Stress relief and Transcendental Meditation:
A first-hand account
In our daily life we are constantly dealing with stress, and that stress settles in our bodies. It makes us reactive, antsy, irritable, and depressed and often is the reason people look to outside sources for relief (i.e. drugs, alcohol, tobacco, etc.). Stress can come in great and amazing moments in our life and it can arise in dysfunctional, heart wrenching moments. From winning the lottery or getting a new job, to having a romantic relationship dissolve or being cut off in traffic, we are constantly engaged in stresses. Most people just take it in and live with it until they die. They wonder why they can’t sleep, or why they are gaining weight, or why their back hurts. Stresses accumulate one by one and plant themselves in the body. This is an on-going process that somewhere in a person’s life will eventually manifest into some kind of physical struggle, disease or discomfort. That tense neck, the stomach ache, the heart disease…they are all manifestations of stress. No wonder we spend billions of dollars a year on pharmaceuticals that are supposed to help relieve us of stress and all of its symptoms.
Think of stress in the body like a knot in a string. The knot shortens the string, or constricts it, and takes away its natural, expansive state. It is no longer loose and flowing with the length that it originally had. To unwind the knot will allow it to go back to its natural state. The same thing is true in a person’s body with the knots of stress. We just keep adding more and more knots, and spend very little time unravelling them. But you know all of this; you know the very real effects of stress on your body, and you’d probably like to live with less of it, right?
To unwind these stresses one has to have the motivation and tools to dissolve the knots and return to our natural born right to be expansive and healthy in this world. Diluting stress can be challenging without tools to transcend. So how does one dilute and neutralize stress?
Meditation. Yes, meditation is my answer. I know, I know! You’ve tried it and it doesn’t work, or it’s just not for you. The work I do in my private practice as a multi-dimensional therapist is based in the principals of wellness for the whole person. I work with my clients to identify what in their lives is constricting them emotionally and mentally, and we often are able to relieve the physical pains they are in by a combination of talking and hands on energy work. When I use Craniosacral Therapy and energy work on the table, the client is able to transcend into a deeper state of relaxation and consciousness, which helps ‘seal in’ the work we do verbally sitting in chairs. They enter into a meditative state while I am working on them. When my clients get off the table, they typically feel a deep sense of peace and inner relaxation. I wish they could all see me every day, but the reality is we all need to have tools to achieve this state in our day to day lives. I always tell my clients the key to holding on to those feelings and continuing the healing work we begin in my office is meditation.
I am continually impressed by the resistance people have to meditation. We’ve all heard by now about the benefits meditation provides, but people have such a hard time with the notion of sitting for any length of time and not doing anything, and not thinking anything. It seems to be an almost impossible task with the rate at which our monkey minds produce thoughts. And you know what? It is almost impossible! So rather than fight the thoughts, let’s incorporate them.
My wife and I recently visited our local Transcendental Meditation Center, received the instruction, and have begun our journey of practicing this thousands of years old meditation. I believe there are many ways to meditate, but I am excited by the simplicity and ease this practice provides, and I am already seeing the benefits after one week.
Transcendental Meditation, or TM, is an art of inner sound and natural thoughts. The process works together to help stress unwind in the body. To use a sound, or a mantra, allows you to deepen into yourself and then as you find yourself relaxing you will experience thoughts, which is natural and perfectly fine. You don’t fight the thoughts. You just let them come! The thoughts are usually meaningless to your mind, but to your stress they are as precious as gold. Every thought generated will magnetize stress knots within you and unravel them as the thoughts are allowed to occur. As the thoughts and stresses are released, your mind returns to the mantra and you will deepen the relaxation in your body even further. This cycle will happen over and over as needed and you will find yourself in a higher state of consciousness, and deeply rejuvenated, when you re-enter the present world in which you live. It’s that easy!
I know you’re busy, and the thought of sitting for 20 minutes seems stressful in and of itself. But to unwind the stress one has to journey inward. You must begin the process of finding bliss within in order to have bliss in the world. Meditation allows you to transform the stresses and dissolve them from your being. What better way to spend 20 minutes. It will make you more productive, efficient, alert, and creative in your life.
As I said, there are many ways to meditate but having a serious mediation practice is key to the unwinding of your stress knots, and therefore to living a healthy and balanced life. Your body and your mind will thank you for the respite. It is truly like plugging yourself into a charger twice a day. You feel fully rested, centered and calm.
— Todd Kurpil
Todd Kurpil is a licensed massage therapist. Although he has extensive training in several modalities, Todd believes effective healing is not about applying techniques so much as listening to the body through one’s hands and intuition. His practice requires him to silence his own thoughts and projections, and hold a space of non-judgement to truly allow his clients to unwind and to ‘listen’ to what their energy is telling him. Todd presently lives in Los Angeles, USA.
The post “Stress and Meditation (yes, you can do it!)” was first published on Todd Kurpil’s blog