When Dorothy Teesdale's doctor diagnosed her with peripheral neuropathy in 1997, he told her there was nothing she could do but live with it. "Being a nurse I said, 'No, that's not enough'," says Teesdale. "Back then I taught visualization, relaxation, and meditation techniques to young women preparing for labor, and I just knew that it could help me too." Teesdale began to use many of the techniques of mindfulness-based stress reduction to control her own pain.
"Meditation is something that I can count on when I'm in pain," says Kathy Rembisz, who struggles with pain, dizziness, and imbalance from fibromyalgia, Meniere's disease, and sarcoidosis.
Because she suffers from a combination of conditions, Rembisz can't take many medications. Meditation can really take the edge off the pain, says Rembisz. "It helps me refocus so that I can get together what's left of the day."