There is no cure for OCD or Intrusive thoughts. In fact, OCD is the least understood mental illness today and one of the top ten most disabling worldwide conditions, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In terms of treating OCD with psychotropic drugs and CBT therapy, most individuals will only experience mild improvements. Those of us who suffer from OCD have spent years trying to understand and control our thoughts. These thoughts make us feel like we are spiraling out of control and can send us into the deepest of depression. We will try anything in an attempt to regain control of our minds, most of which fails miserably. Luckily, there are two newly studied noninvasive treatments available for those of us who have suffered from this lifelong daily battle.
Kundalini meditation has shown to be the most effective treatment for OCD. The few studies that have been done with OCD patients and this meditative technique have shown up to a 71% improvement rate in OCD symptoms. Some OCD sufferers claimed to have had their symptoms completely alleviated through this practice.
The practice of Kundalini meditation for intrusive thoughts is very specific. It requires one to sit upright in a chair or cross-legged on the floor. Inhale, hold the breath in, and exhale deeply to release. Being careful to only breathe through the nose and keep your eyes closed as if you are looking through your third eye or a central point on the horizon. Use your right thumb tip to cover the right nostril while you rest your elbow along your body. You will keep your left nostril uncovered for the entire practice which looks like this: Take a deep breath in through the left nostril and count to five, hold the breath in for five, let the breath out for five and hold the breath out for five. With practice you will eventually work up to breathing in for 15, holding for 15, releasing for 15 and holding for 15. Begin with a practice of 11 minutes per day and gradually work up to 31 minutes.
Yoga experts claim this meditative technique has the capability to completely alleviate all OCD symptoms after 90 days of daily practice (using the 15-second per breath phase).
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing or EMDR is a newer form of psychotherapy that releases psychological stress and is largely used for PTSD and trauma. Although scientists currently are unable to determine a cause for OCD, they have found that trauma and OCD commonly occur together. Many psychiatrists are beginning to find most OCD treatments remain unsuccessful if a patient’s past trauma has not been addressed.
EMDR is a noninvasive, interactive treatment developed in the 1990s in which the patient is asked to retrieve difficult memories while the therapist directs the patient in a type of sensory input. During the treatment, you will briefly relive the traumatic experience while the therapist directs your eye movements or may use massage tappers that you hold in your hands. This is called bilateral stimulation. After the session, the subject may feel drained and irritable. It is important to plan sessions when you are able to relax or sleep afterward for this reason. Gradually, you will find that your distressing memories take less of a hold on your life and the disturbance level decreases dramatically. Current studies are finding that the use of EMDR is extremely effective in the treatment of OCD. Patients are showing significant symptom reduction at the 4-6 month follow-up.
As mentioned above, the WHO ranks OCD as one of the top ten most disruptive disabilities worldwide. It currently affects 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 100 children. Most people with OCD, especially children, will suffer in silence out of fear, shame and guilt. Fortunately, with new research and findings, our prognosis for helping people who struggle with OCD is more promising than ever before. Together in unison, EMDR and Kundalini meditation are showing the best outcomes for those who suffer from OCD. In fact, some lifelong sufferers are finding complete relief of their symptoms by using these techniques! For those of you who are continuing to suffer, it’s important to know that effective and affordable treatments are within reach.
Carrie is a full-time working mother who spent five years struggling with infertility and miscarriages. Through research and lifestyle changes, she was able to put an end to frustrating doctor’s visits and expensive pharmaceutical drugs that worsened her condition. At forty, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Although she was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression, Anxiety and OCD she continues to treat her symptoms through nutrition, exercise, CBT therapy, Yoga and meditation. She is devoted to helping women take back their health and heal their bodies on their own terms.