Aphasia and Meditation
The news of Bruce Willis stepping away from acting after an aphasia diagnosis has caused a bit of a rumble through the online world.
When you can’t find the words
Perhaps it is the shock of seeing what seems like an evergreen actor step away from his passion or the reality that there is a higher incidence of strokes across the entire population with the pandemic. Still, this news has cast a shadow on social network conversations.
While aphasia is typically seen after a stroke or head injury, it can surface slowly as a disease or result of a brain tumor, infections, and more.
Aphasia robs you of your ability to communicate and is isolating and stressful. It is an impairment of language, both in speaking and understanding. This flows into reading and comprehension and the ability to write.
Aphasia and Meditation for Increased Quality of Life
Because aphasia has a range of mild to severe and can increase in severity, it is anxiety and depression inducing not only for the person suffering but caregivers.
Aphasia might be as simple as having a harder time retrieving names once in a while and this never progresses or as severe as being unable to communicate.
Mindfulness and meditation help both caregivers and those suffering from aphasia. An earlier study in 2008 outlined that data suggested that relaxation therapy, alone or in conjunction with other treatments, may help address a variety of struggles, including communication disorders.
Since then, we know even more and know that meditation and mindfulness help change the brain in as little as eight weeks.
Some of these changes include benefits in memory and attention, learning, cognition, emotional regulation, and increased empathy and resilience. These findings are supported by Harvard University and Medical School.
There are apps and online options such as podcasts and youtube videos. Still, if you feel that this isn’t going to give you the guidance you need, it is worthwhile to seek out a meditation class or sangha to supplement your home practice and work with your medical and psychological team.
If you are interested in working with me to help reduce the stress of being a caregiver or, if you would like to adjunct your medical team support if you are suffering from aphasia or any cognitive struggle, I am able to work with you or under the guidance of your team.
Please contact me at the contact form here.
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