Mindfullness (NHS) is a must to try before any Major decisions

Mindfullness (NHS) is a must to try before any Major decisions

I have now finished an 8 week course of Mindfullness and it took me till the 5th week for me to fall into the programme of Meditation!

I'm not saying goodbye this is for everyone, however, I manage to do 1hr a day. This hour takes me away from my pain for that time only. It's not a miracle cure but is certainly helps you brain to by-pass the pain for a small period of time which is heaven for Me!!!

If anyone else has done this Mindfulness sessions, please get in touch xxxx

31 Replies

  • I have as well and find it extremely useful. As you say it's not for everyone but if you get it then it can be a great help. I can use it for an hour like you say but also be a little five minute grounding technique for when I'm out and about or going to have a potentially awkward discussion. I've been doing it for so long now parts have rubbed off into my daily routine without me realising. I'm definitely a calmer, happier bunny with it in my life.

  • I've done a couple of taster sessions and just started an eight week course. I think anything like this is a useful self help thing that can make quite a bit of difference to how you deal with chronic illness or pain.

  • Good for you, try to stick with it and dont try to get there too quick!

  • I am a bit worried. You need to read "Meditation_A_Way_of_Awakening_-_Ajahn_Sucitto.pdf". This is a free download which you can download from the internet.


    Mindfulness is not about bypassing pain. It is about not adding to the pain by adding further emotions on top of what you already have. There can be nasty side effects with mindfulness which most of the religious traditions are aware of. The NHS tends to pretend that these side effects do not exist.

    Please find where your nearest Buddhist group who practise meditation and mindfulness is.

    With mindfulness is posture issues. It is very easy to shut down awareness by mental control and call it mindfulness.

    I about 35 years experience of mindfulness and have had the experience of things going very wrong with mindfulness. This is common and the ability to find other people who have met the problems and can guide you in over coming the problems is important.

    Hope I have not frightened you too much.

  • You certainly haven't frightened me, I'm 62 years young and have had chronic pain for 31 years!!

    I said this is not for everyone, however, it has made a difference in my life and if I can distract my mind from the pain for even half an hour, then that's Half an hour less pain than I had before!

    There are hundreds, if not Thousands whom have benefited from Mindfulness, so I would never knock it!

  • Hear hear Del123

  • Personally, I'd rather take my chances on learning mindfulness from an NHS professional (who presumably understands chronic illness) than from any buddhist centre (who are by definition more concerned with developing a spiritual practice), though I do have a lot of friends who practice buddhist meditation, and I have myself attended courses at buddhist centres. I hope no-one is put off giving mindfulness a try, though if buddhist meditation practice suits you better, then by all means go for it.

  • I have also learnt the NHS mindfulness from an NHS professional. Not impressed. Spiritual practice is a way of transcending pain. Spiritual practice makes you aware of the little things that make a difference.

    An NHS professional who understands chronic illness is not necessarily a person who enables the patient to develop the ways and means to cope with their chronic illness better.

    The patient needs to be given the tools to investigate their chronic illness. The people on this forum have given plenty of evidence that this is not happening.

  • I'm sorry I have to challenge this also John smith. The top chronic pain team in the country - St Thomas' spends time every day of the 2 week INPUT pain management programme on mindfulness and this approach is filtering out as good practice to many other pain services throughout the country. This fact demonstrates that your view:

    'An NHS professional who understands chronic illness is not necessarily a person who enables the patient to develop the ways and means to cope with their chronic illness better'

    Is incorrect. Multi disciplinary teams of physiotherapists, consultants, occupational therapists, psychologists are all involved in using an holistic approach to the perception of pain to support the patients


  • Hi Curlygirl thank god there are some sensible people out there like yourself.

    I go to the Walton Centre Hospital on a monthly basis who only deal with Neurological Pain and they too suggest this to all their patients. Keep the good work up XX

  • You say: "Multi disciplinary teams of physiotherapists, consultants, occupational therapists, psychologists are all involved in using an holistic approach to the perception of pain to support the patients."

    This is just words. Their approach is just fine until you find something better. When you find something better then you will find what they offer is wanting.

    A lot of things are down to experience and what you have experienced. If you have my experience then you will understand what I am getting at. If you have a different experience then what I say can be just words which are not understood.

    Not more I can say here.

  • Do you have experience of the St Thomas' Chronic Pain Team or the many other highly regarded, research based pain teams that are supporting so many of us Johnsmith???

    You have found something that for you is better and sadly, my experience of you on this forum is that you discredit and make very negative comments about approaches that others are posting about the benefits they have found.

    Most of us are all dealing with very complex issues, many of us for more years than we care to remember. My story of pain, surgery and procedures goes back 40+ years and I know without a shadow of a doubt that any approach which works with the psychological effects of chronic pain will benefit and it does not have to be 'your' approach.

    I absolutely believe we should support each other on here and not be negative and verging on superior, which is how I and others receive many of your posts.

    You may be experienced and somewhat of an expert in your field - which is what you appear to communicate to us but you are not an expert on me, nor my experience - or any other member on here. Our experience, whatever it is, is just as valid as yours.

    I have asked before John smith with no acknowledgement from you - please extend kindness and gentleness to us on here, we are all struggling.

    In life there are always many ways that are 'the right way' for many people, we don't all have to fit into your ideal and feel criticised if we don't.


  • Couldn't have put it better myself Shirley, don't waste your time with people of Negative comments and know-alls!

    As you said, we are all suffering or "own pain" which nobody else but you know how bad it really is!!

  • I can say no more Del123 - I have asked on several occasions for posts to be kind and gentle, not sympathetic, just mindful of just how overwhelmed, distressed and suffering unspeakable pain folk on here are often dealing, myself included!

    My view is if a person has time to post then surely there is time to just check how that post may be received by the more vulnerable members on here.

    I will not attempt any further communication with this member - it is falling and has consistently fallen on deaf ears,

    Take good care of you - in the way that works for you :-)

    Very best wishes



  • You can receive my posts how you like. I do not have the time to try and figure out the many many ways you can approach things so that someone does not get upset.

    Some people like to have sympathy because they believe that they do not have to do anything and everything can be done for them. There are others who are looking for what ever information they can get and want pointers to where to look for the information.

    My posts are aimed at those who want information and are willing to go out and get the information that they need to help themselves as best they can.

    As Del123 says: "don't waste your time with people of Negative comments and know-alls!" Translated: "scream about how something hurts and do nothing about the situation. Don't bother to do any investigation and then wonder why you still got a problem many years later."

    I spend many hours a week researching my issues. Some researches draw a dead end. Some researches show that a particular approach is laden with problems. Some researches indicate that this approach will reduce the problem just a little bit. And even some researches show that my conclusions on something can be wrong.

    What is even frightening is that some treatments are not based on they work but based on this is a good way to save money and make money.

  • What are the 'bad' side effects of the NHS Mindfulness? Are there any with the Buddhist Mindfulness/Meditation?

    I'm asking purely out of curiosity & interest; didn't know there was a difference or that it's such a contentious issue!!


  • Mindfulness and meditation play with the mind. There are subtleties of practise which vary from one set of emotional life to another. In the Buddhist Mindfulness/Meditation there is the teachings of the Monks who practise it 24/7. They come across various difficulties which they deal with because they have other experienced practising monks they can ask advice of. The monks advise the layman and laymen who have been practising a long time advise others.

    I personally don't see any difference between NHS mindfulness/meditation or Buddhist mindfulness/meditation. The difference comes in that the NHS don't quite realise that there are subtleties in how you can practise and the problems that can arise.

    With the Buddhist practise there are the precepts governing behaviour. These are important because they actually protect you from some of the negative effects that can occur when practising mindfulness/meditation.

    The NHS does not consider the precepts or any of the codes of conduct that exist in the religious traditions. This is the major difference.

    The practice of Mindfulness/Meditation takes down the psychic barriers that we put up to protect us from our environment. Sometimes we can take down these barriers before we are ready leaving our minds to be badly hurt. I know "psychic barriers" is not a scientific or medical term.

    Sometimes, we can have an illness or injury which changes something in our emotional makeup without us realising it. But we still engage in mindfulness/meditation in exactly the same way. Our psychic barriers are down the the change in mental state leaves us very vulnerable to whats in the environment and we get badly hurt.

    In Buddhist mindfulness/meditation practised with fellow Buddhists there are more experienced meditators who can hopefully help. With the NHS there would be a visit to a psychiatrist and the being given standard psychotic drug treatment.

    I had a road traffic accident and I had to change how I did my practice as a result in order to remain sane. The change was subtle. It was a few years before I gained any sensible equilibrium. What happened to me was well understood by the monks. It is not understood by anyone I have met who learnt the NHS and Bangor mindfulness.

    Hope I have been able to explain the situation.

  • Perhaps you could point us towards the research which demonstrates that supports your view that mindfulness can go so wrong Johnsmith please?

    Such vague and possibly ( probably ) unsupported information is not helpful to so many of us in major pain

    In order to take a balanced view I look forward to hearing from you


  • It doesn't work on everyone, however, don't you think its worth a try as you obviously (like myself) have tried everything & it doesnt cost anything?

  • Research can be unreliable. What is the research how is it done? Much research is based on a single interview of 90 minutes among a number of people. The 90 minute interviews are then compared to look for common trends. This then becomes the research results. The research is also tainted by what the researcher has defined as what they are looking for.

    The results change when you take one person over a period of time and do several interviews over a number of years. Here you are getting depth rather than a shallow skimming of the surface.

    In case you are wondering I have over a hundred books of talks by monks on their experience of mindfulness. I have my experience of mindfulness: the good times, the bad times, the screw up times, and the times when mindfulness feeds and creates bad mental health.

    I started mindfulness 40 years ago. I practised it before my road traffic accident when I did not have chronic pain. I have practised it when I suffered chronic pain and sleep deprivation after a road traffic accident. I have practised it when I got the sleep deprivation sorted.

    At the end of the day you must investigate, question and form your own conclusions. It is very easy to not examine something and do something as a rote practice without realising it.

    My experience is that things can go wrong. I have experienced this personally. This not be in the research papers that I know of. It is reflected in the talks that the monks have given on various times on their own experience. I monk I know told how one of the people he knew used mindfulness to prepare for their suicide. Unfortunately, the monk did not know this until after the event.

  • Hello John,

    First of all as I have said on numerous occasions, it's not for everyone, I think you'll find it helps more people on the 8 week course than not!

    You can't talk about individual circumstances that has happen as the odds do not stack up.

    I had a prolapsed disc operation 32yrs ago where 1 in 100,000 go wrong, I was that one😱He cut the spinal chord by mistake. Now 8 operations later I thought I'd try Mindfulness. It worked for me like it works for many so please don't diss it😡

  • Thanks for the reply. it is difficult to explain my position. Mindfulness is a name. The actual practice is a subtle variable according to circumstance. So for circumstance the subtle variable needs to change in order to get the best benefit.

    If you use the wrong subtle variable which can happen then you can run into problems.

    This is what I am trying to point out with difficulty. Mindfulness is for everyone. The subtleties of practising mindfulness varies from one person to another.

    I am not trying to diss mindfulness. I am trying to point out things are never straight forward. Practising mindfulness is like travelling across a terrain. There are quicksands, solid paths, ravines and grassy paths. You adapt your travel method to where you are on the terrain. Sometimes you need another traveller to pull you out of the quicksand.

    Hope what I am trying to say is understandable.

  • Yes I have just completed a mindfulness for health course run by the NHS .I went into it with an open mind .I have found it quite helpful especially in dealing with situations where I am doing too much.The theme running through the eight weeks is to cultivate the habit of pacing and therefore lessening your pain levels.To me it is another tool in my tool kit.I do two ten minute practises every day and find they have a calming influence on me.

  • I agree with you 100%, however, as I've said to many people is that you have nothing to lose ad a lot to gain!

    If someone does ot think its for them, they can leave at ANY time right? Some people are looking too deep into this Mindfulness & I'm glad it has been able to help you...

  • I know of no negative consequences for any kind of mindfulness practice.

  • Thank you Tess X

  • Agree with you as it can only do you good!!

  • Hi Delboy1

    Congrats on persuing even though you didn't buy the benefits for a fair while. I've been using Mindfulness techniques for about 3 years now and cannot recommend it highly enough. Have you read Ruby Wax's books 'Sane New World' and 'Frazzled' She comes at Mindfulness from more of a mental health aspect. The books are the best and easiest to understand version of the neuroscience that I've come across and demonstrates how the brain literally changes its pathways as a result of consistent use of mindfulness practice. So the time that you spend doing your techniques will change the way your brain works ALL the time!!!

    I'm a counsellor and use Mindfulness to support my clients with anxiety, anger, pain etc etc.

    No it's not a cure but it definitely helps and with NO SIDE EFFECTS!!!!

    Onwards and Upwards Delboy1 😄



  • I think that's great, shame not everyone thinks this way XX

  • Hi

    I haven't attended an nhs mindfulness course but one of my consultants at a big teaching hospital in London who treats me for endometriosis and adenomyosis introduced me to Headspace in 2013 and I've been using it ever since. It hasn't helped so much with the bladder pain syndrome and retention but never say never. The first 10 sessions are free but for a small monthly fee you can download additional content i.e. Sessions specifically for anxiety, depression, etc. It has helped me enormously especially with dealing with the recent

    The only group of people I've heard it needs to be used with caution is those who experience some forms of mental illness such as psychosis but they can practice but probably under the guidance of a trained mental health professional

  • Good reply. What people forget is that various forms of psychosis can pop up out of the blue without any one realising it. Circumstances of life keep changing. A dose of flue or a bad cold or food poisoning and you can have minor psychosis. A bad batch of antibiotics can give you psychosis. At the time this happens you are probably not under the guidance of a trained mental health professional. You have been practising mindfulness for several years and so assume that you do practise exactly the way you have been doing before.

    This is the difficulty that is not realised.

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