Author Topic: Huge pressure into the whole head  (Read 11951 times)

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Huge pressure into the whole head
« Reply #25 on: December 14, 2015, 10:58:43 PM »
....
With such a foundation of grounded and concentrated yet relaxed awareness, you can engage differently with strong emotions, thoughts or physical sensations. And that is why Matthew recommend you first build the foundation in the shamatha meditation.

In any case, you are experiencing yourself that focussing on the strong sensations is not benefiting you and that shamatha is more right for you at this point in your life. So I invite you to experiment some more with it. Re-read the instructions. Don't suppress what comes up, yet don't follow or focus. Keep coming back to sensations of the breath while you allow yourself to relax.

Don't have expectations. Give it some time and see what happens.

Yip. That's it. And you know for yourself already it works better for you:

Quote
I mean that with the problem that I have, Shamatha is really easier to practice for me.
It became almost impossible to practice the method that I learned during the stage. The pressures were so strong that it was almost impossible to focus on something else.

I really focused a lot on unpleasant sensations, yes. We can almost talk of torture. I'm really surprised that you recommend me to let them go on the background.

The reason to "let them go on in the background" is that two completely different approaches are being offered (and concentrating on them doesn't work so good for most people).

The one on the course says you must use a lot of effort and force: force your concentration on your nose: then force it on what hurts most. And keep going!

The one in the Shamatha instructions is based on a much lesser amount of force: you need the discipline to get to the cushion and stay there, yet the general mode of the practice is calm/relaxed and open awareness. First just by repeatedly returning attention to the breath, gently and without self criticism, we naturally start to develop a strong concentration - BUT, it is not forced, it grows from pacifying the body and mind, not putting it in a cage. Secondly through developing letting go and equanimity we strengthen our ability to stay on the course and not be drawn one way by attractive outcomes or pushed another way by more difficult outcomes.

So Shamatha naturally and harmoniously develops calm, concentration, equanimity, the ability to let go and resilience. It doesn't demand you walk a tightrope of anxiety: the opposite, it builds a wide path of peace for you to follow.

As Alex suggested, it might be worth printing the instructions and reading them every couple of days to start so you can remember and correct the details of practice.

Kindly,

M


~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Alex

  • Member
Re: Huge pressure into the whole head
« Reply #26 on: December 18, 2015, 10:01:25 AM »
Hey Anarcho

How has your experience been these last few days?

I also wondered about something you wrote before:

Surprisingly, I also often read medical advices saying to accept everything felt. They even encouraged to ask more anxiety from himself.

Can you tell a little more about that?

Kind regards
Alex

Anarcho

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • Stage of 10 days
Re: Huge pressure into the whole head
« Reply #27 on: December 18, 2015, 02:28:29 PM »
Hi Alex and Matthew,

Thank you very much one more time for all these precious informations you gave to me. I tried to read them a couple of times and took good notice.

Concerning Shamatah, you were talking about the importance to be focused on the breathe. In fact, I never did that. I was only paying attention to the bodily sensations and calming the body.
I don't know if it's the same for other people suffering from anxiety, but every exercises with a focus on the breathe make me feel worst. The first days in the retreat were extremely difficult because of it.
Despite this, it's possible to calm the body with this technique. I just tried to calm the body.

I sometimes tried to practice again with focusing on the tensions, but I will maybe stop. It's very hazardous. Without reacting, the tension can disappear. But it's very difficult to stay equanimous towards these pressures and if I don't "succeed" (sorry for the expression), it can make them worst.

It's going a little bit better today. But I know that it could already change next hours.



For answering to your question, Alex, in fact it's a little bit like some principles giving by the meditation, but not totally the same.
Some doctors proposed me to not only accept the anxiety, but also ask to my body to make me face to the strongest anxiety that he could do it to me. It's like a challenge that I give to my body. I have to ask for the most anxiety I could have and then accept everything with love. The idea is that the crisis will suddenly stop, because we are no more afraid of it.
A girl said me that she recovered from anxiety with it.
I tried to do it with the most honesty that I could. I tried it several days. The anxiety became extremely strong during all these days and it became almost impossible for me to calm down.


The biggest paradox I have to face is the fact that I have to accept the anxiety, without any real possibility to accept it. I'm living in a world in which I need a work to live and in which I can't work with such anxiety.
I could say me that it doesn't matter, but it sounds false.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2015, 02:53:31 PM by Anarcho »

Alex

  • Member
Re: Huge pressure into the whole head
« Reply #28 on: December 18, 2015, 05:19:04 PM »
Thank you very much one more time for all these precious informations you gave to me. I tried to read them a couple of times and took good notice.

You’re welcome Anarcho. I’m glad you’re finding benefit in this thread.

Concerning Shamatah, you were talking about the importance to be focused on the breathe. In fact, I never did that. I was only paying attention to the bodily sensations and calming the body.
I don't know if it's the same for other people suffering from anxiety, but every exercises with a focus on the breathe make me feel worst. The first days in the retreat were extremely difficult because of it.
Despite this, it's possible to calm the body with this technique. I just tried to calm the body.

I wonder, what happens when you bring your attention on the (bodily sensations of the) breath?

To which bodily sensations do you bring attention to instead?

But you did notice that the body became more calme? How was that?

I sometimes tried to practice again with focusing on the tensions, but I will maybe stop. It's very hazardous. Without reacting, the tension can disappear. But it's very difficult to stay equanimous towards these pressures and if I don't "succeed" (sorry for the expression), it can make them worst.

It’s very tempting to focus on the tensions. ;) But it’s also very tricky because because your body-mind is not stable enough yet and, as you have experienced first-hand, this can make the tensions worse.

I can also imagine that the tendency to focus on the tensions is very strong (and is most probably a factor contributing to the general anxiety disorder). So your practice will be a lot about noticing that mind is very much attracted by the tensions. When you notice this, you have a choice to come back. That is the practice.

It's going a little bit better today. But I know that it could already change next hours.

Join the club, my friend. That’s why we try to be open to whatever comes our way.  ;)

For answering to your question, Alex, in fact it's a little bit like some principles giving by the meditation, but not totally the same.
Some doctors proposed me to not only accept the anxiety, but also ask to my body to make me face to the strongest anxiety that he could do it to me. It's like a challenge that I give to my body. I have to ask for the most anxiety I could have and then accept everything with love. The idea is that the crisis will suddenly stop, because we are no more afraid of it.
A girl said me that she recovered from anxiety with it.
I tried to do it with the most honesty that I could. I tried it several days. The anxiety became extremely strong during all these days and it became almost impossible for me to calm down.

It sounds like you are referring to exposure therapy? If this is something you would like to explore, I suggest you find yourself a cognitive-behavioral therapist, preferably one that specializes in anxiety disorders.

The biggest paradox I have to face is the fact that I have to accept the anxiety, without any real possibility to accept it. I'm living in a world in which I need a work to live and in which I can't work with such anxiety.
I could say me that it doesn't matter, but it sounds false.

You want the anxiety to go away so you can lead a good life. I think a lot of people can relate to this, myself included.

But look at what you know already: we can not change our experience by force or control, however much we would like that. We simply can't.

And now you have found meditation technique that you have some confidence in.

So, I invite you to let these doubts or thoughts about paradox just be and continue with the experiment.

Anarcho

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • Stage of 10 days
Re: Huge pressure into the whole head
« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2015, 02:48:49 PM »
Thank you very much one more time for all these precious informations you gave to me. I tried to read them a couple of times and took good notice.

You’re welcome Anarcho. I’m glad you’re finding benefit in this thread.


I wonder, what happens when you bring your attention on the (bodily sensations of the) breath?

To which bodily sensations do you bring attention to instead?

But you did notice that the body became more calme? How was that?

It’s very tempting to focus on the tensions. ;) But it’s also very tricky because because your body-mind is not stable enough yet and, as you have experienced first-hand, this can make the tensions worse.

I can also imagine that the tendency to focus on the tensions is very strong (and is most probably a factor contributing to the general anxiety disorder). So your practice will be a lot about noticing that mind is very much attracted by the tensions. When you notice this, you have a choice to come back. That is the practice.


Join the club, my friend. That’s why we try to be open to whatever comes our way.  ;)


It sounds like you are referring to exposure therapy? If this is something you would like to explore, I suggest you find yourself a cognitive-behavioral therapist, preferably one that specializes in anxiety disorders.

You want the anxiety to go away so you can lead a good life. I think a lot of people can relate to this, myself included.

But look at what you know already: we can not change our experience by force or control, however much we would like that. We simply can't.

And now you have found meditation technique that you have some confidence in.

So, I invite you to let these doubts or thoughts about paradox just be and continue with the experiment.

Hi Alex, : )

In fact, when I was focusing on the breathe, I was really near from the pressures in my head and mostly really near from my "strangulation" in the neck.
I was unable to observe the breath without having a little control on my way to breathe. I'm supposing that it's the case for everyone, but that in my case, this little impact is enough to be focused on the effects with my strangulation. It of course made it worse.

With my new practice of Shamatah, I was only focusing on "blue parts" in my body and on the tiny tensions I could observe. With observing the calm, these tensions disappeared and the body became more calm.

But this morning, I tried to focus again on the breath. It was almost possible to practice like it. I will try again. I think it could really improve my concentration and my presence in the moment.

I read a book which said that people wouldn't suffer from anxiety if they were living the present. And I know that I don't live my life, but mostly think my life. Even if I go 3 times in a car on the same road, I'm so much in my thoughts that I will be unable to recognize the road again. I almost can't remember how was the floor in my last flat one year ago...
And I remember that during my depression, I was so much in my thoughts that I was squarely unable to follow a discussion. It's like if I watched the mouth of the person and said me "oh shit, what could he be saying?", "what will you answer after all of it?", "does he notice that I can't follow what he says?".
And I have noticed that every people who were thinking too much had problems between my friends.
I would like to live with more instinct, directly in the present.
I'm even thinking on the way I'm walking. By consequence, I walk weird. It's a bit like if you were intellectualizing the way you are dancing...
I know it could sound strange, but it's a real problem and maybe the reason of my anxiety.

It's true that I'm noticing by the practice that my mind is ever going to the tensions. But I think it's a normal way. It's like if you break your leg, your mind will automatically come to this pain.
I saw a CB therapist and she effectively said the same as you (coming back to something else than the tension). I have to work on it.
I also think that the observation could take me more into the reality of the present moment.

I'm not sure to have understood you at the end. Did you also suffer from anxiety? If it was the case, I would be really interested to know how you dealt with it.

Kind regards
« Last Edit: December 19, 2015, 02:55:58 PM by Anarcho »

bomega

  • Member
Re: Huge pressure into the whole head
« Reply #30 on: December 22, 2015, 08:12:22 PM »
Hi Anarcho,

This might sound simplistic, but have you ruled out physical problems? I ask, because, personally, while I don't have the problems you describe, I did a couple days ago, and one thing that was different that day was that I had drank coffee for the first time in a long while, the sat for meditation about an hour later. I ended up with exactly as you described, and had the headache and dizziness for several hours after. So, I want to ask:

1) Do you drink caffeine (tea, coffee, energy drinks, supplements, etc), and if so, how much in a day? Do you consume other stimulants (nicotine, etc.)?
2) Do you think you get enough water, and if you do are you hydrated (do you have dryness in the mouth or dry skin)? It is possible to get enough water but still be dehydrated because the water isn't inside of the cells, so you might need to make sure you are getting enough electrolytes too (this doesn't have to be a big deal - it might just mean a slight change in diet.)
3) You say you suffer from anxiety - do you do other self-care to try to manage this? What things are those?
4) Do you think there is some other physical issue?

I don't want to oversimplify your problem, but it might be a good idea to rule out a physical problem, so that it can be addressed appropriately.

As far as that technique of focusing on pain, you should work with a therapist if you want to continue to explore exposure therapy. But I will say that for most physical pains and tensions, I can release it by "holding" it in my mind. That is, I imagine the area of my body where the pain is, containing the pain...and all the area around it. I don't to to focus on the pain, but I don't ignore it either - I try to give equal attention to the entire area. Then I expand my awareness to my whole body. I do find that this reduces and at times entirely releases pains and tensions. But for that headache experience I described above, like you I had to stop. Now I just don't drink coffee before meditating. ;)

Anarcho

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • Stage of 10 days
Re: Huge pressure into the whole head
« Reply #31 on: December 22, 2015, 08:47:30 PM »
Hi Anarcho,

This might sound simplistic, but have you ruled out physical problems? I ask, because, personally, while I don't have the problems you describe, I did a couple days ago, and one thing that was different that day was that I had drank coffee for the first time in a long while, the sat for meditation about an hour later. I ended up with exactly as you described, and had the headache and dizziness for several hours after. So, I want to ask:

1) Do you drink caffeine (tea, coffee, energy drinks, supplements, etc), and if so, how much in a day? Do you consume other stimulants (nicotine, etc.)?
2) Do you think you get enough water, and if you do are you hydrated (do you have dryness in the mouth or dry skin)? It is possible to get enough water but still be dehydrated because the water isn't inside of the cells, so you might need to make sure you are getting enough electrolytes too (this doesn't have to be a big deal - it might just mean a slight change in diet.)
3) You say you suffer from anxiety - do you do other self-care to try to manage this? What things are those?
4) Do you think there is some other physical issue?

I don't want to oversimplify your problem, but it might be a good idea to rule out a physical problem, so that it can be addressed appropriately.

As far as that technique of focusing on pain, you should work with a therapist if you want to continue to explore exposure therapy. But I will say that for most physical pains and tensions, I can release it by "holding" it in my mind. That is, I imagine the area of my body where the pain is, containing the pain...and all the area around it. I don't to to focus on the pain, but I don't ignore it either - I try to give equal attention to the entire area. Then I expand my awareness to my whole body. I do find that this reduces and at times entirely releases pains and tensions. But for that headache experience I described above, like you I had to stop. Now I just don't drink coffee before meditating. ;)

Thank you bomega for having join the discussion : )
And thank you for the help


1) I drink no more coffeine. I drink sometimes some green tea, but even when I don't drink it, I feel these pressures (or dizziness). It became absolutely systematic since I made transcendental meditation. And I already felt it to the first hour of this practice.
I suppose that I somatize. For instance, every night, I feel a pressure in the teeths when I go to sleep. Even if I don't think about, it just comes systematic.

2) I think that I drink enough water, but I could try to drink it more. I effectively have dry skin every day. It's an effect of the general anxiety disorder. I should maybe drink more to compensate. For the electrolytes, I should drink special drinks?

3) You even can't imagine what I tried since 8 years... I can make you a little list :
Fish oils, light therapy, cardiac coherence, relaxation from Jacobson, meditating without thoughts, transcendental meditation, different kind of teas, black chocolate, ginseng, lavender oils, sport every day, more sun every day, massage, classical music, thermal baths, acceptation, doing as it was nothing with a job, anxiolytics, magnesium, homeopathy, yoga, Vittoz method, 3 books about anxiety, healthy food, positive thought, chinese medicine, 2 magnetisers, healer, naturopath, 2 doctors, 2 psychiatrists, stopping alcohol and coffeine, 2 cognivite and behaviour therapy, ventral breathing, exercizes with the breath ... I even created my own methods..

It could be easy to think that I'm crazy about healing and that the fact I don't let it go is responsible of it. But that would be false. I really did as if there was absolutely nothing during years. That's maybe why I'm into this situation now.

4) There is maybe. But I don't know what. I sleep bad, but I'm very anxious even if I sleep really good for some days.
It could be another reason. But I don't know what.

You are really well describing how I did it before for the other pains and tensions too. But as you said, it's just impossible to do so with these pressures in the head.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2015, 09:13:02 PM by Anarcho »

bomega

  • Member
Re: Huge pressure into the whole head
« Reply #32 on: December 23, 2015, 03:09:48 AM »
Sounds like you have tried a lot. I'm curious, of that list, has anything given you some measure of relief?

As far as electrolytes go, if you think you are dehydrated, you might want to talk to a doctor. But I basically try to get enough fresh fruits and vegetables. Things like Gatorade (sports drink) will replace electrolytes, but they aren't healthy to take long term, unless you are doing an intense sport and sweated out and are low blood sugar. And something like Pedialyte (OTC medicine) will too, but its more if you are sick. Really you should try to get it from food.

I know you have tried so many things, but I have another for you to consider. I started doing the meditation that Pema Chodron teaches in Awakening Loving-Kindness, which is
 - to follow just the out-breath,
 - you do it eyes-open,
 - and when you do it, the instruction is to do it with 1) gentleness, 2) precision, and 3) letting go at the end.
 - Then you wait for the next out-breath.

Maybe at first just read the book (which is pretty short) because she offers some instruction and trouble-shooting. I don't have anxiety like you do, but I found that doing this meditation I was really able to develop mindfulness in a way I didn't before. I still get distracted, but I notice faster, and its smoother to come back. Also, since doing this, I am much more in the present moment through-out my day. But more importantly, I find it helps me to release many chronic physical tensions I had especially in my neck area (where it is the worst). I don't know if it will relieve your pressures in your head though, which is why maybe just checkout the book first. I don't know if you are interested, since you have tried so many things, I wouldn't blame you if you don't want to try this.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Huge pressure into the whole head
« Reply #33 on: December 23, 2015, 08:17:44 AM »
With my new practice of Shamatah, I was only focusing on "blue parts" in my body and on the tiny tensions I could observe. With observing the calm, these tensions disappeared and the body became more calm.

But this morning, I tried to focus again on the breath. It was almost possible to practice like it. I will try again. I think it could really improve my concentration and my presence in the moment.
...
I would like to live with more instinct, directly in the present.
I'm even thinking on the way I'm walking.
....

Hi Anarcho,

When we say "concentrate on the breath" it is short for "concentrate on the physical sensations created by the breathing process". These physical sensations are throughout the body, in the belly, diaphragm, chest, even the legs and arms. Alex alluded to this when he asked:

Quote
I wonder, what happens when you bring your attention on the (bodily sensations of the) breath?

Many people mistakenly focus only on one part of the body or on an intellectual idea of the breath.

Paying attention to the whole body as you breath and calming the body with each in and out breath can be powerful. Have you tried this?

You say you would like to live more in the present but even when walking you are thinking. Have you tried a kind of walking meditation? You can walk and look around you, just noticing, noticing colours, sounds, smells, etc. Notice without comment or thought: like all practices it will take time to change the habitual mind, you will think, comment etc. yet by noticing this then returning attention to noticing the things around you the " muscles" of mindfulness will grow, your ability to be on the present will grow.


I agree with bomega that drinking enough water is also very important. You mention trouble sleeping sometimes and not enough water is the major cause of this.

Warm regards,

Matthew
« Last Edit: December 23, 2015, 08:40:41 AM by Matthew »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Anarcho

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • Stage of 10 days
Re: Huge pressure into the whole head
« Reply #34 on: December 23, 2015, 11:58:15 AM »
Sounds like you have tried a lot. I'm curious, of that list, has anything given you some measure of relief?

As far as electrolytes go, if you think you are dehydrated, you might want to talk to a doctor. But I basically try to get enough fresh fruits and vegetables. Things like Gatorade (sports drink) will replace electrolytes, but they aren't healthy to take long term, unless you are doing an intense sport and sweated out and are low blood sugar. And something like Pedialyte (OTC medicine) will too, but its more if you are sick. Really you should try to get it from food.

I know you have tried so many things, but I have another for you to consider. I started doing the meditation that Pema Chodron teaches in Awakening Loving-Kindness, which is
 - to follow just the out-breath,
 - you do it eyes-open,
 - and when you do it, the instruction is to do it with 1) gentleness, 2) precision, and 3) letting go at the end.
 - Then you wait for the next out-breath.

Maybe at first just read the book (which is pretty short) because she offers some instruction and trouble-shooting. I don't have anxiety like you do, but I found that doing this meditation I was really able to develop mindfulness in a way I didn't before. I still get distracted, but I notice faster, and its smoother to come back. Also, since doing this, I am much more in the present moment through-out my day. But more importantly, I find it helps me to release many chronic physical tensions I had especially in my neck area (where it is the worst). I don't know if it will relieve your pressures in your head though, which is why maybe just checkout the book first. I don't know if you are interested, since you have tried so many things, I wouldn't blame you if you don't want to try this.

I must have the humility to say yes, even if I didn't progress since 8 years.
Jacobson relaxation, anxioylitics, Vipassana and Vittoz method gave me sometimes a little bit relief.
Moreover, magnesium and sport helped me to feel a little less tired.
But my anxiety didn't decrease in the time.

For the other things, I could almost say no. One time, I felt great with the coherence cardiac. I felt absolutely no more anxiety for some hours. But it was something like one time for 50 attempts which made me worse.

I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, but I will try sports drink, just to watch if it could give a difference. I will also drink more and try your method.
That's very kind from you. I'm of course open to everything new which could help (except antidepressants). I dont'know yet if I will do it every day, because I still try to go on with some methods for months. But I already tried during some minutes and it seems me interesting to persevere in this way.

Anarcho

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • Stage of 10 days
Re: Huge pressure into the whole head
« Reply #35 on: December 23, 2015, 12:08:13 PM »


Hi Anarcho,

When we say "concentrate on the breath" it is short for "concentrate on the physical sensations created by the breathing process". These physical sensations are throughout the body, in the belly, diaphragm, chest, even the legs and arms. Alex alluded to this when he asked:

Quote
I wonder, what happens when you bring your attention on the (bodily sensations of the) breath?

Many people mistakenly focus only on one part of the body or on an intellectual idea of the breath.

Paying attention to the whole body as you breath and calming the body with each in and out breath can be powerful. Have you tried this?

You say you would like to live more in the present but even when walking you are thinking. Have you tried a kind of walking meditation? You can walk and look around you, just noticing, noticing colours, sounds, smells, etc. Notice without comment or thought: like all practices it will take time to change the habitual mind, you will think, comment etc. yet by noticing this then returning attention to noticing the things around you the " muscles" of mindfulness will grow, your ability to be on the present will grow.


I agree with bomega that drinking enough water is also very important. You mention trouble sleeping sometimes and not enough water is the major cause of this.

Warm regards,

Matthew

Thank you Matthew.
It's the way I was practicing at the beginning. I thought that I was doing it false and I focused again on the nostrils.
In fact, I was focusing on some parts into the body. Should I observe the calm into the whole body, like if there was only one energy, or observe it part by part? The question could sound weird, but it can make a big difference in the practice.

I tried the walking meditation. I was focusing on each step that I made. But as you said, I imagine it has to be done for a very long term.

I really appreciate the help from everyone here. Thank you very much for it.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Huge pressure into the whole head
« Reply #36 on: December 23, 2015, 12:47:33 PM »
...
It's the way I was practicing at the beginning. I thought that I was doing it false and I focused again on the nostrils.
In fact, I was focusing on some parts into the body. Should I observe the calm into the whole body, like if there was only one energy, or observe it part by part? The question could sound weird, but it can make a big difference in the practice.

For you, from all you have described, I would use a "light touch" focus: on the whole body - and if the body draws your attention somewhere, go there without losing touch with the rest of the body, don't concentrate too hard. It is a case of happily feeling your way forwards with the practice .. a little bit like learning to ride a bicycle.

I tried the walking meditation. I was focusing on each step that I made. But as you said, I imagine it has to be done for a very long term.

Not for a long term ... if you do this and exercise your "mindfulness muscles" in this way, paying attention to more and more external detail as you walk, the colours, the graduation in colours, peoples faces .. every detail of your surroundings you will possibly quite soon find you feel more in touch with the moment and feel those "mindfulness muscles" growing in power.

I suspect that this will work better for you than paying attention to each step as the object of meditation is the physical reality you are you in - and this will give you a ground outside of your mind yet within the reality you inhabit.

I really appreciate the help from everyone here. Thank you very much for it.

It's exactly what this forum is here for, in the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Alex

  • Member
Re: Huge pressure into the whole head
« Reply #37 on: December 26, 2015, 04:29:31 PM »
Hi Anarcho,

This past week has been unexpectedly and crazily busy. I’m glad I have some time and energy again to respond to your post! ;)

In terms of anxiety, I mostly suffered from social anxiety. Much as you, I lived in my head and in the stories that I had created about my life and myself. I was so insecure, so focussed on my social behaviour and afraid of other people’s reactions, that I didn’t know how to simply be myself around other people. And I would worry and ruminate about these things obsessively, and them some more…  :D

Actually I didn’t know how to deal with this anxiety. I was as much in the dark as you are and I could only struggle along, trusting in what seemed right at the time. I did some inner work (meditation, psychotherapy,…) and I did some outer work (actions in real life), not really knowing where it would lead me. But every inch of freedom I gained, gave me more courage and confidence to continue with this work. Eventually I learned “things”, organically, in it’s own time, not in a planned or purposeful manner.
But, to be clear, this does not mean that I am now free of 1) life conditions that might trigger anxiety, 2) anxious thoughts, 3) anxious bodily arousal and 4) inner reactivity to these inner processes that – when the conditions are right – can still keep the anxiety process going.

As for the practical questions, I’m a little bit confused because I’m not sure what your are practicing or what you want to practice. It must be confusing for you as well to switch from one technique to the other... Reading about other things you've tried, I wonder if you may benefit from committing to just one practice?

In general, and I'm sorry if I'm repeating myself or what others have said, I would recommend not trying too hard. Looking in the body for tensions and ‘trying’ to watch them with equanimity seems very tiring, bringing more tension.

The breath is always there, just let your awareness lightly rest on it, or touch, as Matthew put it, wherever the sensations are. Maybe one moment on the body as a whole, maybe another moment on a more specific part of the body. This is okay.

There’s nothing you should feel, and nothing you’re not allowed to feel. But pay attention to what is actually there. Connect to (= feel) what is actually there, instead of thinking of what should be there.

For example, when you notice you are controlling the breath, there’s nothing wrong. 'Controlling the breath' is what is there. Don’t try to change or do anything. Trying just brings more control. So, just watch. And feel it: feel what it’s like to control the breath. And relax.  ;)

It's true that I'm noticing by the practice that my mind is ever going to the tensions. But I think it's a normal way. It's like if you break your leg, your mind will automatically come to this pain.
I saw a CB therapist and she effectively said the same as you (coming back to something else than the tension). I have to work on it.
I also think that the observation could take me more into the reality of the present moment.

I somehow feel there is something important in this paragraph.
Yes, it’s the nature of our mind to go to pain. So, don’t suppress or beat yourself up about it. But also, don’t use it as some kind of excuse. You can bring attention back to present moment sensations (of the breath). You don't need to be experienced or perfect at it (or work some more at it before you can do this). You can bring attention back, even if only for one breath. Then, mind will wander again. And you bring it back. Again and again.

Doing this in a relaxed and friendly manner, this is the work.
Don't bother with the result of meditation, they will come. Ask yourself: Was I open to whatever was there? Did I come back to present moment sensations? Did I do this in a friendly way or did I criticize myself?

Kind regards
Alex

bomega

  • Member
Re: Huge pressure into the whole head
« Reply #38 on: January 14, 2016, 08:09:57 PM »
I must have the humility to say yes, even if I didn't progress since 8 years.
Jacobson relaxation, anxioylitics, Vipassana and Vittoz method gave me sometimes a little bit relief.
Moreover, magnesium and sport helped me to feel a little less tired.
But my anxiety didn't decrease in the time.

For the other things, I could almost say no. One time, I felt great with the coherence cardiac. I felt absolutely no more anxiety for some hours. But it was something like one time for 50 attempts which made me worse.

I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, but I will try sports drink, just to watch if it could give a difference. I will also drink more and try your method.
That's very kind from you. I'm of course open to everything new which could help (except antidepressants). I dont'know yet if I will do it every day, because I still try to go on with some methods for months. But I already tried during some minutes and it seems me interesting to persevere in this way.
Hi Anarcho, Sorry I didn't respond sooner - I went to a Goenka retreat at the end of the year, and have been catching up with my life since I got back. Glad that you have some tools for some temporary relief, but sounds like you are still suffering a lot from anxiety. Also, it's glad that Vipassana has help you. Certainly revisit those things that have helped you, but I had just a couple more things you might want to look into if you felt so inclined:

  • Have you tried biofeedback, or neurofeedback? Biofeedback uses galvanic skin response (measuring slight changes in sweat production) to train your body to produce less anxiety symptoms. Neurofeedback is similar training, but training your brain to produce less of certain brain waves in certain areas (and also maybe training up certain brain waves in certain areas) all designed to reduce anxiety symptoms and increase feelings of well-being. Biofeedback has been used since the 60's and neurofeedback since the 80s, so although these are kind of alternative, they both have a lot of research and clinical results to back them.

  • You mentioned that magnesium gives you some relief. Have you tried using topical magnesium (sometimes called Magnesium Oil) in place of oral supplement? The reason being that magnesium absorbs into the body easier through the skin than the intestines, so you can get more, and the body can correct better too (so less likely to take too much, or have "uncomfortable digestive symptoms" from taking too much orally, without actually getting what your body needs). Common some ways to get it through the skin are:
     - through a foot soak,
     - bath soak (I like to use dead sea salt for a bath, which consist of almost entirely magnesium chloride and a little bit of trace minerals - so it make your skin really nice too :)),
     - or you can just apply it full concentration to the skin directly. This can feel irritating to the skin at first, but your skin will adapt.
     - My friend saw a naturopath that gave her an ear drop or something. For some reason they thought this is better, but I don't know.

  • If sport is helping you, consider adding yoga a couple times a week to your routine. Given that you are dealing with anxiety, my first thought is a gentle relaxing type, but I suspect there is a benefit for you with a more vigorous vinyasa flow type thing too. Or maybe if you have a studio convenient to you you could try different styles and different teachers to see if you click with a certain class. Although you can develop mindfulness with any exercise, something about yoga kind of makes you develop it, especially with a good teacher, so you may find this physical style of developing mindfulness may give you relief for your anxiety. If you want to try a video to use at home, one of my favorite yoga videos is Erich Schiffmann's Backyard Series: Beginning Yoga. Please forgive the low production values - Erich Schiffmann is one of the greats of our time - this video is worth at least trying.

  • Also, be careful with the sport drink - maybe only take it after heavy exertion. It will help if you need electrolyes replaced, but they are sometimes high in sugar.

Good luck Anarcho - hope you find what you need.

VipassanaXYZ

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • Goenka
Re: Huge pressure into the whole head
« Reply #39 on: January 21, 2016, 08:55:42 AM »
Hi Anarcho

if the pressure is more like a buzz, seemingly in the whole head rather than one specific part then it is something I felt too.

For me the answer was to move away from wi-fi, removing electronic devices (oincluding cell phones) from near my head.

You can research more about EMF.

Sending a random link below:
http://www.earthcalm.com/headaches-and-emfs


Earthing helps.

VipassanaXYZ

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • Goenka
Re: Huge pressure into the whole head
« Reply #40 on: January 21, 2016, 09:11:42 AM »
If the external cause are ruled out and you feel it is from meditation then it very well could be!

When we sit for meditation, the Buddha advised - sit without craving or aversion for this world, without hankering for the objects of this world, with Asoka (without sadness).

I can not stress this enough. Concentration is like a double edged sword. It can help immensely IF your mind is calm (not only on the surface but also at a deeper level). To see if your mind is calm, attentive and equanimous - see if there is some degree of continuity in watching the breath (longer the continuity without mind wandering away, better the concentration).

Then, what kind of concentration? Is it equanimous? To check this see if there is a slight smile on your face. The equanimous concentrationbased on skillful qualities in daily life gives rise to spontaenous piti (delight. joy, rapture). Piti is one of the seven factors of enlightenment along side mindfulness, energy, investigation, calm, equanimity ...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/piyadassi/wheel001.html

Characteristics of piti that I observed for myself are: it is easy to sit straight, it is easier to sit for the whole hour and time seems to pass quickly even though I am aware and mind is not wandering, there is ease and flexibility in sitting, there is less need for food, less irritation from disturbances, it seems like a cakewalk to bear pain etc.

Sometimes it even helps to intentionally sit with a smile. If not a spontaenous smile then a brave smile that I am going to spend the coming few moments developing my skillfulness in concentration in the face of this tide/pain. That I am making wholesome effort :) 

Here are some nice talks:

http://www.audiodharma.org/teacher/1/

« Last Edit: January 21, 2016, 09:16:07 AM by poojavassa »

Jen

  • Member
  • Walking the path, one small step at a time
    • Vipassana a la Goenka
Re: Huge pressure into the whole head
« Reply #41 on: January 22, 2016, 11:53:13 AM »
Hi Anarcho,
It's been a little while since you've last written on this thread, and I'm wondering how you are doing. Have there been any changes in what you're experiencing? I hope that you are doing well.

I was wondering if you have been to a medical doctor to explore whether there could be a purely physical cause for your sensations of pressure in the head. It's possible that what you're experiencing is entirely somatic, but it would seem to be a good idea to rule out physical problems that might be causing these sensations, especially if they are still ongoing. I am sure you are absolutely fine, but as someone who has lost my father, aunt and friend to brain cancer, my thoughts automatically go there. However, I don't want to cause you any undue stress or anxiety with my post! There are a variety of physical causes that could be explored, but I don't know where you live and if you have access to good medical care, or if you think it would be worthwhile to visit a doctor.

At any rate, I hope you are doing well and progressing with your meditation practice. I haven't had the exact difficulties that you are experiencing, and I can imagine it's been very difficult for you! Hang in there.
As an archer aims an arrow, as a carpenter carves wood, the wise shape their lives.

Anarcho

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • Stage of 10 days
Re: Huge pressure into the whole head
« Reply #42 on: January 22, 2016, 02:27:59 PM »
Hi everyone. I would like to say thank you for all the kindness.
I was waiting to go better to give some news, but it didn't really come. It's a little bit the same with all the things I have to do these last times. Unfortunately, I can't give good news from the practice. I'm feeling now tensions everywhere in the body (mostly into the head) and I'm unable to sleep without meds. I also hear whistle every time, but only if there is no noise around. I will probably be forced to take antidepressants soon, even if I tried everything to live without it for 7 months now. It makes me sad to think about, but I have to face this deception.
By the way, the assistant teacher finally answered me and recommended to scan the body very fast, part by part, to keep the mind in movement and without a preference for a kind of feeling. He said me that it could help to work the equanimity.

For answering to Alex, I recognize me a lot on what you were describing in your last message.
But I couldn't say if it is a consequence of the anxiety, or if the anxiety is a consequence of this behaviour. My own experience would rather say the first one.
Could you say me what kind of outer work did you make into the past? I try some things like talking to some people into the street or going out with friends, but most of the time, I'm feeling worse by this feeling of being now so much "disabled".
It was so easier before that it's almost impossible to understand what happened. Anyway, it's great that you succeeded to make some progress. It's also a good news for all the people suffering from this kind of problem.
I think that your comment about all what I tried is a good one. It's true that I tried at least something like 60 things. But I practiced certain of them for a very long time and almost every day, like having sun, Omega3, cold showers, sports, Vipassana and relaxation.
I also tried the other things at least for weeks, certain times during months, even if it of course could'nt be so much regular than the others. It's mostly a question of feeling. I see if it can be positive and I adopt it then for a long term.

Thank you bomega for the answer and these precious advices. I would like to try biofeedback, I believe into his possibilites. The only problem is that I tried so many alternative things and spent so much money without result that I lost the possibility to try new expensive things like this one, unless I would have certain insurances of his chances. Do you know if some people really treated the anxiety disorder with it?
I will try what you say with the magnesium. But I know that magnesium is a relief and not a solution.
I already tried yoga, but I'm already doing so many things that I won't have the possibility to add this more to the rest. I would almost do some methods during my whole days.. I could almost be engaged by scientifical searchers.. : D

Thank you also poojvassa for your help.
In fact, the pressure is not seemingly in the whole head. I think we didn't have the same.
It's a pressure (or discomfort) which is located on some areas, which are moving and coming bigger or smaller a lot of times during the day and during the night. The description of your meditation is really interesting for a comparison with what I felt all these last months.
It's incredible for me to see how much peaceful you seem to be during it. Mine are a huge fight. Excepting when I was doing it into the train. And I was not going better at this time. It's not a magic train. It's just a proof for me that a little difference into the way of practicing or into the mind during the practice can make a really big difference of result. That's maybe the only thing that I learned for sure during these last months. Now, I'm craving a lot for these sensations because I was feeling full of love and full of peace at this time. But to be honest, I of course was craving at this time too. I just dealt better with it at this time, but I don't know how. Now, I'm feeling full of tensions after all my meditations, almost without any exceptions.
The problem with my practice is that I'm trying to change it almost every time. I'm trying to be into the same conditions that I was when it made me feel so peacefull. I still don't know what made the difference, but the difference was so much huge...
Do you think that it's normal that it makes me feel tensions every time after my practice, for months now? I went on like this because I heard that meditation could be hard and make a deep work, but this absence of progress and my "good experiences" from before make me ever more believe in a "bad practice" that I make.

Thank you to you too, Jen. I saw a doctor and he said me that it was completely somatic. Everything began with a huge pressure into the teeths. It disappeared with antidepressents. It came back then when I stopped with a permanently impossibility of breathing. Then with tensions into the whole body when I woke up. Then it started into the head when I made transcendental meditation (which was maybe a random, but it makes it stronger every time I tried again with this method). I don't have something else. I know that it's a consequence of anxiety, but after having read so many books and talked to so many doctors, I'm disappointed to notice the ignorance of our medicine to treat it. By the way, the current scientifical knowledge doesn't want to admit this ignorance.



I'm really greatefull from all this help from all of you. Thank you sincerely. I will of course say you if I will find a solution.
And for the people who would read it and be into the same despair as me today, I would say that Jacobson method was the most efficient method that I tried. Every case is different, but we are facing a little bit the same problem. For me, it takes something like 15 minutes, it's easy to practice and can give immediately a good relief. But it's still a belief and probably not a solution.
I would like to go on with Vipassana, but have absolutely no idea if it's good for me and if I'm practicing it right.




« Last Edit: January 22, 2016, 02:43:04 PM by Anarcho »

VipassanaXYZ

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • Goenka
Re: Huge pressure into the whole head
« Reply #43 on: January 23, 2016, 05:04:56 AM »
Anarcho

Thanks for your detailed reply.

breath and other subtle methods are the first subjects of meditation usually given, but in some instances the Buddha used to give other subjects as well to suit the practitioner.

If someone came from a less turbulent past, they could easily work with the breath.

In the book, Path to Prufication, there is some interesting details: like a room with sweet fragrant garden, clean airy room in pleasant surrounding and with strong compassionate meditators would be given to someone whose mind was used to reacting with hatred or someone who had seen very violent life.
Sometimes, some people were given separate room o a cliff, place thats a bit in the wild, bed made from stone blocks with little or no bedding, chair half-eaten by insects ... this was for someone who had not seen poverty and whose mind is consumed by powerful thoughts of pleasure and thoughts so full of craving that they are putting them out of balance. They were also given different subject for reflection according to their temprement - all eventually though, tried to reach a stage when they could work with the breath.

(I personally worked on reflection of Death for one year. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/gunaratna/wheel102.html

I had a quiet and simple life. Also, I started meditation when I was 19 and had a regular practise. Even before I started meditation I had a pretty strong moral foundation, a sensibility that different from my immediate surroundings or the 'system'. I mention this to say, that despite all this, I had to work on a more coarse reflection of death for one year, to be able to calm down and watch the breath for extended periods.

Meditation is also not for curing the headache. Right now, mindfulness is in vogue and people claim all sorts of thing. Meditation is about realization of the truth of suffering and stress, and the way out of it. 

Another possible reason for persistent pain is from previous harsh kamma done by us. There is no concept of guilt in Vipassana meditation. In the cycle of samsara all of us fallen to the lowest low and have seen the highest high. The journey has been endless and unrecountable. If you head in the right direction in the present, this previous karma will be exhausted speedily. It Will come to an end.

The reason why something manifests in the present (in short) is because there are related (supportive) factors present for it to arise and the energy force of the karma is not yet exhausted.

I know this is not enough information for you ... I am skipping a lot of things racing through my head right now ...
« Last Edit: January 23, 2016, 05:09:28 AM by poojavassa »

Alex

  • Member
Re: Huge pressure into the whole head
« Reply #44 on: January 23, 2016, 09:08:34 AM »
Hi Anarcho

I'm glad you're still here!

May you feel accepted in this community just as you are right now.
May you feel welcome to share your experiences here just as they are right now.

Kind regards
Alex


Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Huge pressure into the whole head
« Reply #45 on: January 23, 2016, 12:00:05 PM »
Anarcho,

Before going on antidepressants you might want to get your vitamin D levels checked {serum 25(OH)D test for D3 blood levels - NOT D2 D3 combined}.

D3 deficiency is linked to depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD, "winter blues"), psychosis and schizophrenia.

If you are deficient supplementing can make a huge difference and doesn't have the side effects of pharma drugs.

I'm glad you're still here!

May you feel accepted in this community just as you are right now.
May you feel welcome to share your experiences here just as they are right now.

:) seconded.

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Alex

  • Member
Re: Huge pressure into the whole head
« Reply #46 on: January 23, 2016, 01:39:36 PM »
Could you say me what kind of outer work did you make into the past?

At some point I had to stop avoiding social situations, avoiding expressing my emotions and my needs, avoiding speaking up in a group context, etc. I had to put myself in situations where I could learn and grow, outside of the safety of my meditation room or the therapist’s office.

Alex

  • Member
Re: Huge pressure into the whole head
« Reply #47 on: January 23, 2016, 01:44:47 PM »
I would say that Jacobson method was the most efficient method that I tried. Every case is different, but we are facing a little bit the same problem. For me, it takes something like 15 minutes, it's easy to practice and can give immediately a good relief. But it's still a belief and probably not a solution.

This intrigues me. Can you tell some more about your own experience with this technique?

Anarcho

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • Stage of 10 days
Re: Huge pressure into the whole head
« Reply #48 on: January 26, 2016, 09:54:11 AM »
Thank you poojavassa. Sometimes, it's difficult for me to understand what you exactly mean. Probably because I have much less experience than you with the meditation.
What do you mean with working on a reflection of death? Was it something uncontrolled?
During my meditation, my thoughts are going in every directions.
And how many time dou you think it could take to have the energy force of the karma exhausted? Is it already the case for you?

You are right Matthew. Sometimes, little things like this could make a huge difference.
I will ask my doctor about this next time.
I pushed myself so much the last 8 years that I probably have a lack of lot of things.

Thank you for the explanation, Alex. That's exactly what all the people are saying me. It's probably true that we wouldn't change in the safety of our meditation room. But I really did as if I had nothing all the last years. I ever was "in the red". I don't know if the expression exists in english, but you will probably understand what I mean : D
I made studies, lived with roommates, was in a football team, had a girlfriend, had a job, went out.. had what people name "a normal life".
But it just made me exhausted every time, like if I never had the opportunity to breathe again.
With pleasure about Jacobson. I lay down on the couch and I listen to a voice which says me what to do. It's something like 15 minutes. You just have to contract all the muscles part by part, and watch the relaxation in the member just after. It's easy and can fastly calm down the tensions in the body and the mind in the same time.
You can find such sound for free on the internet ( http://www.changingmindsenterprisecic.co.uk/v/relaxation_audio ).

I think that I mostly have to change my temparament to find the calm.
These last days, I felt lot of tensions in the body after the meditation, and it suddenly disappears after something like 5 hours.. and came back again.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2016, 10:08:52 AM by Anarcho »

VipassanaXYZ

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • Goenka
Re: Huge pressure into the whole head
« Reply #49 on: January 26, 2016, 03:11:51 PM »
Anarcho

Am sorry this was not so clear.

In the east, death is looked upon as a mere fact of impermanence.
It is not something scary - nothing at all the like the presentation (sometimes scary graphics) in the West.

It might sound strange, but when someone old passes away, there is not much mourning.
On the 13th day everyone gathers and eats together.

I posted a link too that talks about the buddhist way of looking at death: as truth of everyone's life, as impermanence.
More on this here: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/walshe/wheel261.html

About the karma getting exhausted:)


There is karma of the past, and there is karma of the present moment (much more powerful).
Karma of the past will take its due course (no one can tell). To make best of the karma of the present, keeping equanimity will deplete the unskillful karma and reacting will multiply it (like adding fuel to the fire).

Basis of calm/equanimity is good skillful action of the body, speech and mind.


« Last Edit: January 26, 2016, 03:14:58 PM by poojavassa »