Meditation for Crohn’s Disease
Last updated: August 2021
When you're in a Crohn's flare, or nervous about an upcoming procedure, mediation can be quite helpful. It generally helps me relax. It also keeps me grounded.
Meditation music and pillow
I like to meditate listening to music. There’s a wide variety of meditation music that can be obtained free on YouTube or Spotify. That said, I have two favorite tracks I’ve used regularly for more than 20 years. They are titled "Caroline Myss' Morning Meditation" and "Caroline Myss’ Evening Meditation" and the music on them is by Stevin McNamara.
I find these tracks put me in a reflective state that, at times, seems akin to a trance. They also have personal significance given that I’ve listened to them through some very trying moments.
Another important aspect of meditation is a meditation pillow. This helps with your posture. It will make it more comfortable if sitting in the lotus position. These can be obtained through various outlets online and are relatively affordable. Of course, if you prefer, as I often do, you can meditate sitting upright on a couch or a futon.
Meditating to detach from Crohn's
The reason I find meditation so helpful is it keeps me from attaching too much to my experiences. In other words, my thoughts, my presence, my breathing are all observed, but more from a distance. Practicing keeping a certain perspective helps me handle stress when things go awry.
Part of this, I find, is that I can reenter something akin to this meditative state when in a trying moment (Crohn's offers plenty of those), which makes my circumstances easier to handle.
Another mediation technique I have experimented with is raising awareness. One way I do this is by focusing on my breath. Another is by focusing first on my breath, then on the room, my apartment, my city, my country, the Earth, the galaxy, and finally the universe. By gradually widening my focus, I somehow feel more connected to my surroundings.
There are >many other techniques you can try. The important thing is that you make meditation a regular practice.
Some science behind meditation for Crohn's
Incidentally, there is some scientific evidence meditation can be beneficial for your overall health. One study, involving an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction mediation program, suggested it caused stress levels to decline.1
Another study showed meditation had some benefits on pain management in IBS,2 which is not nearly as severe as IBD, granted, but still seems promising.
There are two other benefits of mediation worth mentioning. One is you can do it anywhere. A train. A plane. A crowded funeral. The other is, unlike drugs and procedures, there is no real downside to trying it.
Why I practice meditation
It also has been shown to help with pain management for IBS (which, while not IBD, at least seems hopeful). Finally, it often enhances your overall spiritual and physiological wellness. Thanks for reading and as always feel free to comment below.
What has been the most helpful for managing IBD symptoms?