Meditation credited with helping Thai soccer team survive cave

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Trapped for more than two weeks, the Wild Boars' coach reportedly guided his soccer team through meditation sessions to help conserve their energy. (KGO-TV)

Trapped for more than two weeks, the Wild Boars' coach reportedly guided his soccer team through meditation sessions to help conserve their energy.

Jeff Draisin is the Medical Director for the Institute for Health and Healing in San Francisco.

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"In some ways it's the ability to control the spin of what's happening," said Draisin.

Draisin says a meditative state helps you identify the thoughts, feelings and perceptions of your mind, so that they don't distract you.

"So if you're in a cave, you're only in a cave if you think you're in a cave," said Draisin.

In a meditative state, Draisin says you can achieve relaxation in environments that aren't inherently relaxing. That's because when you're anxious your breath is shallow and you use muscles in your neck and chest burning calories.

"You don't have to be in more danger but over time you feel like you're in more danger," said Draisin.
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Whereas in a relaxed state, you're conserving energy. The practice wasn't new for the team.
"In sports there's an expression of he's locked in, locked in is the definition of a meditative state," said Draisin.

The soccer coach learned the art of meditation training as a Buddhist Monk in Thailand.

Draisin says we can all benefit from meditation, most accessibly by experiencing your breath moving in out of your nose or noticing the rise and fall of your chest.
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"As you breathe in, to yourself you say 'in,' as you breathe out you say to yourself 'out' or as you breathe in you say 'receive,' as you breathe out you say 'release,'" said Draisin.

He jokes, we all already know how to focus.

"The one singular meditation people practice daily is also called worry," said Draisin.
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