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After almost 12 months thinking about it, I have finally started practicing meditation. And for anyone who – like I - has been tossing up whether it’s worth it the answer is simple. Yes, it is worth it.

I was fortunate to be taught by my lovely aunt (who btw is also a great wholefood cook - http://www.wholefoodcooking.com.au) and just one week in I’m feeling the benefits.

My (ongoing) personal symptoms of numbness in my left arm, plus random pins and needles have become noticeably better. Like all things MS, I am sure this will vary from one individual to another but I'm sure you will appreciate my excitement at this improvement. This however hasn’t been the best bit (I’m a little tempted to use the infomercial cliché of, “but wait, there’s more”).

The best bit has been feeling calmer and relaxed. I’ve never been a stressed out person, but MS – in particular questions about the future – has naturally been playing on my mind. Especially late at night when the daily distractions are gone and I’m left alone with my thoughts. Anyway, after the first session in which I only managed 15min, I immediately noticed the difference. Over the week I have been doing 20min a day and am feeling the benefits at home and work. And last night was the first night since my diagnosis in Jan that I had a (unaided) good eight hour sleep. Priceless.

Next week I will start doing two 20min sessions a day.

I wanted to share this as I am sure I’m not alone in having wanted to start but continually put it off. Like the other aspects of the recovery plan, meditation is soooo worth it.
I wanted to second that. You end up with a different relationship to your pain and symptoms. Before, when my hand started feeling bad, it consumed me. My hand, my hand!

Now, it's just my hand is crazy today and I go on with my other stuff. It's like it's connected to me, but the emotions around it are distant and I don't notice it much.

Diagnosis: Jan 2010, OMS April 2010.
I agree too.

I still have a long way to go with my meditation but even just the 15-20 minutes a day I've been doing have helped immensely. I don't always have a completely stress free day and often feel some old emotions rising up, but I find that when they do I can notice it and think about how I felt when I was meditating and my body instantly switches back to that state without having to actually sit down and meditate.

Just being able to be aware of those feelings when they arise and stop them in their tracks has made such a huge difference to my day, it just makes me so excited to see how much further I can change myself mentally with more practice.

It has changed my life more than any single thing. It's just amazing, both for coping with the disease (and there is evidence that meditation is healing), but also with dealing with life. The first thing we think when we're diagnosed my be "Great, now I've got one more giant thing to worry about", but this makes it not simple, not do-able, but somehow everthing feels normal, both good and bad.

Diagnosis: Jan 2010, OMS April 2010.
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