The continuing rise in cancer rates and longer survivorship underscores the need for effective symptom management. Based on current evidence, meditation is a promising modality for the relief of both psychological and physical symptoms associated with cancer and its treatments. Meditation can reduce stress, control anxiety, improve sleep, and improve emotional health and self-awareness. It has also been reported to lengthen attention span and reduce age-related memory loss.
CaSfA recently hosted a Meditation Workshop utilizing the free app, Insight Timer. Recommended by CaSfA members and psychosocial counselors, it contains over 19,000 meditations and offers the “largest free library of meditations and music tracks on earth.” I’ve recently started using it, and now also recommend it!
The app allows you to select from many categories of guided meditations such as:
· Recovery and Healing
· Stress and Anxiety
· Performance (clarity, creativity, leadership, etc.)
· Health and Happiness
The app allows you to pick a meditation based on time too, varying from less than 5 minutes to over 30 minutes.
You can choose between verbally guided meditations or those with music. We experimented with a few short meditations at our workshop. It became clear that what works for one individual may not work for another, so you have to try different options to find the best meditations for you.
The app also contains courses in meditation. At our workshop we started the beginner course, “Learn to Meditate in Seven Days”. The course consists of seven, easy-to-do, 12-minute lessons:
· All You Do is Breathe
· Here and Now
· Witness Your Thoughts
· Mind-Body Connection
· Exploring Emotions
· Power of Intention
· Finding Inner Stillness
There are also courses for those who are more advanced in meditation (although there are fees associated some of these.)
New content is added every day, so you really cannot run out of free offerings! Give it a try!