Daily meditation has been a huge part of my recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I find it difficult to stay focussed when I’m feeling overwhelmed with anxiety though, so I’ve amassed a huge collection of relaxation and guided visualisation audio tracks to help me with the process.
So I was quite receptive to the idea of trying a new relaxation approach when I was contacted a few weeks ago by one of the guys behind Active Minds Global, who say that their Brainwave Entrainment audio tracks can help recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. They sent me a copy of Tracks 1 and 2 from RevitaMind for evaluation: Mind Revitaliser and Neural Agility. I said I’d try them for 3 weeks and then blog about my experience.
It’s just on 3 weeks now since I started using the RevitaMind audio tracks every day. In accordance with their suggested use, I listen to the Mind Revitaliser in bed every morning as soon as I wake up before going out for my morning exercise, and I listen to Neural Agility every night in bed just before going to sleep.
The tracks sound like a pulsing beat with white noise. It’s fairly soothing, but they do recommend listening as loud as possible; so that’s what I do. I can’t say I notice much difference between the two consciously; but this stuff is all meant to work on the unconscious.
I start by just lying back and letting the sound wash over me, while imagining my nervous system being calmed by the soothing sounds. Next, I visualise myself stepping into an elevator on the tenth floor of Anxiety House. Then I imagine watching the old-fashioned floor indicator in the elevator move down slowly through the floors from 10, 9, 8, 7, 6… all the way down to the ground floor. As I do this, I take a long breath at each floor and notice my breathing getting slower and my body feeling calmer and more relaxed as the elevator descends.
When I step out onto the ground floor, I let my mind come up with whatever image it likes as I wander out of the elevator and into the scene. Sometimes it’s a jungle, difficult to penetrate. Other times it’s a beach with the ocean lapping gently against it. Occasionally it’s a desert with the hot sun beating down. Wherever it is, it’s a peaceful scene and there’s no drama there. When my mind comes back to real world concerns, I just let the thought drift past and return to my elevator-accessible tropical island, or whatever it is today.
After a short while, I’d focus my attention on the amygdale region of my brain, and imagine it calming down, or cooling down. Changing colour from a hot red to a cool blue. Bathing in cool water, for instance.
The Active Mind guys say their audio tracks are designed to calm the sympathetic nervous system, so they seem to be on the same wavelength as I am regarding what causes and perpetuates CFS. After 3 weeks of using it consistently, I seem to feel calmer than I did before. I’m listening to a total of an hour a day, so this has pretty much replaced the meditation I used to do in the local bush near my place. Some afternoons when I feel really tired I’ll go have a lie down and listen to another meditation track; I wanted to stick to the suggested schedule for at least 3 weeks and not mess with it too much.
For the first few nights, I noticed that I had trouble getting to sleep; my old friend insomnia was back. It hasn’t visited me in quite a while since I started getting up early in the morning and going outside in the sun; so I wasn’t entirely thrilled about this. Active Minds said it was normal though, and it did go away after about 4 or 5 nights. I don’t have any trouble getting to sleep again now after 3 weeks.
Aside from the initial insomnia, it was pretty plain sailing. I’m mostly better now anyway, and while using RevitaMind I’ve continued my routine of daily exercise, getting out of the house to do things I love, and hanging out with people whenever I can. So it’s a little hard to pin-point exactly how big an effect the audios are having. I would have liked to come across this sooner when I was more ill and the effect could potentially be more dramatic. Mind you, being too well to see a dramatic effect is a nice place to be, so I’m not complaining.
All in all, it seems to work and I’d recommend giving RevitaMind a try. Especially if you’re not already doing at least an hour of meditation a day, or finding it hard to focus. You need to stick with it until it becomes a habit. It’s no quick fix; but hopefully you’ve realised by now that there isn’t one out there anyway. Given that it seems to be working, I’m going to keep using them morning and night for the time being. If you give it a go, leave me a comment to say how/if it works for you.
Disclaimer: Obviously if you’ve been paying attention you’ll already know I was sent a free sample from RevitaMind for evaluation. They were pretty cool about it, suggesting I might like to blog about my experience. I found it helpful, so I did.