The Benefits of Meditation

Meditation is something I have always been interested in, but never felt I had enough control to focus long enough to enjoy the benefits. Meditation is the art of silencing the mind. When the mind is silent, concentration is increased, and we experience inner peace in the midst of worldly turmoil. This inner peace is what attracts so many people to meditation and is a quality everyone can benefit from.

Meditation not only promotes a sense of relaxation, but also embodies numerous additional advantages. Benefits include lasting emotional control, cultivating compassion, reducing pain sensitivity, boosting multitasking and more. Meditation is highly misunderstood and often under-rated, yet is perhaps what it takes to be a truly sane person. The mind, heart and body can improve with regular meditation. Most Americans are not raised to sit and say, “Om,” however, meditation has gained millions of converts, helping to ease chronic pain, alleviate stress and anxiety, improve heart health, and boost mood and immunity.   During meditation you expel negativity, and by doing so, you gain inner peace which can be extremely helpful to those facing a terminal illness.

No matter what your current situation or condition may be, your emotional, physical, psychosocial and spiritual being can benefit from meditation. Meditation can have the following effects on your mind, your spirit and your body:

  1. Promotes deep levels of rest
  1. Reduces anxiety
  1. Enhances your immune system
  1. Lowers cholesterol levels
  1. Reduces muscle tension
  1. Regulates breathing
  1. Reduces high blood pressure
  1. Helps heal depression
  1. Increases brain function
  1. Decreases pain
  1. Reduces phobias and fears
  1. Improves your memory
  1. Increases oxytocin levels
  1. Reduces anger and rage
  1. Assists in finding life purpose
  1. Stabilizes emotional fluctuations
  1. Makes you feel less lonely
  1. Improves brain coherence
  1. Promotes inner peace
  1. Helps you live in the present

By observing your mind, you realize you do not have to cater to it. You understand it throws tantrums, gets grumpy, jealous, happy and sad, but that it does not have to control you. Meditation is quite simply mental hygiene: Clear your thoughts and get in touch with yourself, which is essential especially when you or a loved one is facing a terminal illness. Keeping our minds clear can help determine the quality of life we live. It also can provide a nimble platform for releasing old hurts, guilt and resentments by forgiving ourselves and others. People can come to resolutions around conflicted relationships, even when the person is not physically present.

If you have not considered this wonderful tool to assist individuals involved with hospice and palliative care, please do so. They will be very grateful. For information on meditation, call Kenya George at 614-451-6700 or email her at kgeorge@mecsrc.com.


Aromatherapy in Palliative Care

The use of essential oils can be relaxing and soothing. Essential oils are primarily used in palliative care settings and can be helpful when facing the difficult task of caring for patients with terminal illnesses. Aromatherapy can improve one’s physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Caring for a terminally ill loved one at home or in a facility can sometimes be stressful, particularly if the patient is someone close to you, no matter the age. The care itself is physically demanding: lifting, turning and running around all take their toll on the caregiver’s body. The emotional stress involved with caring for a terminally ill loved one and working with a team of professionals and other caregivers can also be exhausting and difficult.

The use of essential oils to promote well-being and ease discomfort has been used for centuries and has a growing base of research and support in modern healthcare. More and more health care providers and their patients are recognizing the value of aromatherapy, as well as other complimentary therapies as an adjunct to allopathic medicine to treat serious medical conditions. Aromatherapy and the array of benefits it provides to patients, especially those in palliative care, is being recognized and is rapidly growing in use.

Health issues such, as nausea, fatigue, anxiety and depression are just a few of the challenges and symptoms people with chronic or life-threatening illnesses may experience in the hands of a skilled professional or a caregiver. Aromatherapy can ease discomfort and improve well-being physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually for patients and their loved ones. One of the best ways to use essential oils is in a diffuser, preferably a cold air one, and one that operates relatively quietly. Everyone will enjoy the benefits – the patient, staff, support workers and visitors alike.

The extraction of the oils from aromatic plants has been known to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and analgesic effects. Clinical trials on aromatherapy primarily investigated for the treatment of stress and anxiety in patients with a critical illness. The studies have shown a positive influence on the limbic system and thus emotional pathways.

The staff at Hospice at Methodist ElderCare is available to provide information on Aromatherapy and its benefits for your loved one while in palliative care. They can also suggest ways it might help you relax during what is usually a very stressful time for all. Call Kenya George at Hospice at Methodist ElderCare 614-451-6700 or email her at kgeorge@mecsrc.com for more information.