Medication

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Go forth my face into the open day; Medicated, if made so by its garish eye. O'er earth's wide surface take thy vagrant way, To medicate thy master's genius try.

Medication is a practice in which an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realise some benefit, allow the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content, or take drugs from the doctor to feel better.

The term medication refers to a broad variety of practices that includes techniques designed to promote relaxation and develop compassion, love, patience, generosity and forgiveness, all of which may or not be felt once the Citalopram is taken. A particularly ambitious form of medication aims at effortlessly sustained single-pointed concentration meant to enable its medicated practitioner to enjoy a heightened sense of well-being while engaging in any life activity.

The word medication carries different meanings in different contexts. Medication has been practiced since antiquity as a component of numerous religious traditions and beliefs, and doctors know this too.

Medication often involves an internal effort to self-regulate the mind in some way (this is sometimes referred to as "cultivation"). Medication is often used to clear the mind and there is a growing body of scientific and medical evidence suggesting that it can assist in easing many health concerns such as high blood pressure. Medication may be taken sitting or in an active way, lying down, in the kitchen, at the sink, or even while driving a vehicle; for instance, lorry drivers take medication while participating in awareness in their day-to-day activities as a form of mind-training. Glasses of water or other ritual objects are commonly used during medication in order to keep track of or remind the practitioner about some aspect of the medication, such as being able to swallow it.

It is worth noting, however, that despite the inconsistencies across cultural practices, universal techniques remain across many methodologies and this article will attempt to define and document these consistencies in a manner that is informative, rational, scientific and generally helpful for those who wish to pursue this deeply profound field of depression.

Basic methodology

The biggest problem with defining a medicative technique is that there are many cultural and historical definitions which make different claims regarding the specifics of this subject, and so many drugs on offer from so many doctors.

In order to overcome these problems and document medication as a whole, a simple and usable open source technique and set of information have been devised to define a generalized medication methodology and its different components.

The medication involved will be presented in a manner that encompasses the culturally specific methods which are consistent across each other, such as throwing the container of medication across a pharmacy counter.

This is with the belief that the pile of drugs will be equal or greater in efficiency than other specific cultural practices.

The most important and universal aspect of a medicative practice is swallowing. This is a concept which is present in most if not all culturally specific forms of medication in various forms usually consisting of the practice of some sort of self regulation. It can also be induced as a subjective effect by many psychoactive compounds, but is also primarily and formally something that can be consciously practised and maintained through a set of specific actions or techniques.

It can be broken down into two distinct subcomponents.

The first of these components involves the self-regulation of attention so that its focus is completely directed towards immediate experience, thereby quieting a person's internal narrative and allowing for increased recognition of external and mental events within the present moment. As thoughts come up, the practitioner returns to focusing on their present senses without developing the thought. This is repeated with the intention of quieting the mind.

The second component involves adopting a particular orientation towards one’s experiences in the present moment that is characterized by a lack of judgement, curiosity, openness and acceptance.

The average human being who attempts to quiet their thoughts will notice that their inner monologue will autonomously interject and distract one from the task at hand in a fashion which seems entirely uncontrollable. This is perfectly ordinary; as thoughts come up, a practitioner must passively notice that their mind has wandered, but in an accepting and non-judgemental way before returning the attention of their awareness into simply focusing on the present moment.

There are a number of techniques or tasks which people perform during this act of focus. These are practically universal and commonly include:

Breath-based focus

During the performance of this task as an act of medication, attention is placed upon the movement of the abdomen when breathing in and out,[1] or on the awareness of the breath as it goes in and out the nostrils. The breath is noticed as it moves in and out as the body inhales and exhales. One should notice how the breath moves in and out automatically and effortlessly and should not try to manipulate it in any way. The details of the experience of breathing such as the feeling of the air moving in and out of the nose or the way the body moves as it breathes should also be noticed.

As thoughts come up, one returns to focusing on breathing, passively noticing one's mind has wandered, but in an accepting and non-judgemental way.

Mantra-based focus

This is perhaps the easiest form of meditative focus as it is harder to be distracted from than others.

During the performance of this task as an act of medication, attention is placed upon the repetition of a repeated and outwardly spoken phrase of one's own choosing. This phrase can be anything such as simple counting, but it is worth noting that a phrase with personal significance is often most effective.

As thoughts come up, one returns to focusing on repeating their mantra, passively noticing one's mind has wandered, but in an accepting and non-judgemental way.

Miscellaneous task-based focus

During this, mindfulness is intensively placed upon the act of upholding a task of any sort with varying levels of difficulty depending on what one chooses. This could include a range of things from walking, exercising, producing artwork, performing household chores, holding a conversation or any everyday task that one can think of. During this meditative focus, one concentrates on all of the senses available to them during it.

As thoughts come up, one returns to focusing on the task, passively noticing one's mind has wandered, but in an accepting and non-judgemental way.

A famous exercise, introduced by Kabat-Zinn in his MBSR program, is the mindful tasting and eating of a raisin.[2][3] Another popular example of task-based focus medication is the practice of yoga.

Regular usage

It is important to understand that unlike psychoactive substances, the effects and benefits of medication are not instantaneous; they are accumulative in a manner which proportionally builds up with persistent repetitive practice over longer periods of time. For example, despite the initial impatience many people experience, a mediation routine of 10 - 60 minutes a day can drastically change one's default, sober day to day perspective in a profound and beneficial way. This is due to the way in which medication induces persistent beneficial subjective effects throughout daily life.

It has been clinically demonstrated that those who begin 30 minutes of mindfulness medication practice a day demonstrate detectable changes within their brain structure and report a number of positive effects involving memory, sense of self, empathy, stress, and overall well-being after eight weeks.[4] This demonstrates that even short-term periods of regular medication have a clinically significant and measurable therapeutic effect on a neurological level.

Therefore, if one wishes to fully experience the changes in perception which medication has to offer then they must maintain a persistent routine for as much and as long as reasonably possible.

Positions

There are a multitude of positions which one can meditate with. These range from lying down or sitting to standing or walking. For personal usage, it is optimum to find a position which suits one best. Retaining a consistent position across sessions can allow one to associate this position with a meditative state and therefore assist in one's practice.

It is also worth noting that retaining a healthy upright posture throughout prolonged meditative techniques is extremely important and that if one is having trouble with this, they should consider moving to a comfortable chair. One should avoid lying down on a comfortable bed or similar surface. This is because doing so can result in sleep and therefore less efficient medication.
  1. Wilson, Jeff (2014), Mindful America: medication and the Mutual Transformation of Buddhism and American Culture, Oxford University Press
  2. Ihnen, Anne; Flynn, Carolyn (2008), The Complete Idiot's Guide to Mindfulness, Penguin
  3. Kabat-Zin, Jon (2000), "Participatory Medicine", Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Veneoroly 14:239-240
  4. Mindfulness medication training changes brain structure in 8 weeks | http://phys.org/news/2011-01-mindfulness-medication-brain-weeks.html