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Serious meditation problem - any ideas?
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November 22, 2010 - 10:58 pm
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Mine is a long story so I shall be brief. Nearly 18 years ago I decided to try Transcendental Meditation. Shortly into this practice I began to experience intense head pressure when I tried to meditate. It would subside after the session. I also believe I received poor instruction, but I don't know if that had any influence.

I soon began to experience the head pressure outside of meditation. I was told to keep meditating to work through it. It got worse. Long story short, it soon became permanent. The TM people were of no help whatsoever. In fact, they made it worse. It is now almost 18 years later and I have not been free of this miserable affliction for even one minute. Not one minute. This constant head pressure is not something I GET. It is something I permanently HAVE each and every waking second of every day. Again, this going on 18 years. I've just learned to somehow live with it.

I pretty much gave up on trying to rid myself of this about a year or two into this when it became apparent that nobody had a clue about what to do and nothing I had tried worked. Occasionally, however, I find new inspiration to try and find someone in this world who can maybe help me get rid of this awful thing. Hence, this message. Unfortunately, the more I think about it the worse it gets.

It's so powerful that I don't know what it would possibly take. Sometimes it's just background noise. At other times it's unbearable. But there's nothing I can do about it except pop a few extra strength asprin pills to take the edge off just a bit when it gets really bad.

The best explanation I ever got was that the energy of the subtle body became reversed. I tried acupuncture and it was completely ineffective. I was told that acupuncture wouldn't help because it doesn't go deep enough. And this is deep. And very powerful. But this is definitely energy. It feels like high pressure air trapped between my skull and the muscles beneath the dermis.

Now, to the point. Do you know of any therapy that might possibly address this? Is there some form of therapy that effectively targets deeper energy levels where this originates? Or do you possibly know of anyone anywhere on this planet who might be able to help me? I would travel anywhere in the world and spare no expense to rid myself of this affliction.

I would GREATLY appreciate any assistance you could possibly provide. I know I'm grasping at straws here but I'm not quite ready to completely throw in the towel. Thank you very much.

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November 24, 2010 - 1:18 am
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Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I underwent a series of standard medical testing when all this first started, including stringent neurological tests. There is nothing medically wrong with me.

This definitely IS the result of the TM. It started gradually, initially occurring only when I tried to meditate. I was told I needed to "work through it." I soon began to experience it outside of meditation. It eventually became permanent. I believe I had poor instruction and I was really straining for a while. I don't know if that had anything to do with it. I've had a very tough time coming to grips with the fact that I seem to be the only person this has ever happened to.

Early on in all this, I was able to temporarily eliminate it on 3 seperate occasions. The first time, when it was really bad, I just started vigorously massaging my trapezius muscles, which I noticed were very tight. This immediately began to bleed off the energy, like steam being released from a pipe. After several minutes of this, the pressure was completely gone. The pressure returned when I resumed the meditation. This never worked again.

The second time was after a network chiropractic adjustment. The pressure was at least 90% gone. It went from a torrent to little more than a trickle. I was still listening to the TM people, however, and soon tried to meditate again, to "work through it." As soon as I began to meditate the torrent of pressure returned. I underwent regular chiropractic treatment for around a year afterwards and never had any success again. Later on there was a period of a couple of days, however, when I was experiencing icy tingling sensations in the occiput. The pressure shifted accordingly to the area of the tingling, as if it was reversing itself. This soon ended, however, and it returned to the front/sides of my head. It's worse on the left side, by the way.

The third instance was when I was stretching my back one night. I arched my back quite forcefully several times and noticed when I got up that it was gone. I was ecstatic. I thought it was over. Unfortunately, it began to return just a few hours later and within no time it was back up to full strength. Stretching my back in this manner has never worked again, and I've nearly broken my back trying to do so.

I believe I tried the cranio/sacral treatment some time back, with little luck. I recently thought about trying the network chiropractic again for a full 6 months or so. It worked - or nearly worked ONCE, maybe it can again someday. I've also thought about trying to combine it with acupuncture at the same time. Maybe combining them will do something if I can find the right people to do it. Unfortunately all of this is very expensive but I would spare no expense if it would work.

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November 28, 2010 - 9:16 pm
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Hi Searching for an answer,

We still care. Drop a line and let us know how you're doing. Did Gator's suggestions work? Would like to know if you've made progress.

Peace,

Lea

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November 23, 2010 - 4:30 pm
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Hi Searching for an answer,

To be honest, I have never heard of this reaction to Transcendental Meditation before, but I believe your pain is real. Have you taken medical tests such as X-rays, MRI or Cat Scans? If so, what were the results? This is important because this could be an organic problem.

If it is energy, then the acupuncture answer makes no sense because acupuncture can work on problems that are deep into the body. You describe the pain as being trapped between the skull and the muscles beneath the dermis. That said, acupuncture should have worked and this flash of pain is felt near the surface.

My suggestion is Reiki and if possible in conjunction with Yoga Therapy. The only persons I can think of to help you might be Paulji (Aura Wellness Center in the US) or Dr. Ritaji (Yogashaastra Studio in India).

I wish you luck.

Hari Om,

Mila

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November 23, 2010 - 5:21 pm
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Mila makes a lot of sense. You want to make positively sure this isn't any hidden medical problem before considering trapped energy in the subtle body as the prime cause. If it is trapped energy, Aura Wellness Center has Paul for hands-on work and he also networks with local practitioners of alternative modalities. I don't know how far you are away from their Attleboro, Massachusetts location, but it really sounds like you should schedule a visit. They'll probably have a hundred questions for you, but that's how they find solutions.

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November 23, 2010 - 7:08 pm
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This doesn't sound like it could be from TM. Forget the energy bit and consider the following. Nerve endings in the dermis are involved with the senses of touch, cold, heat, and pain. This pain seems like it originates from the tissues lying between your skull and scalp. Tension in the jaw can cause sharp pain in the scalp. What happens when you gently pull your hair? In some cases the pulling temporarily releases the tension, but can also make the pain worse afterwards. Clenching the teeth at night while sleeping can cause similar pain. Try sleeping with a dental mouth piece or any mouth piece.

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November 23, 2010 - 9:31 pm
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Dear Searching for an Answer,

Namaskar!

There are many approaches such as CranioSacral Therapy, Shiatsu, chakra balancing, Reiki, chakra cleansing, pranayama therapy, and so on. However, the suggestions above mine are worthy of examining. The cause could be exactly as you say, or entirely something else that happened at the time of your TM training.

Have you taken any medical exams? This is important because the exact cause might be something your doctors can detect with equipment. If the cause of pain cannot be seen or detected, then we must assume it is energy related. If you want a low cost solution, CranioSacral Therapy, Shiatsu, chakra balancing, Reiki, pranayama, chakra cleansing or Yoga therapy would be viable options. Out of the above options CranioSacral Therapy seems to get the best reviews. I am surprised that acupuncture did not work, but it is worth your time to try any of the options above if the cause of your pain cannot be seen or detected by medical examinations.

OM Shanti,

Paul

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November 24, 2010 - 1:39 pm
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Well, your descriptions fill in a lot of blanks. I believe you 100% and I really understand what you mean. If chiropractic medicine worked once I'd give it a try again. From my own experience the combination of chiropractic medicine and a complete gentle Hatha yoga session has kept my back pain free for six years. I couldn't say that before when I had constant nagging pain in the L-5 area. Just like you, all I knew was pain.

One point to make: If you give this a shot, please don't ever try meditation of any kind again. If you are in a yoga class - fake the meditation. As a matter of fact, I'd practice yoga postures and pranayama at home to avoid meditation completely. From all of the yoga teacher training courses, conferences, and intensives I've participated in yours is the most unique case related to TM.

Sorry to bring that up but it makes for a unique look at the negative side of something that has helped so many people.

My low cost suggestion: Chiropractic work, gentle yoga asanas that your chiropractic doctor approves of and alternate nostril breath. Most pranayama techniques will also be helpful, but I'd avoid bhastrika and kapalbhati completely. Paul and Dr. Rita have written many articles regarding the negative effects of too much dynamic pranayam like bhastrika and kapalbhati.

The chiropractic medicine is the only thing you would have to pay for out of pocket, but maybe your health insurance can pay part of it. That's if you have health insurance in this economy.

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November 24, 2010 - 8:33 pm
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Good ideas Gator. Massage and CranioSacral are also good ideas. Any form of alternate nostril breathing will help balance the energy from left to right in the body and subtle body. So gentle pranayama is a good idea too.

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November 30, 2010 - 5:24 pm
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Learn How to Practice Different Meditation Techniques
By Justin Woods

Mental calmness, sharp thinking ability, strong perception power, deep intuition and peace with inner self are the various goals of meditation. One can achieve these goals through different techniques. The types and techniques of are several in number. You can choose any technique to meditate. However, the experts advice to choose the technique that better suits your mental setup and physical being ensuing comfort. Meditation techniques vary on the basis of breathing, posture, sound, vision and relaxation. The article gives a brief on the most common methods of meditation.

Meditation - Importance of Breathing

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Meditation - Importance of Postures

You can sitting in different postures and positions. Many labor under the conventional thought that lotus position is the only suitable posture to sit in at the time. There are different sitting positions for different meditation techniques. Those who are affected by spinal problems cannot bear the strain of sitting in lotus position for a long time. If they laying down on the back comfortably, they will get the desired benefits. Whatever the position be, it must be comfortable for the body. In case of beginners, if the body is not at ease, the mind cannot be at peace. You can try sitting in different postures, with the help of meditation CDs.

Meditation - Importance of Music

Beginners find it difficult to have the mind under control. As meditation is all about focusing on and delving deep into the inner world, it is not possible without control on the mind. One of the most popular meditation techniques is to listen to numinous or soulful music at the time. Listening to music attentively helps collect and centralize the power of mind on one's inner self. It is easier to learn the art of meditation through music. Collections of soul-stirring music are available as meditation CDs.

There are legions of mediation tips to be followed by beginners at the initial stages. Their effort comes to fruition in a short span of time, only if they meditate under guidance of an expert. Meditation CDs come with the instructions of experts from the world of meditation. CDs on meditation are useful and handy resources for those who are not in the know of meditation and its techniques.

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January 25, 2011 - 7:37 pm
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The definition of meditation is mental hygiene, the benefits are the mind quietens down chatter of the mind, turbulence, and inner noise, turning the awareness inward, creating gaps in the thoughts is very beneficial to the stressful living of today, meditation cleanses the mind, makes the practitioner sharp and focused, refines and clarifies consciousness, lightening and toning the nervous system, relaxing, harmonising psychic energies, recharges psychic batteries and cultivates serenity meditation alters the state of mind to heightened consciousness or intuitive awareness and leads the mind to a super conscious state called Samadhi in sanskrit which is the ultimate realization of the identity of the true self in harmony with the whole Universe.

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March 20, 2011 - 9:11 am
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I think I might be able to help you. I went through a similar problem. Lets take it a step at a time....

Have you been meditating (TM) during this period? Or did you stop. If so when?

Babek, Singapore

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March 23, 2011 - 12:16 am
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My recommendations to you might sound strange. But you need to do them exactly as mentioned below.

I Think you have the same problem as I did. I know exactly what you mean. Very few do.

If I am right, the solution is very simple: Frustratingly so...

1) Continue with TM. Get a proper check. This is a powerful and respectable form of meditation. I dont claim its the best, there is no such thing. I dont want to go into details here. Your issue on its own shows you how powerful it is

2)You must meditate crossed legged (does not need to be full lotus)

3) And this is the most important point. Your BACK MUST BE STRAIGHT. At the start, you might find this difficult. But soon you will get used to it.

4) Do not try to explain your condition to TM teachers. They have no clue. They are not teachers in that sense.

5) after 4 weeks, you can start doing 5 to 10 sets of sun salutations before your TM. Rest 5 minutes after them.

If the power of meditation is strong, and your spine or subtle forms of it have problems, this will cause severe problems.

Flow of energy get interrupted and causes problems. As if all the stress keeps flowing in your system, instead of dissipating.

Of course all of this has a different explanation, depending at which level you look at it...

Try the above....

Good luck

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March 23, 2011 - 12:21 am
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Remember the back must be straight, to allow unhindered flow. Most people can meditate with no problems sitting comfortably. Where as its good to sit very straight for everyone. Its not necessary.

For people like yourself and me however, sitting any other way will hinder the process, and causes a lot of issues

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February 3, 2012 - 7:26 am
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Babeksaber is right when he says, that reason most likely is tension (stress) in the system. Fundamental principle of TM is going inside with deep relaxation taking mantra as possible thin, very easy in the very light way. One of results is that inside stresses, blockages will start to come out. Mostly problems can come if You will start to strain in that thin state.

I can say same as Babeksaber - first of all check Your meditation. Although TM teachers are not "teachers in that sense" as said Babeksaber and usually will have no possibilities to explain Your problems in details, Maharishi has taught them to make checking of meditation in such way helping to overcome problems.

In any case the tension, strain when getting little bit deeper, finer states of consciousness can be reason for lot of nervous problems because this will start to block stresses coming out.

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February 4, 2012 - 8:41 pm
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Finally, another voice of reason. Yes, it could be inner stress that has been blocked by the mind's refusal to deal with it. Sometimes mantra or prayer meditation opens the mind to a traumatic event in the past. You mind worked to suppress the memory. Now it remains just below the surface. My suggestion is continue prayer, japa, or mantra to rid this pressure from the head. Although, Tritine does make a point about medical exams. What if this has nothing to do with meditation at all and is a tumor or aneurysm?

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February 5, 2012 - 3:36 pm
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Maybe there might be something to one specific type of meditation causing problems, but I have been meditating for over 30 years and have never heard of this before - anywhere. Also, claims without any proof usually can't be solved. Pure speculation is not a study and TM has been subjected to hundreds of studies. Maybe these people have a religious grudge against the Maharishi. Claims with no proof much like people who claim there are witches to this day.

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February 6, 2012 - 6:01 pm
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Thank you all for your replies.

My reason for posting was to help the writer of the initial post. I have no hidden agenda, and there is no fabrication.

As I put in my first post, I have had many medical health checks and examinations for this issue over the years.

I found, as did the initial posting member, that there was a strong correlation between the TM sessions and the eventual permanent Head pressure issue. I have no doubt it was caused by Transcendental Meditation.

There are studies and much information available about the problems reported with meditation. For example, see http://www.bahaistudies.net/as.....oblems.pdf. Or do a google search on the term 'head jurking after meditation' - another permanent symptom I have suffered as a result of TM.

You will see why I think further meditation is not the answer as you read the rest below.

I was particularly referring to Transcendental Meditation in my post, as I only have experience of Transcendental Meditation and Christian Meditation. These two are completely different things.

Christian Meditation involves thinking of verses of scripture from the Bible and letting the Holy Spirit give you revelation of its meaning.

Transcendental Meditation involves the repetition of a mantra. This is where the problems start - the mantras that are given are the names of Hindu Gods. The initiation ceremony is also Hindu in origin. The instructors tell you that TM is not religious based, but this is not the case - it has strong Hindu links and origins.

Before I found out that there is only one true God, and that the only way to a relationship with Him is through Jesus, I tried various spiritual things - including TM. I have no guilt over leaving TM, and I do not need to look for any other spiritual source as I now have a relationship with the creator of us all!

I believe the Bible which verifies that angels and demons exist. I now understand that when someone gets involved with TM they are linking themselves to the Hindu god associated to their mantra. These are not really gods, but demons that pretend to help you, but actually have another agenda.

I want to help people by enabling them to choose on the basis of what is true according to the Word of God in the Bible - and my personal experience - and thereby avoid the consequences of connecting with demons unawares and suffering as I have.

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February 8, 2012 - 2:43 pm
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Thank you for confirming your true self. It must be the demons that did it. I believe in God as you do, but you are not a yoga practitioner at all. Your agenda is to divide and I propose that you probably started this thread under another name. Thank you for exposing your extremist views in a moderate yoga forum. If you didn't know that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was a Hindu, well... If you chanted to Hindu Gods, maybe you should repent for it. Sadly, your pressure is probably due to GUILT.

Admit it you converted to being a Hindu and now your mad at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi because you're not in the inner circle. Then you became a Christian fundamentalist to spite your former master - Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Before spinning yarns you might want to think about the consequences of not telling the truth. Your hidden agenda has clarified itself in your words and deeds.

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February 8, 2012 - 3:37 pm
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Namaste Dcalvert,

Thanks for pointing out the obvious agenda, but you are speculating a little too. The study that "Head" points out deserves a second look. I don't want to say that someone's pain is self-created, but your speculation that Head is suffering from guilt issues is plausible and deserves as much air play as his or her speculation. It is very possible that a handful of legitimate studies really exist against meditation. Too much walking, oxygen or water can be bad for your health too. So, let's do some real investigation here. Head sees demons as the culprit, and now says only TM is responsible. I never thought Head was a yogi, but maybe there is some medical or scientific reason or maybe you are spot on.

OM Shanti

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