By Paul Moses, LPC
Meditation sessions assist patients with recovery. The meditative process helps patients reduce anxiety so they sleep better and feel more refreshed. Their blood pressure decreases and they tend to have more pleasant dreams. They feel better in their bodies.
Case Manager Aaron Edmiston, LCDC, and I lead patients in optional meditation sessions. I lead patient at night in 35 minute guided meditations as they sit or lie on yoga mats in a darkened room with soft music or nature sounds playing in the background. Aaron leads patients at the beginning of the day in 15 minute mindfulness session as they sit in a well lit room. We both focus on helping our patients relax their bodies and minds.
Some of my guided meditation themes are short journeys – going into space, hiking to mountain tops, wading or swimming in the ocean, or strolling along a deserted beach.
Meditation is popular with those who use it as an aid to recovery. One former patient said, “The meditation classes changed my life and opened my heart.” Another said it was one of their favorite activities. “I feel that this will be a new activity I will be enjoying for the rest of my life. Life-changing, indeed.”
Part of My Recovery
My involvement with meditation began as a part of my recovery journey. My mental obsession needed an outlet, so I took up karate lessons at age 19 to keep me busy. My instructor said I was too stiff and anxious and needed to meditate in preparation for the class. But meditating solo didn’t work so well – I only made it through a few minutes before falling asleep or dropping out from boredom. It was hard to stay focused on breathing.
I had heard about guided meditation, so I did some research. Using what I learned through that, I started leading groups in guided meditation in 1989 and have continued that practice in my various counseling jobs ever since.
Karate, however, didn’t take hold in me – it required more energy than I wanted to give. I’d rather chill than fight.
Do It Yourself
If you are not able to do meditation with a group, there are many resources on the Internet where you can find process tips and music. You can build a meditation around a subject that fits your needs and preferences.
To learn more about meditation, watch my 10-minute video.
Evening Counselor Paul Moses joined the La Hacienda staff in June 2017 as an evening shift counselor. He credits his arrival here as “a God thing. I had worked in another inpatient program for nearly three years and was burned out. I stopped working to regain perspective and found La Hacienda.”
A licensed professional counselor since 1996, he specializes in chemical dependency, marriage counseling and mental health. He counsels clients in crisis, and teaches discharge and focus groups.
In his spare time, Paul enjoys outings with his wife, walking along the river, and building electric guitars from exotic hardwoods.