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Parkinson’s Disease, Mindfulness & Meditation

Since Parkinson’s disease impacts the automatic way that the body moves, one of the things that you will hear over and over in learning to manage Parkinson’s effectively is to become more conscious and mindful when moving.

Mindfulness is a skill that often gets left on the back burner of life because for most of our lives many of us don’t even have to think about how our body is going to move – IT JUST DOES – until it doesn’t! We also get carried through life with the expectations, responsibilities and activities that seem to cross our paths and very few people stop to spend the time and the effort that it takes to develop a practice of mindfulness.

A simple meditation practice is an effective way to be able to connect with what mindfulness really means. Meditation does not have to have anything to do with “spirituality” or “religion” if that is not your path. A practice of secular meditation can be helpful in understanding how to quiet the mind, relax the body and support the nervous system.

Th easiest method is simply to follow the breath. You can use the statements, “I breathe in, I breathe out” to give your mind something to do OR you can use counting to track and lengthen the inhale and the exhale. Begin with an in-breath to a 3 count and an out-breath to a 4 count and as you get more connected to your breath you can lengthen the count to slow the breath down.

Thoughts will pop in and out. That is totally normal. Notice and gently acknowledge them and then return your attention to the breath.

A few minutes of this practice a day can set you on a graceful, mindful path! Ommmmmm!

 

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