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How should I do a body scan meditation?

Performing a body scan meditation is quite simple. As a guide, use these steps:

1. Sit or lie down. Breathe deeply, allowing your stomach to rise as you inhale and fall as you exhale. Breathe this way for two minutes before you start.
2. Concentrate on your right big toe. Imagine the atoms in your toe and focus on the space between each atom. Imagine your toe feeling open, warm, and relaxed.
3. Now shift your focus on each of the other toes on your right foot, visualizing them one by one. Again, notice the sensations of your toes and envision them as open, warm, and relaxed.
4. Slowly shift your focus to your foot, moving mentally from the ball of your foot to the arch, then the top of the foot.
5. Work your way up your leg, turning your attention to your ankle, calf, knee, thigh, and hip. Take your time. For each body part, envision the atoms and the space between those atoms. Picture each muscle feeling open, warm, and relaxed.
6. Allow your right leg to relax, sinking into the support of the floor.
7. Now repeat these steps, focusing on your left foot and leg.
8. Next, become aware of your back. Does it feel tight or tense? Pay attention to each vertebra and the space that surrounds it. Let each vertebra feel light and spacious. Slowly work your way up your back, relaxing each muscle there.
9. Gradually, move on to your abdomen and chest. Picture your organs and the space between them. Allow your belly to feel light and open.
10. Become aware of your right thumb, and then your remaining fingers. Envision each finger one by one, then slowly work your way through your hand and arm: relax your palm, wrist, forearm, elbow, upper arm, and shoulder.
11. Feel your right arm relax and feel warm, spacious, and light.
12. Do the same thing with your left hand and arm.
13. Think about your neck and jaw. Yawn. Allow each part of your face to relax, working through your jaw, eyes, and forehead. Shift your attention to the top and back of your head.
14. Let your whole body sink into your chair or bed. Does it feel light and relaxed? Focus on your breath. Imagine yourself breathing in calm and peace. As you breathe out, imagine any remaining tension being expelled from your body.
15. If any part of your body is still tense, focus your breathing in that area, releasing tension from that spot as you exhale.
16. Sit or lie quietly for a few minutes, noting how light and spacious your body feels. Then open your eyes slowly. Take a moment to stretch, if you'd like.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.