youtube meditation for pain and anxiety
November 28, 2018 4:44 AM   Subscribe

My father's cardiologist told him he needs to meditate in order to bring his blood pressure down. What youtube meditations for pain and/or anxiety would you consider accessible for a guy in his early 60s? Something to catch his attention and draw him in.

His body is falling apart internally from heavy use when he was younger.

He is in constant pain, and he has bad-as-it-comes misophonia. He generally has a "grin and bear it" mentality. He has recently lost both parents and ended a decade-long relationship, so he has a lot of external stressors, too.

He eats right now and exercises at the gym for hours a day, and has lots of friends. This question is about meditation.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I'm in my mid fifties, don't much care for getting a bunch of technology all up in my meditation, and would instead recommend this stripped-down approach as a good place to start. It doesn't look like there's much to it, but if you approach it as a challenge in its own right it rapidly becomes quite compelling. One ten minute session per day is a good amount for a beginner.

If part of what your father wants to get out of a meditative practice is a stronger awareness of his own autonomic bodily processes, he might get some value from using the feeling of his own heartbeat and/or the counting of heartbeats per inward and outward breath as a point of focus for meditation sessions.
posted by flabdablet at 5:20 AM on November 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

youtube meditations for pain and/or anxiety

I'm also not convinced that this is a useful way to conceptualize meditation. Meditation is not a treatment for any specific kind of distress; it's a practice that builds skills and strengths that one can use to respond to potentially distressing circumstances in increasingly helpful ways.
posted by flabdablet at 5:36 AM on November 28, 2018

If there are classes in your area, would he be willing to take one (if only to appease his doctor)? Transcendental meditation classes are expensive, but vipassana classes are usually donation based and Buddhist centers don't charge much.
I just say that because I can't imagine learning meditation from a youtube video.
posted by FencingGal at 6:47 AM on November 28, 2018

If he has a smart phone I'd recommend trying an app. I prefer Headspace largely because there's only one teacher so you get a consistent experience throughout the app. I've also found good courses on 10% Happier and like the Insight Meditation Timer just for the timer (they have guided meditations too) and see Calm referenced pretty often but have never tried it.

They all have free trial courses that you can repeat as desired so I'd recommend trying all of them and seeing what works best. You might also see if there are local meditation resources, groups, etc. MBSR is an 8-week course that I believe is taught in some medical facilities. Check the local library for books and resources.

Meditation isn't an instant fix, it's more about learning to look at things from a different perspective. A perspective that's generally more relaxed, that accepts the conditions of life and rolls with them rather than fighting with them.

You could ask in the meditation sub-reddit
posted by Awfki at 6:49 AM on November 28, 2018

I really like the free app 1 Giant Mind. It has a 12-day course that teaches Vedic meditation (basically the same as Transcendental Meditation) which is a very easy and pleasing form of meditation and according to a meta-analysis in the American Journal of Hypertension "may have the potential to reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure by ∼4.7 and 3.2 mm Hg, respectively. These are clinically meaningful changes."

The Android/iOS app Insight Timer has plenty of free meditations about pain and anxiety, as well as in-app forums for people with chronic illness.

More specifically, Insight Timer also has a $4.99 ten-day course in meditation for pain and illness by Vidyamala Burch. Burch also has an audiobook on the topic on (where I believe your first book is free) and there is a book-book version too called You Are Not Your Pain.

The website has some $14.95 hypnosis for pain mp3s as well as hypnosis for anxiety. I have used their products before and recommend them (though not these particular tracks); they come with a money-back guarantee.

Sleepy Santosha on youtube has a lot of gentle yoga videos for people with pain and chronic illness including this gentle yoga for fibromyalgia video.
posted by hungrytiger at 12:58 PM on November 28, 2018

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction has also been shown to reduce blood pressure but he'd have to sign up for an eight-week class that usually costs about $300. It's useful to have social support when you're starting a new habit but it depends on how motivated he is.

Hope your dad finds something that works for him.
posted by hungrytiger at 1:00 PM on November 28, 2018

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