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Sexuality and Mindfulness

Posted 4/13/2015

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  Sexuality and mindfulness do not seem, at first consideration, to be a natural pairing. A little more thought,  however, makes the relationship clear. Since mindfulness is all about focusing on the present moment, often concentrating on breathing or sensations or sounds, it makes sense that such focus could help intimacy. Surely the opposite is true: if you are thinking about what to cook for dinner or whether you remembered to pay the electric bill, the sex is not going to be very good.

  I am heading to New Hampshire in a few moments to lead my third three day retreat for women with advanced cancer. The previous two have been remarkable, and I am confident this will be, too--and maybe even better because it is not snowing as it was in November. These next three days will be very much about mindfulness. There are times of community meditation as well as opportunities for individual practice. And during group discussions or walks outside or shared meals, we will all be profoundly together in this particular time and place.

  It may seem that the previous paragraph is an oxymoron for this blog entry, but I am hoping that you can see it as a bridge. The day's topic is further discussed here from BreastCancer.org:

Sex Matters: Mindfulness Meditation and Sexuality: Mindful or Mind Full?
There has been considerable public dialogue about the practice
of mindfulness, described by experts as “nonjudgmental,
present-moment awareness.” Although traditionally associated
with Buddhist philosophy, anyone can incorporate mindfulness
techniques into their daily activities or in their expression of
sexuality.
Mindfulness has been used for a variety of different conditions
including depression, anxiety, pain, and eating disorders.
Scientific research shows that mindfulness causes brain waves to
change and improves the ability to pay attention. In addition,
there are also data and clinical research suggesting that meditation and yoga promote numerous health
benefits for breast cancer survivors, including helping to diminish fatigue and stress.
Dr. Lori Brotto has been a champion and pioneer in the study of mindfulness in female sexual arousal and
desire. In her work with clients, Dr. Brotto has used exercises to incorporate mindful strategies in both
nonsexual and sexual situations. Some mindfulness advocates encourage a short period of mindfulness
during driving, eating, or during conversation with your partner. As a practical suggestion, take some time
during meals to savor the aroma of your food, chew thoroughly, and taste the delicate textures of the
cuisine. When your mind wanders to other things, gently and kindly redirect your attention back to the
sensations associated with eating. It may only take a few minutes, but mindful eating can be a pleasurable
and exciting experience.

Read more: http://community.breastcancer.org/blog/sex-matters-mindfulness-meditation-and-sexuality-mindful-or-mind-full/

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