Meditation: Body Centering after an Appointment

My connection with my body is what I’d call “tenuous” at best. Years of constant chronic pain, as well as doctors dismissing my symptoms and telling me I was overreacting, have subconsciously taught me to distance my waking mind from the flesh and bones I inhabit. My favorite moments are the ones when I’m so caught up in a project or a conversation that I forget about my body altogether. Sometimes this is a useful and even necessary survival tactic. In the midst of overwhelmingly painful flareups, sometimes I have to check out mentally. But an over-reliance on this survival tactic means that I dissociate on a dime. Especially during stressful situations. So a big focus of my magical work recently has involved consciously reconnecting with my body, even in short bursts. 

Doctor’s appointments are some of my biggest anxiety triggers. I’ve had some truly hideous experiences with dismissive and, in some cases, queerphobic doctors. So when I’m sitting in a medical waiting room or examination room, I often realize that my mind has flown as far from my body as possible. I feel floaty and disoriented and like my brain is full of static. Often these feelings persist long after the appointment, even if it largely went well. I’ve created this little meditation to help myself re-connect with my body after an appointment. My hope is that the more often I practice it, the more naturally it will flow. When you have a consistent bedtime routine, for example, it can help your mind orient itself toward sleep and rest. I would like this meditation to become a routine that reminds my brain to touch base with my body. 

I use the chakras as a focal point throughout this meditation. I will freely admit that chakras are NOT my area of expertise–I have a few books and an eagerness to learn, but that’s about it. So please don’t take this meditation as a bonafide method of chakra healing/unblocking/etc. That said, as someone with chronic pain that pretty much affects everything from my head to my toes, I sometimes struggle with free-form body scan types of meditations. I get distracted by the ache in my toes I hadn’t noticed before, then I recognize that the soles of my feet and my ankles hurt, too, and by the time I get to my knees I’ve given up. “Everything hurts, the end!” That’s why I like using chakras as a framework for checking in with myself. A chakra covers an area of the body, so it’s broad enough that I don’t get caught on small details, but specific enough that I don’t feel overwhelmed. Whether chakra work is your vibe or not, I hope that using them as a body scan framework can be helpful for you! 


As an optional first step, consider changing into different clothes than the ones you wore to your appointment. I find that this helps me transition from “patient in a doctor’s office” mode into “human at home doing self-care” mode. Bonus points if you have comfy pajamas or lounge wear. This may be harder if you’re going directly from your appointment back to work or to another public setting. If that’s the case, you might carry a small item like a necklace, ring, or even a sweater that you can either take off or put on after the appointment. Anything like this helps make the shift more tangible for your mind–again, it’s like putting on nightclothes to shift into a sleep mindset. But this step is completely optional. 

The most important thing is to get yourself into as comfortable a position as possible. If you’re at home, you might sit directly on the ground or in a favorite chair, or you might even get cozy in bed. If you’re at work or somewhere else public, it might just be sitting at a desk with your feet on the floor. I’ve honestly even done meditations like this while sitting in a restroom stall. (I don’t recommend this, but if you’re self conscious about meditating in an office space or you don’t have a supportive work environment, it’ll do in a pinch.) 

Take a few breaths. Allow yourself to notice body sensations as you breathe–aches, pins and needles, an anxious stomach, etc. Acknowledge these sensations, but try not to cling to them or hyperfixate on them. 

When you’re ready, begin the meditation proper. If it’s helpful (and comfortable) as you go, put a hand over the area of the body you’re focusing on. 

  1. Root chakra. Although the root chakra is located around your tailbone, for the purposes of this meditation consider it your whole lower half, tailbone to toes. These are the parts of your body that root you to the earth. Whether you navigate by walking or wheeling in a chair, your feet, legs, and tailbone carry your weight for you. For the space of 5-10 breaths, meditate on what these body parts do for you. Acknowledge the ways that they struggle–maybe your legs ache or get shaky, maybe your tailbone/butt get sore or numb from sitting, etc.–thank them, too, for the work they put in. Then say aloud or silently to yourself, “I am grounded in my body.” 
  2. Sacral chakra. Move your attention up just a bit to your pelvis. The sacral chakra is responsible for reproduction, sexuality, and creativity. This can be an area of exquisite physical pleasure. Take 5-10 breaths thinking about the challenges and benefits this area of your body brings you. Have you shared pleasure with yourself or others? Has this been a site of discomfort or dysphoria? How has your body helped you express your creativity? Do you have pain, physical or mental, associated with your pelvis, hips, genitalia, or reproductive organs? Once you’ve considered these questions, say aloud or silently, “I create with my body.” 
  3. Solar plexus chakra. Now bring your focus up to your midriff, just above your belly button. This is said to be the chakra governing your confidence and sense of empowerment. How has your body impacted your self-esteem? Being disabled, chronically ill, neurodivergent, etc., we often hear from society that we are less worthy, less productive, less important. How do you navigate these feelings, if you experience them? And from a physical standpoint, what does this part of your body do for you? What sensations, positive or negative, do you feel here in your solar plexus? After 5-10 breaths, say aloud or silently, “I am proud of my body.” 
  4. Heart chakra. Shift up to the center of your chest. This is probably the most self-evident chakra: your heart chakra contains all your love and affection as well as all your hurt and sorrow. Take 5-10 breaths as you focus on your heart and lungs. They may be a source of illness or disability, and yet they keep you alive every second of every day. What is difficult about your heart and lungs? What are you grateful to them for? How do they tell you when you care deeply about something or someone? When you feel ready, say aloud or silently, “I love my body.” 
  5. Throat chakra. Move your attention to your throat. This is said to be where your voice and communication live–though if you’re nonverbal or you use sign language, I suggest you allow your focus to pour down your shoulders and into your hands as well, since you use them for communication. Take 5-10 breaths considering these parts of your body. Are they painful, or do they feel blocked in any way? Do you struggle to speak up for yourself or others? How have you used your voice to help yourself or others? Then sayaloud or silently, “I speak through my body.” 
  6. Third eye chakra. Your focus should now move to your forehead, just between your eyes and above the bridge of your nose. This is your third eye chakra, where your intuition and wisdom are housed. This may also be where you imagine your mind living. Consider your mind and your intuition. How does your point of view challenge you as you move through the world? Where do you have unique insight that a neurotypical or abled person might not? After 5-10 breaths, say aloud or silently, “My body is intuitive.” 
  7. Crown chakra. Finally, shift your focus to the top of your head. Here is your connection with the rest of the world and, perhaps, something greater than yourself. Whether that “something greater” is the Divine, the natural world, or humanity at large, your crown is your connection to them. Take 5-10 breaths while you consider the top of your head. Are you prone to headaches, or even something like hair loss or trichotillomania? Simultaneously, can you thank your skull for protecting your brain from injury? What is something greater than yourself that you feel connected to? When you’re ready, say aloud or silently, “I am at peace in my body.” 

Once you’ve finished, take a few more deep breaths. Wiggle your fingers and toes if it helps you move out of a meditation headspace. If your eyes were closed, open them back up. (And if you drift off to sleep in the middle of this meditation, don’t feel bad! Your body’s message for you was that it needed a break. Just do your best to finish the chakras you missed whenever you wake up.) 

Now, an important question may have occurred to you during the meditation: what if I don’t believe all these things I’m saying? For example, I am not always proud of my body. Nor do I always love it. It’s something I’m working on, but the degree to which I appreciate my body fluctuates from moment to moment. Does that mean I’m being untruthful when I say that I love my body in a meditation? 

Rather than thinking of it as an untruth, I think of these statements as aspirational. Intentions of sorts. Just after a doctor’s appointment, I may not be proud of my body. But that’s exactly why I need to reaffirm my commitment to becoming proud of it. Like setting any intention, I need to have a clear sense of my goal. And these seven goals are clear, direct, and important. Our bodies do so much for us, even when they’re overwhelmed by pain, exhaustion, anxiety, depression, etc. And to be clear, I’m not saying we always have to be good sports about this. Sometimes having a meatsuit is really, really hard. But I think it’s important to remind ourselves that our bodies are doing their best. That’s the ultimate point of this meditation–to acknowledge the difficulties and challenges our bodies present us with, but to simultaneously acknowledge how much our bodies do for us. And to commit, and recommit, to partner with our bodies rather than seeing them as our enemies. 

What kinds of spells, meditations, or tarot spreads would you like to see me tackle next? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Meditation: Body Centering after an Appointment Tiny Witchcraft

Published by Ru-Lee Story

Tea-drinking, asexual, agender tarot practitioner and author battling chronic illness and social injustices. Not necessarily in that order. They/them or ey/em.

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