DECISIVE DOCTOR VISIT

About a year after my initial diagnosis of stage IV head and neck cancer, I had a follow-up visit with my oncologist Dr. C. After my vitals were taken and blood drawn, we had a brief wait in the bleak exam room. Then Dr. C. entered, greeting in his usual style, “How are you, David! You look great!”

During this exam, Dr. C. announced that my scans were clear and I was now officially cancer-free. He commented, “That was not an easy regimen (chemo, radiation and surgery) you just had, but you did phenomenally well!” He asked if there was actually something I did which helped me get through treatment in such good emotional and physical shape. I replied that I’d used a mindful wellness practice, listening to programs at the infusion center. His eyes lit up as he suddenly proclaimed, “That’s what I want for all of my patients!” He desired a way his patients could become calm before their exams or treatments.

As Dr. C. talked, Tamara’s eyes and mine met and a light bulb lit up. We’d been creating the Miracle Mondays guided meditation series for seven years, and we’d also recently lived through the cancer experience as patient and caregiver. Now my oncologist was pointing out a pain-point within his practice. As we exchanged huge smiles, we had our a-ha! moment: Loving Meditations was born.

RESEARCH-BASED RESULTS

Meditation has deep roots in research-based results. CancerNetwork.com, home of the journal Oncology, reported that mind-body practices like mindfulness meditation have been shown to “positively affect quality of life and biological outcomes” when used by cancer patients and healthcare professionals. [1]

Let’s face it. Cancer and other major illnesses are scary, overwhelming, and stressful. How can we handle them with more ease?

[1] CancerNetwork.com, home of the journal Oncology “Mindfulness Meditation” by Susan Bauer-Wu, PhD, RN
Oct 19, 2010 http://www.cancernetwork.com/oncology-nursing/mindfulness-meditation

HOW IT WORKS

The Loving Meditations App is available on two platforms, iOS (for iPad and iPhone) and Web App (for any device). For the free app download, go to http://www.calmcancerstress.com/ The mindful wellness programs are delivered via the App to empower cancer patients, survivors and caregivers with self-love, self-care and self-discovery on their healing journey, from diagnosis to survivorship.

As you watch Loving Meditations, Tamara’s calming voice, David’s expansive music and spectacular images shift you to a state of more calm. Our mindful techniques worked beautifully for us and also have helped thousands of people in over twenty countries.

REDUCING STRESS FOR PATIENTS

Imagine you’re sitting in the infusion center hooked up to a cocktail of IV medications. You are expecting to be sitting there for a few hours, anticipating discomfort and with time on your hands. Then you remember you have the Loving Meditations app on your device. Finding the right meditation is as simple as opening the app and answering a few questions with the Adviser feature. For example, when the Adviser asks, “Do you feel pain or discomfort?” you may choose to swipe right for yes, and the Adviser quickly guides you to helpful programs. Next, press play and enjoy the meditation. Whether you close your eyes and zone out or watch the beautiful images on the screen, you’ll be transported to a state of relaxation and tranquility.

RECHARGING FOR CAREGIVERS

Imagine that you are completely exhausted, overwhelmed, and in need of a recharge. While your loved one is receiving treatment, the Loving Meditations app sends you a reminder to watch the next meditation in your current program. You pop in your ear buds and see that the next meditation in the Vital Re-charge program is Refresh. Revitalize. Renew. Within minutes, you should be feeling much more energized, refreshed and inspired to go on with your day.

CALMING FOR SURVIVORS

Imagine you’re scheduled for a follow-up scan and are beginning to feel anxious about the procedure and results. Looking at your device screen, you notice an inspiring quote there from Loving Meditations. Opening the app, you navigate to one of the Mindful Minute videos called Total Focus Breath, a super easy technique to use anytime, anywhere to quickly calm and quiet the mind. You follow the breathing technique for the next several minutes. Quickly, a sense of “I’ve got this” replaces panic.

WHAT, ME MEDITATE?

We’ve heard folks say, “Yeah, but I have no time to meditate!” Looking at it another way, we don’t realize how many hours we actually spend watching the news, TV programs, or digital content on social media. Many of us devote significant time to this, sometimes to the point of addiction. Another common problem people mention about starting a mindful practice is that they can’t stop thinking and their mind is too “active” to meditate. They may have tried meditating in the past and found it difficult to sit and do nothing. Barraged by thoughts, they can’t shut them out. What if it was as easy as putting in earbuds and pressing play on the Loving Meditations App?

HOW TO QUIET THE MIND

Refrain from giving meaning or judgment to the thoughts, beliefs, fears, emotions, and feelings that will pop up during meditation. When they arise, don’t judge yourself. Gently smile and let them float away. Know that what emerges is ready to leave your system. That’s right, all thoughts, beliefs, fears, emotions, and feelings that surface are actually trying to leave your mind and body, so let them. To help them release, be the witness and observer of what arises and watch it gently float away. Even for the most seasoned meditator, thoughts come up. It’s no biggie. Just notice them with curiosity and let them drift away. Then return your attention back onto the guided meditation.

We wish you peace and ease on your journey!

Additional Images Copyright 123rf Katarzyna Białasiewicz, damedeeso, Zivica Kerkez


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

David Dachinger and Tamara Green, LCSW are the co-founders of Loving Meditations. David is a survivor of stage IV head and neck cancer, an author and Grammy-nominated composer. Tamara is an author, speaker, and trainer, whom Elle magazine referred to as “the soul-centered psychotherapist and meditation facilitator.” Together, this married couple produce mindful wellness programs to empower cancer patients, survivors and caregivers with self-love, self-care and self-discovery on their healing journey, from diagnosis to survivorship. Check out their website at https://lovingmeditations.com or contact them at info@lovingmeditations.com.