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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 August, 2003, 23:02 GMT 00:02 UK
Helping patients to relax
CDs
The CDs help patients meditate
In the busy world of the 21st Century it is often difficult to relax.

But when you are ill and living with a chronic condition that can become almost impossible.

Now a group of kidney dialysis patients are getting special help - a series of meditation CDs.

The CDs take the patients on a "guided journey". To calm them, they are transported to tropical seas, summer meadows, desert island and jungles.

Success

Wendy Brown, manager of the dialysis unit at St Mary's Paddington and Watford, said the CDs were already proving a great success.

"I tried them first myself and then I gave them to the patients and they found them very helpful.

The people I deal with have found is that the CDs help them to relax and to sleep
Wendy Brown

"The patients I deal with have a chronic illness and have to come into the hospital about three times a week every week. And what the people I deal with have found is that the CDs help them to relax and to sleep.

"They find that they are much better than just taking another pill, because they are already taking a lot of medication."

The CDs use a simple breathing exercise to help users enter the meditation state, a female or male voice then guides the user through their 15-minute journey to the point of relaxation.

Wendy hopes the tapes could be useful in other parts of the NHS too.

Patients

One patient, who asked not to be named because her work colleagues do not know of her condition, said she had found the tapes a fantastic aid to relaxing.

She said that before using the tapes she had found it almost impossible to have an unbroken night of sleep.

"I just found them wonderful.

"The sort of treatment we are having is quite demanding and I do have problems sleeping at night.

"The tapes do help me sleep.

"This is quite a good way of relaxing and I found it a very good way of relaxing and I would recommend them to other people."

Richard Latham, founder and script writer for the CDs, said: "Meditainment CDs are a useful addition to the emotional support services required for effective medical care.

"Patients are able to benefit from an enjoyable and relaxing meditative experience, while in the high anxiety environment of hospitals."

And he said other hospitals were now using the CDs on hospital radio to help reach other patients.


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