Your Own Well-being: Chants for Caregivers

Meditation and chanting improve one's health
and help you find inner wisdom. 
Guest Post by Elaine M. Decker, social artist and columnist

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. If there’s one thing every caregiver can use more of, it’s 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 caregivers. 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 caregiving enlightenment.

For worries about Long Term Care payments being reduced or running out altogether:

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 pushing your loved one’s wheelchair:

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 help finding your true late-life (post caregiving) passion: 

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, especially about whether you could be doing more for your loved one, or whether your patience is running out:

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 isn’t 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 caregivers, we’ll pass them along. In the meantime, we hope you’ll make meditative chanting part of your daily routine. Along with a nice glass of wine, of course.

Copyright 2014 Business Theatre Unlimited

Further Reading: 

How to Deal With the Stress of Caregiving 

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About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visit to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.


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