Experts now recommend meditation as a supplement to medicine, diet and physical activity since it soothes the mind, improves mobility and relieves joint pain considerably for OA patients.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative condition that generally affects the joints of the spine, fingers, thumbs, hips, knees, or toes. When the smooth, slippery tissue lining the joints is worn out as a result of accidents, sports injuries or aging, the joints develop OA. Symptoms include mild to chronic swelling of the diseased joints, pain, and mobility limitations.
Depending on the severity of the ailment, people with OA are recommended medication, joint replacements, massage, appropriate exercises, and dietary changes. Many experts now feel that meditation can supplement medication, along with other physical activities, to help ease the pain associated with OA.
‘Meditation’ is defined as a practice where an individual focuses her/ his mind on the present moment or on a particular object, a thought, or an activity, with the awareness to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm, stable state.
As per the Oxford dictionary, “Meditate” primarily means to focus your mind for a considerable time period, in quietness or with a chant, for various purposes like relaxation and spirituality. Training the human mind to focus on things that have a calming effect on oneself, also involves taking the mind’s attention away from unpleasant sensations like, say, excruciating pain. As one gets better and better at meditation over time, fewer distracting thoughts will enter the mind during such sessions.
*We recommend that you consult your doctor or physician, to discuss physical therapy and meditation that are suitable for your medical condition.
One easy technique for beginners is to retreat into a quiet corner of the home, which is clean, airy, not too cramped and comfortable, away from television screens and other noises. Next, turn off your mobile phone and other devices that might interfere with the meditation session.
With your eyes gently closed and the body relaxed, slowly inhale and exhale. Count your breaths. Thoughts of all kinds will come and go. Don’t try to invite, control, or banish them. Just stop worrying about them.
Start with a 10-minute session, then move to longer sessions. The OA pain should lessen with time, while the mind will be less overwhelmed, so that you can focus better.
Research on the beneficial effects of meditation on people with OA is far from conclusive. Meditation on its own is not considered as a cure for OA. However, it is known to help soothe the mind, facilitate better mobility and relieve one’s joint pains considerably. Meditation also helps OA patients deal with anxiety and depression.
** Ensure to consult your doctor/ physician, to know the amount and regularity of meditation therapy, that’s safe and best for your OA condition.
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