Author Topic: meditation and digestion / overmeditation symptoms  (Read 223 times)

ykk

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meditation and digestion / overmeditation symptoms
« on: April 03, 2020, 11:44:05 AM »
Hello,

due my experience I'm assuming my meditation practice is somehow affecting digestion and intestine movements and I'm trying to collect some theoretical principles and practical advice but without success.

questions:
Can meditation working with body sensations affecting digestion?
Can I have problems because I'm practicing to intense?
Can this cause diarrhea?

During practice I often observe tensions and releases - what I know this is good sign and I released lot of tensions from my muscles in last year of my practice (it is visible on my face and my arms and general mobility). Tension-release principle in torso area is often (during time more and more) connected with inwards movements.
(I overcome food poisoning in previous weeks and during this problems was impossible meditate because when I put attention to my torso area, movements were to intense and had to stop.)

I meditate 2 hours daily as standard, now I have more time so I'm trying other "spiritual exercises" like hypreventilation, taoistic sexual practices, yoga and some more meditation during the free time. This can be 4-5 hours daily of work with my nervous system and breath - can I overload it?

In long term is my practice maybe to intense as well. I had 5 10days retreats in last year - 2 in this February. After each one I have much better awareness and equanimity so my daily practice is much intense and more powerful so from this point of view I do "more work" in everyday practice.

Should I calm down and add new things slowly?
Goenka's tradition strongly advised against mixing techniques. I'm note sure if only at retreat or never in life. Can be this problem in my case? Do you have more guidelines related to this topic?
Can be meditation itself too intense stimulus and some break can be advisable?
Do you have experience with some "overmeditation" symptoms?



be happy

georg7887

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Re: meditation and digestion / overmeditation symptoms
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2020, 07:28:11 PM »
Hello ykk,

I'm experiencing those "symptoms" and some more (problems with digesting, diarrhea, stomach pain, intestinal cramps) too. They started about three month ago and are much better now. It first started with real weird energy movements in my stomach/solar plexus area. After that I started getting diarrhea, which set in often directly after meditation. Since than I  became quite sensitive to all sorts of food and therefore I  changed my eating habits completely. Note: I didn't force myself to stop eating meat, milk, etc. it happend by itself, because it seemed like i stopped harming myself by eating too much and the "wrong" food.

I also went to an internist to get my stomach and gastrointestinal tract checked and everything was ok. Maybe you can do that too, just to be sure everything is ok on a medical point of view.

My meditation teacher, which I talk to once a week says, that this has something todo with the stage I'm in at the moment. I'm practicing mindful prostration/walking/sitting meditation (Ajaan Tong Sirimangalo tradition). I deal with those things in observing them, as I do it with all other phenomena that comes up. Feeling, feeling, feeling, disliking, disliking disliking, pain, pain pain, tension tension tension. Thinking, thinking, thinking, worries, worries, worries, etc. I just observe what is present in this moment, sometimes those things are present, most of the time they are not.

May I ask some questions?

Have you changed something about your eating habits, since you rercognized your symptoms? If yes, does it make any difference? My meditation teacher says (as mentioned above) it mostly has something to do with the stage I'm in, but I don't get diarrhea etc. as often as before, since I started changing my eating habits. Now I get diarrhea sometimes after meditation, but it's not very often (probably 1 every two weeks)

Why are you mixing techniques? Are you getting bored of only one? Do you doubt your practice-method? There you probably have something to observe.

Do you have the feeling, that meditation is something, which is fun and kind of light, even in times when it is the opposit or is it exhausting and forced? Is your "view" open to let things in, or too focused, tight and narrow?

What is your aim of meditation? Reaching desireable states of equanimity and powerful mind-states? Are states like "dullness, boredom, anger, frustration, guilt, etc." are not of your interest?

I'm asking you this (maybe provocative) questions, because they where helpful asking them to myself. If they confuse you, I'm sorry:)

I'm also sorry if my english is confusing you ;-). It's not my foreign language, but I guess you already know that.

Greetings, Georg
« Last Edit: April 05, 2020, 07:33:08 PM by georg7887 »

ykk

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Re: meditation and digestion / overmeditation symptoms
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2020, 07:33:34 AM »
Hello ykk,

I'm experiencing those "symptoms" and some more (problems with digesting, diarrhea, stomach pain, intestinal cramps) too. They started about three month ago and are much better now. It first started with real weird energy movements in my stomach/solar plexus area. After that I started getting diarrhea, which set in often directly after meditation. Since than I  became quite sensitive to all sorts of food and therefore I  changed my eating habits completely. Note: I didn't force myself to stop eating meat, milk, etc. it happend by itself, because it seemed like i stopped harming myself by eating too much and the "wrong" food.
In my last retreat I experienced "aha moments" like "hey meat is really body of living creature" and as a former meat lover I don't have cravings now and something click in my head and this vegetarian period will be maybe forever
Have you changed something about your eating habits, since you rercognized your symptoms? If yes, does it make any difference? My meditation teacher says (as mentioned above) it mostly has something to do with the stage I'm in, but I don't get diarrhea etc. as often as before, since I started changing my eating habits. Now I get diarrhea sometimes after meditation, but it's not very often (probably 1 every two weeks)
It is lot of variables in my lifestyle and eating habits because I'm long term traveler and in every country I eat completely different food.
I'm in India last 2 months and since I came I stopped eat meat - because it's easy here, country has long tradition in vegetarian cuisine and I like this idea for ecological reasons. Before I was in Thailand - meat everywhere country, so I was eating lot of meat there.

I spent month in meditation centers with simple vegetarian plant based food. Then I was eating simply but sometimes egg and cheese. I had week with really bad digestion (looked like food poisinong) since then I'm on really simple diet (rice, veggies and fruit, some butter as fat source) but digestion is still very sensitive and it's getting worse sometimes after week of perfect diet and there is correlation with "trying new things"
Why are you mixing techniques? Are you getting bored of only one? Do you doubt your practice-method? There you probably have something to observe.
No, I like my meditation technique I have great results and I'm not seeking other. Now I have time to try other healthy thing for my body and mind and I assuming they can affect something what is already meditation affecting - and have some overloading effect.
I did taoistic sexual exercises from book Multiorgasmic man - really good thing for better life quality and enjoyment
and I tried Wim Hof method cos it look like I can boost my energy level with it during the day
and yoga for healthy body, but I believe this can be something spiritual with big impact.

Do you have the feeling, that meditation is something, which is fun and kind of light, even in times when it is the opposit or is it exhausting and forced? Is your "view" open to let things in, or too focused, tight and narrow?
I'm not really thinking about this questions, meditation is something good with impact to everything in my life so I just meditate and it's bit healthy routine now. I believe I'm open but everyone would say this:)
What is your aim of meditation? Reaching desireable states of equanimity and powerful mind-states? Are states like "dullness, boredom, anger, frustration, guilt, etc." are not of your interest?
If you are trying to ask if I'm pleasure seeker, I believe I'm not. I meditated because I needed repair myself from not good mental habits and patterns, now I feel repaired and I focus more to take care of my environment and this is better to do in healthy body and mind. Be better person will be always my goal.

georg7887

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Re: meditation and digestion / overmeditation symptoms
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2020, 07:04:27 AM »
Hello ykk,

actually I think it may be of some benefit to you, to integrate the questions you asked us into your meditation to reflect on them by yourself. Why are you asking those questions, what lies beneath them. Is there maybe worry, is there fear or doubt hidden somewhere in the background? If you can find nothing, why are you asking?...

I guess we can give you answers and suggestions on that, but will they help, or benefit you? - I'm not so sure about that.

Greetings

ykk

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Re: meditation and digestion / overmeditation symptoms
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2020, 08:17:02 AM »
Hello ykk,

actually I think it may be of some benefit to you, to integrate the questions you asked us into your meditation to reflect on them by yourself. Why are you asking those questions, what lies beneath them. Is there maybe worry, is there fear or doubt hidden somewhere in the background? If you can find nothing, why are you asking?...

I guess we can give you answers and suggestions on that, but will they help, or benefit you? - I'm not so sure about that.

Greetings


I don't really understand your point. I'm asking simple scientific questions about meditation and body relation. I would like to understand it for my own education, curiosity and dealing with health complications - and maybe find some interesting sources for next studies.
And this is about health, it's better get information or ask experienced then trying and failing with potential harmful effect to body or health.

stillpointdancer

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Re: meditation and digestion / overmeditation symptoms
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2020, 10:39:26 AM »
I'm asking simple scientific questions about meditation and body relation. I would like to understand it for my own education, curiosity and dealing with health complications - and maybe find some interesting sources for next studies.
And this is about health, it's better get information or ask experienced then trying and failing with potential harmful effect to body or health.
Hi ykk
I've studied a lot about meditation and what it does to the body. There are many physical benefits such as lower blood pressure and a reduction in stress related issues. There has been nothing negative scientifically, although there has been some evidence of mental issues arising with a few people. It may be that you are becoming more aware of your body through meditation and that pre-existing conditions become more obvious. I particularly studied the effects of McMindfulness and the promotion of non-Buddhist mindfulness activities in the work place, where the Buddhist context has been stripped out.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

georg7887

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Re: meditation and digestion / overmeditation symptoms
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2020, 10:43:51 AM »
Yes, of course you are right, it's better to get your health-status checked, instead of trying to find all the answers in meditation - because not every answer can be found there.

In your initial posting you asked for theoretical principles and some practical advice. Now you are saying, that your questions were only related to (western) scientific background. I already gave you two advices about your initial questions:

1) I already told you, at least indirectly, in my first response, that if you are uncertain about your medical condition, you should seek a health counselor, because non of us can tell you with 100% if your condition is only meditation related or health related, or both.

2) You can use meditation, to observe your reaction to health related concerns/problems.

Now, that you have given a more precise description of what you want, here is a comment to scientific evidence about negative side effects:

As meditation (especially (physically) neg. side effects) is not well researched in western science, there is no much information available. On researchgate you can finde a good expert Statement from Zana Marovic about that: https://www.researchgate.net/post/Can_meditation_have_negative_side_effects.

On pubmed, a free scientific database, I mostly found studies about positive effects of meditation, which are of no interest concerning your question. There were only few studies which mentioned negative side effects, and nearly all of them only pointed to mental health side effects and/or where very vague about physical problems.

As this is a forum, especially about vipassana-meditation I gave you a report of my own experiences and for me I can answer all your 3 initial questions with yes, but I cannot answer them for you, maybe someone else can.


 

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