important for parents to give their teens room for personal growth even when it’s hard. Try setting a time to talk that works for everyone’s schedule to connect.
Above all, start an open conversation about drugs, alcohol, and other pressures associated with the college years. Families who build a strong foundation and have good communication will take on college with excitement and pride.