Mindfulness for Health Courses and Groups in Oxford
“Do not fight against pain; do not fight against irritation or jealousy. Embrace them with great tenderness, as though you were embracing a little baby.” Thich Nhat Hahn
In a way pain is a call- a call to attend, a call to tend and a call to tenderness. It is a call to embrace and saturate our pain with compassion and a loving heart.
The term Mindfulness was coined by Thich Nhat Hahn a Vietnamese Buddhist Monk and peace activist. He sought to bring present moment, kindly awareness into everyday life, thereby bringing years of meditators experiences out of monastries into the secular world. In a world that increasingly worships the intellect, logic, measurables and the rational, he taught kindness, simplicity, gratitude and embodied ways of being, bringing us more into balance. Buddha was concerned with learning about suffering and the end of suffering and it is perhaps this that has brought mindfulness into the health sector. Jon Kabat Zinn started teaching mindfulness to people with health issues. As he began to evidence his research he found that it was significantly helpful for many health conditions. His book, Full Catastrophe Living documents his explorations. Vidyamala Burch who has severe spinal damage and chronic pain found Jon Kabat Zinn’s mindfulness so helpful for her own suffering and pain that she developed Breathworks courses specifically for chronic pain and chronic ill health as well as stress. The training was a natural extension of my work as a physiotherapist and brought my love of meditation into my work. I started meditation 40 years ago and now teach the Breathworks course as well as using it one to one in my work if it seems appropriate.
Breathworks Courses for relieving chronic pain and ill health
Mindfulness is helpful for many conditions. Please call and ask about yours.
- Fibromyalgia and other chronic fatigue conditions
- Chronic pain whatever its origins…back, neck or centrally mediated pain ie from the brain Complex regional pain syndrome
- Breathing difficulties
- Stress and Anxiety
- Abdominal pains
- Radiotherapy or chemotherapy induced aches and pains
Breathworks Mindfulness for Health courses help with learning about suffering and the different ways we suffer. For instance primary suffering is the actual unpleasant sensations we feel, wheras secondary suffering is our resistance to the primary suffering. This can take the form of tensing our muscles against the pain, hardening against our experience or numbing out, breathing shallowly, excessive use of pain medications or alcohol, frustration, anger, endless problem solving, being overly busy or isolating yourself and withdrawing. Mindfulness helps with secondary suffering and often the primary suffering too as they are intimately woven together in our minds. It can actually be our thoughts of pain rather than the actual sensations of pain that are so stressful and drive us crazy.
Mindfulness helps to reduce fear by bringing our suffering into a loving, compassionate and non- judgemental embrace. We learn to gently inhabit our body again which can often feel like an enemy when it is wracked with pain. Our body responds to kindness, acceptance and gratitude. We learn the body scan, breathing anchor meditations, compassionate acceptance, open heart meditation and connection meditations to name a few, and we learn to find balance in our lives through pacing and to find equanimity by responding rather than reacting. Meditative movements are also a part of the course as physical fitness often deteriorates with chronic pain.
I run a monthly drop in group on the 3rd Thursday of the month. The next one is on the 20th Sept at 10.30am at my house. The theme for this month is Love…..how we may shrink from it and feel unworthy or ashamed. Remembering that breath is Love….and Love is a force of attraction.
If your interest is piqued do get in touch and I can put you on the mailing list.