Saturday, November 12, 2011

Retirement Well-being—Chants for Retirees

Numerous studies have demonstrated that meditation and chanting improve one’s health. Sounds—especially repetitive ones—can reduce your blood pressure, control your heart rate and help you tolerate pain. The power of mantras is in mind over matter. Chanting has been used to treat everything from trauma to insomnia. It can also help you find inner wisdom.

Proper chanting requires that you breathe deeply to help get rid of the emotional toxins inside you. You also need to choose a powerful mantra (a word or short phrase) that is appropriate to the cause at hand. The most effective chants employ long vowel sounds. Finally, you need to repeat that mantra over and over—perhaps as many as 50 times. The goal is to set up a profound vibration in your energy core.

Gregorian Chants and the Hindu om are the most common examples of ritualistic chanting. Today you will learn a series of chants created especially for retirees. They address a range of issues that should be familiar to you. Be sure to use the right mantra for your specific goal, whether it’s purging a toxin from your emotional psyche or finding the path to retirement enlightenment.

For worries about Social Security payments being reduced:
Place yourself in a comfortable position, hands folded across your chest. Inhale deeply. Begin chanting: “Lock Box. Lock Box.” Be sure to draw out the “o” sounds. Visualize the lock box. Mentally check the latch to make sure it is locked. Continue chanting until your pulse slows to a relaxed rate.

For concerns about Medicare prescription drug costs:
Place yourself in a seated position, arms above your head, with palms touching. Inhale deeply. Begin chanting: “Donut Hole. Donut Hole.” Once again, be sure to draw out the “o” sounds. Visualize an enormous donut; focus on the hole. Now fill it with an equally enormous Munchkin. Continue chanting until the Munchkin has totally plugged the hole in the center of the donut.

For severe joint pain, especially due to arthritis:
Lie flat on your back, arms at your side. Inhale deeply. Begin chanting: “Glu-co-sa-mine. Glu-co-sa-mine.” Pronounce each syllable as though it is a separate word. Visualize a cold compress being applied to the primary site of your pain. Continue this mantra for 25 repetitions. Then switch to the mantra “Cap-sa-i-cin. Cap-sa-i-cin” for 25 repetitions. Visualize a hot compress being applied to the primary site of your pain. Alternate these two mantras until both compresses reach room temperature.

For problems with your digestive system:
Place yourself in a seated position, hands in your lap. Inhale deeply. Begin chanting: “Fiber. Fiber. Whole Grain Fiber.” Repeat this rhythmic mantra 50 times. It should set up a sympathetic rhythm in your digestive tract that will clear up your problems. Repeat as necessary.

For help finding your true passion in retirement.
Stand with your back flat against the wall, arms at your side. Slowly slide your arms up to shoulder level, keeping them against the wall. Then slowly bring them across your body as if in a gentle embrace. Repeat this sequence as you chant: “Focus. Focus.” Systematically review every happy event in your life, beginning as early as you can remember. Those that seem most in focus will provide clues to your passion. If nothing comes into focus, you may want to have your eyes checked.

For insomnia at night, leading to the need to nap during the day:
Lie on your back in bed at night and elevate your head with a fluffy pillow. The success of this chant lies in the tension between the mantra itself and the imagery used. Visualize a large cup of coffee—big enough to keep you awake through a four hour drive. The coffee is extremely hot and you are drinking it slowly. Begin chanting “Decaf. Decaf.” Continue for 50 repetitions or until you fall asleep, whichever comes first. Important! Be sure to go to the bathroom before you get into bed.

For chronic feelings of anxiety:
Take whatever position you want to; you’re going to be uncomfortable in it regardless. Close your eyes tightly. Picture something specific that makes you feel anxious. Inhale deeply. Exhale slowly. Repeat this breathing pattern. Each time that you exhale, chant your anxiety mantra. For Jewish readers, your mantra is: “Oy Vey.” For Catholic readers, your mantra is “Mama Mia.” For all other readers, your mantra is: “As If.” If your chanting doesn’t seem to be relieving your anxiety, try one of the mantras for another faith. You do not need to convert to do this.

As we become aware of additional mantras that are especially appropriate for retirees, we’ll pass them along. In the meantime, we hope you’ll make meditative chanting part of your daily retirement routine. Along with a nice glass of wine, of course.

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