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    In all the craziness of chronic disease we can easily forget that one of the most important things we need to look after is our minds.
    There’s the medical impact that infections and toxins can have on our mental health such as damage to our neurological receptors, depletion of our good neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine and the destruction of neurons. Then there’s the emotional trauma of coping with disease, how lonely and isolating it can feel, particularly if you aren’t able to leave the house. Unfortunately there’s no magic pill to help you cope with the emotional trauma and so we have to look at more alternative methods to soothe our shattered minds.

    This is where meditation comes in, the popularity of meditation is increasing as more and more people discover its benefits. It’s the habitual process of training your mind to focus your thoughts and redirect them in a more positive and productive manner. Meditation has numerous proven scientific and medical benefits. It works primarily by reducing cytokines the body’s inflammatory chemical response that occur when too much of the stress hormone cortisol is released.

    In scientific studies meditation has been proven to reduce stress, control anxiety, enhance self-awareness and lengthen attention span.

    What’s more it’s been proven to boost the immune system. Meditation increases electrical activity on the left hand side of the brain, the part of the brain that acts as a command centre for your immune system. Increased activity in this area of the brain helps make the immune system act more efficiently and produce more defence cells.

    There’s various different types of meditation to choose from so picking the right meditation be it mantra, breathing or guidance based is important in order for you to resonate with it.
    I started meditating by doing a course in my area, it gave me the kick start I needed to really plough on with meditation but it also allowed me to feel the benefit of meditating in larger groups which is much more powerful than meditating on your own.

    Here’s a couple of apps I recommend to get you started.

    Calm by Calm.com

    This is one of my favourite meditation apps, it offers a wide range of meditations to assist your relaxation efforts. It’s features a program called daily calm a 10 minute meditation that you can use at the start or the end of your day. There’s also breathing exercises and a variety of ambient sounds that will really help you relax and enjoy your meditation.


    This is an ideal beginners app, it’s free trial includes ten exercises geared towards beginners that can help you learn more about meditation and how to apply it in your day to day life. There’s a personalised progress page and a reward system for continued practice.


    Alternatively if you want to dive head first into meditation which I highly recommend doing then attending a meditation retreat will give you a push in right direction and really allow you to hit the ground running.

    Gaia House

    A silent Buddhist Meditation Retreat Centre that offers retreats all year. Go there for a sanctuary of contemplative calm set in the remote and quiet woodlands of South Devon.


    Platinum Healing Retreats

    Visit one of several signature Juice Detox Retreats. You will also enjoy many types of mindfulness including private meditation, Pranayama (Yogic Breathing) and use of the Jacuzzi for good measure.


    The Meditation Trust

    Head to Kent for a weekend and learn transcendental meditation. TM uses a mantra as a vehicle to let the mind settle down naturally and transcend thought.