Noom body scan
The Body Scan: Mindful Body Awareness
by Noom Team | Aug 20, 2019 | Last updated Feb 15, 2022
Author: Anna Frinzi
Being mindful in today’s society of busyness, non-stop errands, high pressure careers, family/work priorities, social media, and Netflix binging (to name a few) can seem nearly impossible. Who has the time to meditate or be mindful when we have so many other tasks to complete? The words “mindfulness” and “meditation” are increasing in popularity as we recognize the need to take a moment to be more aware of our activities and slow the pace down. Contrary to popular belief, mindfulness does not require sitting perfectly still on a blanket with candles. Rather, it can be incorporated into everyday life while moving and being active throughout the day. Even if you are running around, taking a walk, or completing those monotonous tasks of your routine–you can still be mindful! Being mindful is simply being aware and conscious of the present moment. We will focus on one specific part of mindfulness, which originates from a Buddhist text, Kayagata-sati Sutta, which is known as Mindfulness Immersed in the Body (Kayagata-sati Sutta).
We #NoomNerds will let you in on a little secret: mindfulness can be practiced with any type of movement! The Kayagata-sati Sutta text states that “mindfulness immersed in the body, when developed and pursued…is to be of great fruit and great benefit”.
A simple way to work on connecting with the physical being is a body scan, which is a technique that focuses on different parts of your body and changes your attention from body part to body part until you have gone through your entire physical body. This helps to bring your awareness and attention to the physical sensations inside of you. Noom offers our own body scan meditation to work on honing this mindfulness in your body. Ask your goal specialist about this meditation today!
Along with the body scan, there are some additional ways to progress mindfulness in the body, as provided by the Buddhist text. Here are four simple steps to try:
1. Be aware of your body: While sitting, standing, walking, lying down, or any other position, stay attuned to how your posture changes throughout the day.
2. Stay present in activities engaging your body: When eating, drinking, chewing, waking up, talking, gardening, washing dishes, or completing any other tasks throughout the day, stay mindful and be aware of every tiny motion your body makes. Try moving in slow motion while completing a mundane task such as cleaning the toilet, showering, brushing your teeth and be aware of each movement.
3. Reflect on each body part: This goes along with the body scan where you become aware of each part of your body, part by part. The Buddhist text includes 31 parts of the body, with the 32nd added at the end, the brain. Arguably, the most important piece!
4. Incorporate the 4 elements: According to the Buddhist text, Earth, Water, Fire, and Wind are the four basic parts of the world. Relating this to the body, earth is the solidity of our body, such as the framework of our bones and muscles. Water is the fluid and movement of liquids in us such as blood and saliva. Fire is the heated part of us, which involves our temperature and digestion. Finally, wind includes the movement of oxygen in our lunges and motion inside of us. Applying this concept to life, it is essential to be in tune of the elements around us, so that your own emotions/thoughts do not rule your mind or life. Think about how you affect the world and how your body’s elements work together to create you.
You may be thinking that some of these ideas seem a bit wonky or odd, but developing mindfulness in your body is all about discovering what feels right for you. Scientific research has discovered that the more we focus our attention to bodily sensations, the more we activate growth in the brain and specific neural firing patterns. Even just a few short moments of mindfulness each day can create incredible benefits. Choose one or two ideas that resonate with you and add them into your daily routine!
If you’re looking to increase your mindfulness and get more connected to your body, sign up for your 14-day Noom trial today!
Why is Noom duping people into buying 'personalised' diet plans?
If you've spent literally any time on social media, or watched so much as ten minutes of TV in the days after Christmas, you'll likely have seen adverts for weight-loss programmes such as Noom.
According to their website, Noom uses science and psychology to "help you lose weight and keep it off for good." They do this by helping users "better understand" their relationship with food, being "more mindful" of their habits and providing the knowledge needed for "long-lasting change."
To achieve this, Noom claims to build each user a personalised diet plan using information gathered during an initial testing process, which takes place before your account is made and asks about your medical history, such as prescribed medications and any mental health issues you might've experienced.
But, while the allure of losing weight and 'keeping it off for good' may sound appealing to some, an investigation carried out by anti-exploitation charity, Privacy International (PI), alleged that some personalised diet companies, including Noom "are using tests to lure [in] users."
In a nutshell: according to PI, they're selling the same 'personalised' programme to a whole lot of people. Which, really, makes it not so personal... And begs the question, why does Noom need so much data from users (and what are they actually doing with it)?
"Companies selling diet programmes are increasingly targeting internet users with online tests and provide little to no clarity on what happens to your data [after]," PI told Cosmopolitan UK.
Their study showed that users completing Noom's test are first asked whether they want to "get fit" or "lose weight," followed by over 50 questions. Some questions ask the user's thoughts on cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), what triggers their urge to snack, what fitness apps they're subscribed to, as well as meal kit subscriptions.
Jessica Lockett | Getty Images
Of the questions asked, in particular whether a customer has been treated for diabetes or recently taken antibiotics, PI found that the answers "can be considered health data." Health data, PI points out, is classed as sensitive under General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guidelines, so Noom is legally obliged under EU and UK data protection law to "prove that they have taken extra steps to specifically protect these categories of data."
While PI's report doesn't make any definitive claims about Noom's compliance with data protection legislation, it does point out concerns about the apparent lack of obtaining explicit consent for this sensitive data to be collected.
Data protection law aside, PI also interestingly found that "the data entered did not affect the programme being sold" despite the 50-plus test questions, and that "Noom does not keep all this information for itself." In fact, PI's study found that the data collected was previously "being shared with a company called FullStory" – a platform that allows companies to understand how consumers interact with their website: what they are looking at, what they are clicking on, what they are purchasing, etc.
Although not explicitly named, Noom says FullStory (being a third-party service provider) was covered within their Terms and Conditions. "Noom cares about its users' privacy and does not share its users' data with third parties other than with its service providers," a spokesperson for the company also told Cosmopolitan UK. But that's not the full picture...
"The data you share doesn't affect the programme you're sold [and] Noom also doesn't keep that data private..."
Since their initial investigation was carried out, PI found that yes, while Noom no longer shares user's data with FullStory, it now instead does so with Facebook. When asked about this finding, PI said that the "same concerns apply as to lack of transparency and information to users."
In response to PI's finding that user's data is now shared with Facebook, a spokesperson for Meta (Facebook's parent company) said: "We have policies around the kinds of information businesses can share with us — we don’t want websites or apps sending us sensitive information about people. "
To combat this, Facebook says they have a system "built to detect and filter out this type of information." They also claim to alert Noom if and when potentially sensitive information is identified, as well as reaching out to them "directly to make sure they are complying with our policies to help protect people's privacy."
But, despite third-parties like Facebook claiming to do their bit to filter out sensitive data, PI argues that the lack of transparency about this data being shared in the first place is "problematic," adding that the user's opportunity to consent or object to this needs to be made far clearer.
"Apps can collect any sort of data including personal data," explains Magnus Boyd, a lawyer and partner at Schillings who specialises in information security. "But, the lawfulness of that collection hinges on the question of consent."
As Boyd points out, "Apps have to inform the user about who they will be sharing their data with [before they consent], but in reality, the third parties are not always listed in an easily accessible way. Instead, they're often buried in lengthy terms and conditions or Privacy Notices."
Jessica Lockett | Getty Images
In their investigation, (which also studied other 'personalised' diet companies) PI ultimately found that "under the pretence of finding the best diet for us and protecting our health, diet companies are only collecting more and more data about us, without providing us proper information about what happens with the data and who they share it with. "
While Noom's T&Cs assert that third parties cannot resell user's data, PI highlights that it is "difficult to assess based on these companies' privacy policies what specifically happens to our data," adding that "the privacy policies we have read provide scope for worrying practices."
But, what does this mean for how our data may be used in the future? "Big tech companies have had their eyes on our bodies and our healthcare in the past couple of years," says PI. "The specific appetite they have for our health data is something we need to be particularly wary of."
And, we're already seeing evidence of this play out, with Amazon US now competing with health insurance providers by offering cheaper medications, while here in the UK the shopping giant has teamed with the NHS to encourage people to use their Alexa devices for health queries.
The bottom line is this: our personal data has a price. And, while we'd like to think our personal data isn't being sold off, especially when it comes to health, how can we ever be sure this isn't the case?
Boyd says that one thing we can all do to help protect ourselves is "as boring and tedious as it sounds. .. read the terms and conditions, and look out for the document called the privacy notice or privacy statement" He adds that this is the document that will set out how the app will use and share your data. "The devil is in the detail."
Here's hoping tech companies moving forward make that process a lot easier and clearer, as when it comes to health (and data), we all know it's our biggest asset.
When asked specifically about PI's claim that all users receive the same 'personalised' diet plan, Noom did not provide comment.
Jade Biggs Jade Biggs (she/her) is Cosmopolitan UK's Features Writer, covering everything from breaking news and latest royal gossip, to the health and fitness trends taking over your TikTok feed.
body scan meditation | How to Start the Journey into Mindfulness
Body scan meditation is an easy way to start practicing mindfulness. A mental scan of the whole body, like an X-ray, can improve your emotional state and your ability to be in the present moment. This wiki does not diagnose diseases or provide medical advice.
What is body scan meditation?
Body scanning meditation is one of the most effective ways to practice mindfulness. The purpose of the practice is to connect the mind with the physical body. Although relaxation is not the primary goal, most practitioners feel calmer during and after meditation. nine0003
Various variations of body scan meditation have been around for centuries. This is a style of mindfulness meditation where you focus on the sensations in your body rather than your breath. John Kabat-Zinn's 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program uses this practice to treat long-term illness and chronic pain. If you practice this meditation for 20 to 45 minutes three to six days a week for four weeks, Kabat-Zinn says, you can get many benefits. nine0003
Why do body scan meditation?
Turning your attention to your body and analyzing it from head to toe can improve your physical and mental well-being. Plus, it can help you deal with stress, pain, and anxiety. Stress reduction expert Jon Kabat-Zinn recommends the body scan exercise as the most effective meditation for pain.
Research shows that meditation has a profound effect on pain management. One randomized trial published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that adults with chronic pain can use body scanning meditation as a practical and affordable treatment. After just one session, 55 participants felt a reduction in physical discomfort. nine0003
Health Benefits of Body Scanning
Body scanning has extensive mental and physical benefits. Here are some of the main benefits you can expect from regular practice:
Pain Treatment: According to the Harvard Health Institute, doing a 45 minute body scan exercise every day is of great benefit in living with chronic pain. Even if you think it's boring or doesn't help, it will serve you well. Instead of completely relieving discomfort, this practice aims to make you aware of your pain and learn how to manage it. nine0003
Better sleep: The practice of body scanning helps to improve the quality of sleep. Several peer-reviewed studies show that this meditation technique is an effective tool to help people fall asleep faster, including patients with chronic insomnia. Adequate rest is critical to human health and well-being.
Stress Relief: The body scan technique relieves physical tension in the body. In addition, it can improve your awareness of the connections between mind and body. By noticing and analyzing the accumulation of stress in the body and increasing body awareness, you can successfully reduce stress and tension, according to Harvard Health. nine0003
Improves overall well-being: The practice of body scanning meditation can help people achieve psychological well-being. In addition, it can improve symptoms of anxiety and depression. One study analyzed the effectiveness of body scans for healthcare professionals who often experience burnout. The results showed that mindfulness-based stress reduction significantly improved burnout rates and mental health in a variety of healthcare professionals.
Other benefits you may experience include, but are not limited to:
Reducing general discomfort
Increased body awareness
Improving cardiovascular health
More regulated emotions
Body scan meditation practice
Here are the instructions for a useful and simple meditation:
Step 1: Sit comfortably.
Start in a comfortable lying position. Sitting is also an alternative if you are not in an environment where you can lie down. Relax your limbs and get ready to perform the exercise.
Step 2: Take a few deep breaths.
Let your breathing slow down. Focus on filling your belly with air, not your chest. Notice how your belly expands and contracts with each breath, like a balloon inflating and deflating. Make sure your shoulders are relaxed and do not rise or fall as you inhale. When you feel ready, take one last deep breath and get ready to begin your body scan. nine0003
Step 3: Bring awareness to your feet
Once you feel comfortable and relaxed, bring your attention to your feet. Notice any bodily sensations that arise. If you notice pain or tension, acknowledge it and any thoughts or feelings that accompany those sensations. Breathe calmly and without judgment.
Step 4: Inhale into any noticeable tension.
If you notice any discomfort, focus your attention on it. Breathe in these sensations and pay attention to what is happening. Visualize sensations of ache, pain, pressure, or tension leaving your body. Imagine the discomfort coming out of your physical self through the breath and evaporating into the air. Move on to the next part of the body when you feel satisfied and ready. nine0003
Step 5: Full body scan.
Continue the body scan meditation in every area of the whole body. Gradually move up from the feet through the legs and torso until you reach the top of the head. Notice where there is tension in your body. If you notice pain, pressure, aches, or tightness, continue to breathe into them.
Love-Kindness Meditation promotes the development of a state of love, kindness and compassion for yourself and others. , which allows you to achieve a better state of well-being.The exercise consists of imagining yourself in a state of well-being and inner peace by repeating three encouraging phrases, or mantras, to yourself.0003
You can combine this meditation with a body scan if you wish. As you direct your attention through your body from your toes to the top of your head, use the traditional love-kindness phrases during your quiet times to connect with yourself.
Risks and Contraindications
While there are no real risks or contraindications for body scan meditation, there are some rare side effects that occur in some individuals. These include increased depression, anxiety and, in rare cases, mania. However, most people who practice body scanning meditation report an improvement in their mental health. If you feel mentally deteriorating after practicing body scanning, this might not be the best exercise for you. nine0003
Frequently Asked Questions
Is body scanning awareness?
Yes, the body scanning technique is a form of meditation. Instead of focusing on your breath, as you do in most mindfulness exercises, you will focus on the sensations in your body. Aligning with the body and connecting with the physical self will improve your mindfulness, concentration and awareness. If you incorporate body scanning into your daily routine and dedicate yourself to this practice, you will reap many benefits. nine0003
What is a body scan and imaging?
During body scan meditation, you may notice that your body feels tense and uncomfortable. You can use visualization to ease this pain by releasing the pressure when it happens. Visualize tension and discomfort leaving your body through the breath as you exhale. Imagine that it comes out of your physical self through the breath and evaporates into the air. You may need to repeat the visualization several times, and once you are satisfied with how that body part feels, you can move on to the next body part. Repeat this process each time you notice a new sensation of discomfort. nine0003
What is a body scan in therapy?
The body scan is an example of awareness that maintains awareness in the present moment. Focusing on the various sensations in the body is the anchor for mindful attention. It is used in therapy for several reasons, including stress and pain relief.
Is Yoga Nidra body scan meditation?
Yes, Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation where you scan your body. It is aimed at awareness of different parts of the body and helps to achieve deep relaxation. Guided meditation brings practitioners to a state where the body rests and the mind remains conscious. The body scan process regenerates the nervous system and energizes the mind and body. nine0003
Are body scan meditations good for sleep?
Yes, body scan meditations are great for helping you fall asleep at night. By paying attention to your body, you can notice where you are tense and begin to release your stress, which will prepare you for rest and help you fall asleep soundly, and with it, reduce sleep deprivation.
ANAHANA MEDITATION RESOURCES
Meditation of the body scan
Management of anxiety Removing
Meditation for children
ACTIVITION level reduces the level of burnout
7 Private meditation and how it can affect your brain.
How Mindfulness Changed My Sleep
Mindfulness Meditation for Pain Control - Harvard Health.
How to practice loving-kindness meditation. nine0003
Why and how to do a mental scan of the body to relieve stress.
Six Relaxation Techniques to Reduce Stress - Harvard Health.
Body Scan Meditation - HelpGuide.org.
Body scan meditation or bodyscan
Hello dear reader. If this is your first time visiting this site and you are looking for information to learn meditation, I recommend starting your reading with introductory articles that explain what meditation is and what results can be achieved with this practice. For example, take a look at this article. nine0003
If you already have some understanding of the essence of meditation, then I invite you to try a simple exercise, ideal for beginners. It's called "Bodiscan" or "Body Scan".
Let me remind you that the essence of meditation practice is that we learn to control our own consciousness. In everyday life, our consciousness is overloaded with a ton of thoughts and emotions. Our attention jumps back and forth, playing out upcoming plans, pondering past events. Some dialogues are constantly taking place inside, giving rise to emotions and experiences. Most of all these events taking place in our inner world are unproductive, they take a lot of strength and energy. nine0003
In addition, plunging into an endless stream of momentary thoughts and emotions, we lose touch with ourselves and cease to realize what is truly important and valuable.
I really like this metaphor. Imagine a surface of water with ripples. Because of the ripples, you won't be able to see the bottom. If the surface of the water is calm, then you can see what is happening at a depth.
It is the same with meditation. By calming our mind, we have the opportunity to look into the depths of our own soul, to discover and discover for ourselves what was not noticed before. nine0003
This was introductory information. I wanted to once again tell you what meditation is for. After all, only by understanding the meaning of this practice, you can fully use all its possibilities. If you would like more information on this subject, please see here.
What is important to know before starting meditation
Now let's move on to meditation itself. Its essence is to fix your own attention on different parts of the body. An approximate sequence of how to do this, I will give below. But first I want to note two points that most people face when they begin to master this meditation. nine0003
Attention can slip. If you've ever tried meditation, you probably know what it's about: you just followed the instructions for meditation, and in a moment you start thinking about something extraneous. About how to behave when such difficulties arise, many articles have been written on my blog. If this topic is relevant to you, start your reading here with this material.
Watching your own body, you may find that there are not only pleasant sensations, but also unpleasant ones: tension, stiffness, pain, heaviness, etc. And here, many people make the following mistake: they internally begin to struggle with unpleasant sensations, make some internal efforts in order to relax, reduce tension, change what they don’t like. nine0003
If you recognize yourself in this description, remember that meditation is not a relaxation technique. Its purpose is not relaxation. Although, if a person regularly practices meditation, relaxation will indeed occur, and it will be very deep. But in this case, relaxation is not an end in itself. Rather, it can be considered as a by-product: as a result of regular practice of meditation, a person becomes more harmonious internally and, as a result, more relaxed, free from unnecessary tension. nine0003
So, your task will not be to relax and achieve a comfortable state. Your task will be to take the position of a researcher, an observer. Attentively, calmly and with interest, observe any sensations present in the body, whatever they may be. Stop any of your attempts to change something, to somehow influence your own feelings. Smile inwardly at any sensation, whatever it may be.
It sounds paradoxical, but such an attitude towards one's own unpleasant sensations leads to deep relaxation. Read more about this here. nine0191
So now you are armed with all the information you need to get started. Take a comfortable body position. If this is your first time meditating, then you may want to get familiar with the postures that are suitable for practice. Read about it here.
Close your eyes and begin to fix your attention on the simple sensations that are present in the body. Feel the body position you are in. Feel how comfortable it is, and if you wish, change it a little in order to make it as comfortable as possible. nine0003
Feel your breath. Focus on how the inhalation occurs and how the exhalation occurs. Feel your chest and belly move as you breathe. On inhalation they expand, on exhalation they decrease in volume. Fix your attention on simple sensations that are always present in the body, but which we most often do not notice. Immerse yourself in observing such simple sensations.
Feel how the air enters the nasal cavity cool as you inhale, and as you exhale it returns to the environment warm and warm. Feel the lungs fill with air as you inhale, and as you exhale, the air flow leaves the body. nine0003
If your attention is distracted by extraneous thoughts, just notice it and gently bring yourself back to observing the sensations.
Feel the hands of your hands: the palms, the fingers, the backs of the hands. What feelings are there? Relaxation, tension, warmth, coolness, tingling, throbbing, heaviness, lightness? Notice any, the most insignificant sensations.
Many people answer the question: "What sensations are present in your body now?" they answer like this: "Nothing special. Everything is as usual." This answer does not mean that there are no sensations in the body. Such an answer means that a person is so used to his feelings that he stopped noticing them. Strive to consider, to see what you may not normally see. nine0003
Sequentially transfer your attention from one part of the body to another. Give each part of the body enough time to feel the most insignificant, barely perceptible bodily sensations.
Slowly move your attention to the area of the arms from the hands to the elbows, then from the elbows to the shoulders. Feel the muscles of the face, the scalp. Feel the back of the head, the back of the neck, the throat. Move your attention to your shoulders, chest.
Feel your chest moving as you breathe. The ribs rise as you inhale and fall as you exhale. Please note that this movement occurs not only in front, but also behind, in the back area. nine0003
Notice that by feeling the chest, you can not only focus on the sensations associated with the front of the body. You can also feel the volume of the chest, feel its back surface. You can fix your attention on the surface of the chest: feel your skin, ribs. And you can also plunge the focus of attention deep inside, feel the space inside.
In every area of the body there are countless different sensations. Listen to them, look into every corner of your own body. nine0191 Feel the back, abdomen, pelvis, buttocks, thighs, knees, shins, feet. Slowly shift your attention from one area of the body to another.
You may find that by simply observing, the sensations begin to change. This magic happens: you fix your attention on some sensation and do nothing else. But from a mere observation, changes begin to occur in the body.
For example, people often say that the detected tension suddenly begins to transform into relaxation. It is usually explained like this. In some unpleasant situation, a person experienced tension and did not even realize where exactly in the body the muscles tightened. The situation has long passed, and the muscles remained in a tense state. In this case, it is often enough to notice the tension for relaxation to occur
It is important that people who regularly practice this kind of meditation transfer the skill of detecting unnecessary tension in the body into their daily lives. They usually talk about it like this: “I was late for a meeting and I was nervous. And suddenly I found that my shoulders were very tense at the same time. Then I thought: “Will anything change if I tense my shoulders and worry?” After that, I relaxed my body and I managed to calm down.”
It seems to be so simple: to realize that at a given moment in time the emotions that arise are unproductive, and to create a different mood within yourself. In reality, this is not so easy to implement. I think most people know this from personal experience. So meditation can be very helpful in this case. nine0003
Often doing the Body Scan meditation leads to a state of deep relaxation. But this is not always the case.
Many people experience unpleasant sensations while meditating. The fact that they do not need to be fought, I wrote above. Just observe the sensations that are currently present in your body. Mentally smile at them. Treat them carefully and with care.
Note that no sensation is static. Feelings are always changing, perhaps at a very slow pace. nine0003
Imagine a sky filled with clouds. At first glance, it seems that nothing is happening, the sky is equally overcast all the time. But if you look closely, you will find that the clouds are moving all the time. This happens very slowly, so you can only notice such a movement with careful observation.
The same happens with our sensations. They have a fluid nature and are constantly changing, transforming from one to another. Notice how it happens.
It is especially useful to notice how unpleasant sensations change. Then you stop perceiving them as a static problem that needs to be dealt with. Seeing the variability of unpleasant sensations, realizing that they are not eternal, it is easier to treat them positively and with acceptance.