Journal: Mind-Body Wellness
Journal: Mind-Body Wellness
Journal: Mind-Body Wellness
Overview of Journal Report
The responsibility required for a singer in delivering entertainment is significant. Usually, singers are required to produce the best results in any performance they engage in for their respective crowds. As a singer, I relate considerably to these assertions. However, for me, to deliver the best results, it is important for me to work extremely hard under harsh conditions and an unforgiving environment. Regardless of my performances, the impact that I felt when at home was undesirable. Firstly, I was always tired at the end of the day. Secondly, I was easily prone to angry outbursts and most importantly, I experienced considerable stress from performing consistently.
In order to cater for my problems, I had to focus on achieving wellness for my mind, my body and my soul. Based on the various readings concerning mind-body wellness, I began to understand the effect of the imbalance of these three aspects on my overall health as a person and as a spiritual being. Consequently, in order to achieve such wellness, it was important for me to consider the theoretical aspect and background behind the wellness of the mind and the body. Furthermore, it was also vital for me to exert maximum effort in achieving mind-body wellness even though it seemed very difficult during my first day. This was because of my insufficient experience and stereotypical assumption for mind-body wellness techniques.
My first experience with wellness techniques involved engagement in meditation techniques. For me, meditation was an exercise I had less respect for and a concept that I never considered important in my life as a singer. However, after learning the idea behind meditation, I started taking considerable interest in the exercise. The main incentive for this was according to the positive effects meditation possessed on my breathing. Since meditation comprised breathing exercises, I engaged in exercises such as Asana and Pranayama, which improved my breathing considerably. Furthermore, knowing about these exercises was indeed an advantage on my part.
I also learnt about mantra meditation via one of my meditation experts. This was also another type of meditation technique. Indeed, I did not have any information or knowledge concerning this class of meditation. Mantra meditation was also significant for me since it enabled me to necessitate concentration and self-discipline as a singer. By engaging in the Sahaj Samadhi Meditation via audio books, I was able to practice mantra meditation on my own without any distractions. Furthermore, I also learnt about Guided Imagery as another vital technique especially in the reduction of stress and pain.
Finally, I also engaged in yoga practice sessions, which were important for my vocation as a singer. Yoga postures, especially for my feet, strengthened my balance and flexibility and further enabled me to adjust to my environment exponentially. Additionally, Medical Qi Gong was also vital for the restoration of my energy flow throughout my body. This is because the technique concentrated significantly on replacing my lost energy especially in singing practices. Lastly, herbal remedies assisted me in healing my vocal cords by eliminating hoarseness.
Mon 12th Aug
I must admit that taking part in meditation exercises was one of the hardest activities I encountered. For me, the aspect of meditation was something I only saw in television and films. Adopting it was strenuous indeed. However, my first exercise, which began today, changed that perception. My uncle who is a yoga expert provided me with a book that I should read as part of my initial meditation exercise. After peering into the reading, Payne’s Handbook of Relaxation Techniques by Rosemary Payne and Marie Donaghy, I realized that meditation was the key to my anger outbursts especially at home. According to Payne and Donaghy (2010), the mind, the body and the soul intertwine in a special and unfathomable way. Accordingly, the balance of physical wellness, spiritual wellness and mental wellness affects our daily activities. The information from the reading provided me with an adept understanding of what meditation and relaxation truly represent.
Wed 14th Aug
After reading and understanding the value of meditation, I was ready to practice the concept based on my theoretical approach. The essence of practicing this exercise focused on allowing me to let go of the routine worries I had for each day, especially as a singer. Interestingly, after going through the reading, my uncle took me to a serene environment in his home. This is where I learnt to perform breathing exercises. Moore (2009) alleges that breathing exercises constitute majority of meditation exercises. After sitting in a comfortable lotus position on the lush and green grass, I commenced on my breathing exercises. These breathing exercises involved inhaling and exhaling at a slow pace under the direction of my uncle. The experience was profound. Meditation through breathing enabled me to experience intense tranquility especially in my diaphragm and my airways.
Fri 16th Aug
I decided to continue with my breathing exercise today. This is because of the intense benefits I gained after practicing it on Wednesday. Lately, I had been coughing considerably. Because of it, a day would not subside without me gaining a headache. However, after taking part in the breathing exercise, I felt anew. The exercise provided me with vitality. What was impressive was that I had not coughed the whole day. This realization motivated me to engage in my personal breathing exercise since my uncle was not around to teach me. However, based on my uncle’s instruction, I engaged in the breathing exercise around midday. It was an exhilarating experience. The exercise provided me with renewed energy. This was similar to Bien & Bien’s assertion. Both authors state that breathing exercises standardize energy flow based on the use of the chest, abdomen and nasal passage in breathing (Bien & Bien, 2003).
Tue 20th Aug
Today, I visited one of my uncle’s friends, Shivi Shah in order to learn more about meditation. So far, the breathing exercise had proved beneficial. However, I was not content with the breathing exercise due to my anger outbursts. Usually, I get easily angry especially when I become irritated. Under the direction of my uncle, I visited Shivi Shah in order to learn more about how to control my anger through meditation. Shah assisted me by providing me with an overview of the features responsible for my anger. One of the aspects that I learnt that day involved tension. According to Ashley-Farrand (2004), tensions in the muscles within the body assume significant responsibility for our daily stresses and emotions. Even though I was eager to learn how to relieve my tension, my uncle’s friend required me to understand the concept of tension before embarking on an alternative to mitigate it.
Thur 22 Aug
Today, I visited Shivi Shah again after learning the concept of tension. Interestingly, I never knew that tension in this case implied the tautness of the muscles. Such tension possesses an effect on the physical wellness of a person. Under the tutelage of Shah, I engaged in Sahaj Samadhi meditation. This is a class of mantra meditation. Shah provided me with 8 beads, which helped me in chanting 8 mantras. Furthermore, the beads were helpful since they enabled me to keep track of the number of mantras that I would say today and each day before I sleep at night. Engaging in the Sahaj Samadhi Meditation was graceful. The meditation allowed my conscious mind to settle profoundly within itself. By allowing the mind to settle, I experienced a gradual and rhythmic freedom from tension and stress. My mind centered itself in the current moment allowing me to discover true happiness.
Sat 24 Aug
Today was a particularly lazy day for me. The harshness of the sun made me reconsider engaging in any meditation practice for the day. Even though I was accustomed to meditation, I felt that engaging in the exercise everyday, especially the mantra meditation, difficult. I decided to watch a clip my uncle provided for me in order to discover other ways of augmenting the wellness of my mind and my body. The clip was an audio compact disc concerning mantra meditation. I decided to play it for the whole day. Interestingly, the experience was invigorating and enlivening. Even though I was lazy at first, Moore’s words at the beginning of the compilation encouraged me to continue with my mantra since it would lead me to true happiness (Ashley-Farrand, 2009). I sat in a lotus position and chanted my mantras without my beads in order to pay unwavering attention to my mind.
Mon 26 Aug
Today was the designated Visit a Cancer Home day according to my calendar. Usually, a few friends and I allocate every last week of August in every year to visit patients suffering from cancer. On this day, I decided to visit one of our aged friends, Mary, in the Virginia Cancer Center. Mary was sixty-five years this year. Even though she seemed young, she survived breast cancer, but the pain after the surgery never subsided. Because of this, Mary has been under medication for the last three years. Upon visiting her, Mary told me that she did not experience the pain anymore. This is due to an initiative by the local community center to provide Cancer patients with therapeutic services. Some of these services comprised art therapy and guided imagery. Mary explained to me that guided imagery allowed her to heal her own body. From the therapy, Mary constantly visualized her pain and imagined it disappear each day. The experience opened up my eyes that day, especially concerning guided imagery.
Tue 27 Aug
Today, I volunteered to perform menial duties in the cancer center. Some of these duties involved providing meals to the patients, reading novels to the patients, cleaning their rooms and washing the utensils after usage by the patients. After performing the tasks, I felt exhausted and weary and decided to read the book, Guided Imagery: Creative Interventions in Counseling & Psychotherapy, by Eric Hall. Ever since Mary told me about guided imagery, I gained an interest in it. According to Hall (2006), guided imagery incorporates visualization techniques that enhance one’s health. At first, I thought that guided imagery was strictly suitable for people suffering from ailments. This statement by Hall provided me with a background of the effect of guided imagery in relation to Mary. This is because the technique has proved effective in treating cancer patients by allowing them to envisage themselves devoid of cancerous cells. However, after reading the book, I understood that guided imagery is also a technique that can assist in the reduction of stress.
Wed 28 Aug
On this very day, I decided to continue reading more about guided imagery. The previous night I researched on further publications that discussed about the technique and whether it was possible to practice it at home. I was overly interested in learning more about the tool since I also wanted to reduce my stresses in school. However, upon peering into the publication, Klein and Holden’s book, Healing images for children: Teaching relaxation and guided imagery to children facing cancer and other serious illnesses, I found myself crying emotionally due to some of the book’s true narratives. One child cancer survivor used to experience significant post-operative pain and obstruction (Klein & Holden, 2000). However, after engaging in guided imagery sessions, the patient asserted that her body felt rejuvenated. She was now able to move freely without feeling pain, which gave her a renewed sense of hope in the restoration of her health.
Mon 2 Aug
Today was a momentous day for me. My uncle had returned from a Wellness and Health conference and I was yearning for more insight into further therapeutic activities. This is because of the fatigue I experienced from engaging in the school’s acting performances. On this particular day, I arrived at my uncle’s home after coming from a singing practice. My vocals felt stressed and I could not control my breathing even though I was talented in singing. One of the practices that I engaged comprised the Asana practices. Practicing asana was considerably significant especially in regulating my body. Singing in front of large audiences requires an interaction of a healthy mind and body in order to sing lengthy phrases. Accordingly, engaging in Asana allowed me to strengthen my physical development as a singer. The practice assisted me in preparing the integration of my emotions and my mind. Moreover, Asana assisted me by conditioning my body in order to sit comfortably while rehearsing.
Wed 4 Aug
My music teacher also assisted me in performing practices that also elevated my mind in terms of concentration and calmness. Apart from engaging in Asana, I also engaged in Pranayama practices after finishing my singing practical. According to Rosen & Fraley (2002), the Pranayama exercises restore the mental health of a sane individual by elevating stress and tension. In this case, this breathing exercise helped me increase my concentration by enabling me to be calm. Moreover, Pranayama enabled me to concentrate on a sole point without experiencing distraction, which was a major factor during my recital. Usually, while practicing my notes, I experience extensive distraction by insignificant things, which affected my practice considerably. However, Pranayama allowed me to free my incessant thoughts and emotions. This was significant for me since it was vital to concentrate solely on my performance without experiencing distraction from my emotions and thoughts. Such thoughts typically undermine performance.
Thu 5 Aug
Today, I also engaged in yoga practices in order to cater for the physical aspect of my singing. This is because of the complications involved in my performance. Such complications, which are usually theatrical in nature, contribute to physical injuries and strains, which lead to stresses and tensions especially for the performer. Furthermore, as a singer, it was important for me to take part in yoga classes due to certain aspects of my activity, which required employment of athletic ability. Furthermore, the stage is also a strenuous environment based on its sets, which may include vertical stairs, unstable floor levels and disturbingly raked stages. Indeed, engaging in yoga allowed me to develop strength, balance and elasticity. Yoga positions that reinforce legs and feet, torso, arms, shoulders and lower back enabled me to increase flexibility especially in the regions around my hips and my neck. Furthermore, these yoga postures allowed me to reinforce my breathing based on the pressure applied to my lower back.
Tue 9 Aug
Today, I embarked on a new practice associated with my singing practice. After concentrating on the physical aspect of my singing during the previous week, I decided to adopt another practice related to the Asana and Pranayama exercises. This practice was Medical Qi Gong. Jamieson (2010) defines Qi as energy that requires balance, alignment and harmony of the body, mind and spirit. The use of Medical Qi Gong is important for this since it allows one to build the Qi. Medical Qi Gong allowed me to revitalize my seven-chakra points and in the end, rejuvenated me by eliminating the tension and stress I gained from my practices.
Wed 10 Aug
After taking part in medical Qi Gong on the previous day, I decided to continue further with my relaxation exercises via acupuncture. Acupuncture was significant for me since it comprised an extensive way of regulating my Qi apart from the Qi Gong exercise. Even though it was painful at first, I must admit that it is an experience worth remembering. This is due to the results I gained from the exercise. The soft and gentle insertion of the needles on my shoulders brought unquenchable relief and relaxation to my shoulders. The session, which lasted for 20 minutes greatly, improved my overall physical and mental health by eliminating the tension in my muscles and the anxiety in my mind.
Thu 11 Aug
Today, I decided to engage in herbal remedies since it was my day off from practicing. Even though I learned several techniques that would assist me in meditating and relaxing, I was very tired. Furthermore, countless hours of practice had an effect on my vocals and the result was the hoarseness evident in my voice. In order to remedy my hoarseness, I decided to make Chinese herbal remedies. The first remedy, the tangerine peel beverage, was soothing. The effect the remedy had on my throat was exceptional. The peel drink neutralized the sputum in my larynx due to its slightly acidic nature. As a result, my voice was soft by the end of the day since it was important for me to drink it in small doses in order to minimize the effect of the acidic drink on my vocal cords.
Ashley-Farrand, T. (2004). Mantra meditation. Boulder, CO: Sounds True Audio.
Bien, T., & Bien, B. (2003). Finding the center within: The healing way of mindfulness meditation. Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons.
Hall, E. (2006). Guided imagery: Creative interventions in counseling & psychotherapy. London: SAGE.
Jamieson, S. (2010). Medical to mystical: Bring light into your life. Chicago: Findhorn Press.
Klein, N. C., & Holden, M. (2001). Healing images for children: Teaching relaxation and guided imagery to children facing cancer and other serious illnesses. Watertown, WN: Inner Coaching.
Moore, A. (2009). Meditation. New York, NY: Rosen Pub. Group.
Payne, R. A., & Donaghy, M. (2010). Payne’s handbook of relaxation techniques: A practical guide for the health care professional. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.
Rosen, R., & Fraley, K. (2002). The yoga of breath: A step-by-step guide to Pranayama. Boston, MA: Shambhala.
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