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Nausea while mediating

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Toby2015, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. Toby2015

    Toby2015 Peer Supporter

    Hi all
    Can someone tell me if its normal to feel nausea during and after meditation. I feel it part way through and it stays with ME for a little afterwards.
  2. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Toby,
    I'm sorry to hear this, from my experience it's not normal at all. But I'm assuming the brain deployed a very clever strategy to make you believe meditation has caused this and by all accounts it worked. It's more than likely just conditioning.

    When you next journal you may wish to write about what you think/feel about having to meditate. Don't force it, but just bring it into your awareness. Just see what comes up.

    Meditation is supposed to be a healthy practice and shouldn't cause you any harm.

    Good luck and wishing you the best on your journey.
  3. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    When I first try to meditate I often went into this state that will cause this terror like feeling. It felt horrible and I often have headache or dizzyness feeling afterward. Meditation can have many benefit if it done right and/or under guidance from a good teacher.
    The following is a cut and paste of one of the best answer to the question "if meditation have any negative side effect":


    In my experience meditation can be harmful which is the reason I stopped teaching open classes and for the last ten years I only teach my clients who I know well and where I can match type of meditation practice with a particular need and personality type of a client as well as have a space in psychotherapy session to process what comes out during the meditation.

    When we are talking about meditation side-effects there are three important points to consider:

    First, there are different types of meditation and not every type would be suitable for everyone. For example, Budhhist Vipassana meditation is very difficult practice for extrovert types, A type personality or hyperactive people. But "Yoga Nidra" meditation which follows quick pace moving the focus through different body parts would work very well in such cases. Many clients tell me of their failed experience with meditation. Most of the time it is due to applying one specific meditation technique in a group set-up and as a result some people would enjoy it and do well while others may experience frustration and feeling of failure.

    Second, in meditation you connect to your internal space and depending on what you stored in your internal space meditation may release emotional and mental blockages, from abuse and traumatic images to unprocessed anxiety, grief or anger. Several researchers described this side-effect of meditation:

    1. Kutz et al. (1985a,b) described meditation side-effects such as sobbing and release of hidden memories and themes from the past: incest, rejection, and abandonment.

    2. Other adverse effects described (Craven, 1989) are uncomfortable kinaesthetic sensations, mild dissociation, feelings of guilt and, via anxiety-provoking phenomena, psychosis-like symptoms, grandiosity, elation, destructive behaviour and suicidal feelings.

    3. Shapiro (1992) found that 62.9% of the subjects reported adverse effects during and after meditation and 7.4% experienced profoundly adverse effects. The length of practice (from 16 to 105 months) did not make any difference to the quality and frequency of adverse effects. These adverse effects were relaxation-induced anxiety and panic; paradoxical increases in tension; less motivation in life; boredom; pain; impaired reality testing; confusion and disorientation; feeling 'spaced out'; depression; increased negativity; being more judgmental; and, ironically, feeling addicted to meditation.

    During retreats that I have been guiding for years, meditation and silence most times cause a release of stored emotional, mental, physical or spiritual staff. The fact is that we have too busy lives and make very little time for processing of emotional and mental content resulting in a huge number of unprocessed "files". The moment we slow down, became quiet and connect to our inner space material from these "unprocessed files" may come out. In my experience, if one gets no help with processing of that material it can do more harm than good.

    Third, meditation practice is often misunderstood and romanticized. Some people think of meditation practice as a way to get relaxed and some as a way to focus. Even though relaxation or focus may be some of the benefits, "goal" in meditation is nothing to do with these. Meditation or dhyana is a process of raising spiritual energy and reaching spiritual enlightenment. In yoga, meditation or dhyana, the process of spiritual awakening is not considered an easy or pleasant one. Hence, on our spiritual journey we need a "guru". Word "guru" translates as "dispeller of darkness" - reflecting how risky and dangerous that road may be.

    In conclusion, meditation is a very powerful practice that can induce unpleasant or even harmful effects if not practiced under the guidance and if "material" released is not processed in a meaningful way.

    CRAVEN, J.L. (1989). Meditation and psychotherapy, Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 34, pp. 648-653.

    KUTZ, I., BURYSENKO, J.K. & BENSON, H. (1985a). Meditation and psychotherapy: a rationale for the integration of dynamic psychotherapy, the relaxation response and mindfulness meditation, American Journal of Psychiatry, 142, pp. 1-8.

    KUTZ, I., LESERMAN, J., DORRINGTON, C., MORRISON, C.H., BORYSENKO, J. & BENSON, H. (1985b). Meditation as an adjunct to psychotherapy, an outcome study, Psychotherapy Psychosomatics, 43, pp. 209-218.

    SHAPIRO, D.H. (1982). Overview: clinical and physiological comparison of meditation with other self-control strategies, American Journal of Psychiatry, 139, pp. 267-274. SHAPIRO, D.H. (1992). Adverse effects of meditation: a preliminary investigation of long-term meditators, International Journal of Psychosomatics, 39, pp. 62-67.

    PEREZ-DE-ALBENIZ, A. & HOLMES, J. (2000). Meditation: concepts, effects and uses in therapy. International Journal of Psychotherapy, Vol. 5 Issue 1, 49-59.
    Renee likes this.
  4. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Balto,
    That is a great summary of a meditation teacher's reflections. Can you provide the link?

    So Toby, based on the article posted by Balto, Balto's experience, and my experience, I would concur that your nausea may be an indication for a "need to distract" from the inner material that you are getting closer to while meditating. Most forms of meditation increase awareness, so this makes sense. You are likely to become more aware, and just quieting outer activity while staying alert can send a signal that the psychological material down deep may be more exposed. Hence the need for distraction.

    You might do a simple inquiry also: "If I wasn't feeling nausea, what would I be feeling?"

    I still don't know if this "material arising" hypothesis is true for you, causing nausea, but if it is, then here are some more thoughts:

    Go easy on yourself, and enjoy the sharpening of your awareness up to a tolerable point. Also, the capacity to be "more with" what is arising develops over time. You might also try a walking meditation ala Thich Nhat Hanh. Just a breath for each step or simple mantra timed with steps while walking. A mantra is a short, repeated phrase, usually positive or neutral, such as "I am here."

    There are many ways to challenge the habits of the mind through meditation, and I think you'll do fine, by taking it slowly and finding the type that works for you. I love chanting for instance, and movement meditation, more than sitting meditation. You can simply sit in a chair and watch clouds or branches moving in the wind, bringing yourself back to this focus when your mind wanders...

    For TMS work, I think one of the important meditation benefits is an increase in your ability to witness --and not always believe, what you are thinking. This helps to deal with fear. Or pain. Another is an increase in awareness, which gives you more access to deeper feelings. You can see the workings of your mind and feelings, and connect this with Dr. Sarno's explanations.

    I wonder what draws you to meditation.

    Andy B
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Related to meditation is living in the present. Here is a quote on that from former tennis champion Billie Jean King:

    "Each point I play is in the now moment. The last point means nothing, the next point means nothing."

    Australian Olympic gold medal swimmer Murray Rose said he wasn't the fastest in the pool but focused his mind on each arm and leg stroke and he got to the finish line faster that way, thinking and living in the present moment.
  6. Toby2015

    Toby2015 Peer Supporter

    Thanks for all your comments, I meditated yesterday morning with no problems. I am being the present much more which is having some surprising positive effects.
    I had no idea that meditation was so and may need instruction. I am currently using an app called headspace. Which is mindfulness meditation, I must admit I find it difficult to stop myself for the 10 mins as I keep thinking about things I should be doing but I am making myself do it.
    I have spent so much time regretting the past and living in it that maybe my body is still catching up to the present along with my mind, hence the nausea.
    Also I wrote about some very traumatic experiences recently that I have buried deep for the last 7 years, since then I have had nightmares about it and other bad dreams but awake I am feeling ok so I guess it's just part if the process of letting it all go.
    I definitely explore my mind mind the next tims I feeel the nausea.
    Thank again all

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