Paying attention to present-moment experiences in a gentle, accepting way.
What is Mindfulness?
What stresses you? Is it too many demands and not enough time and too much month at the end of the money? What gets you fretting at 4 in the morning, your job, your relationships, your debts; maybe the feeling that you’re not achieving the things you dreamed of in your youth?
If you worry, ruminate on problems, want to get control but can’t quite manage it, congratulations. You’re human. That’s the way the brain evolved, it tries to keep us safe by pointing out all the things to worry about so we can do something – but the world we evolved for doesn’t exist anymore and what we want to do – fight, flee or freeze – doesn’t help us.
But you can find peace, reduce stress and be in control of your life – the secret isn’t in the world around you, it’s inside you.
How does it work?
Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment. And non-judgmentally. In learning mindfulness, you’re learning to be in control of your own mind instead of letting your mind be in control of you.
It’s therefore the opposite of being absent-minded or operating on auto-pilot. Have you ever had the experience of driving for miles, and having no recollection of how you got there? Your mind wasn’t with you in the car, it was off doing what minds do.
Mindfulness isn’t about trying to get somewhere, it’s about learning to be here.
There are different explanations of that, depending on whether you look at it from a philosophical (Buddhist), Western psychological or a neuroscience view. The general conclusion is that it allows you to control your mind better, to allow yourself space. Rather than reacting to something (the boss complaining, the children crying, the utility company being stupid), you get better at responding, being able to control the immediate flood of anger, frustration, fear or whatever and think more clearly about what to do.
There’s a lot of evidence from neuroscience that long-term meditation makes physical changes to the functioning of the brain, making people less susceptible to stress and making them generally happier and more at ease. And long-term is a relative term, even 8 weeks of practice has been shown to produce noticeable differences, not only in behaviour but in the brain as shown by fMRI scans.
Is it effective?
There’s considerable scientific evidence that it can help with a range of problems, particularly stress (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) and pain (Mindfulness Based Pain Management). It tends to lead to clearer thinking and is now used extensively by commercial organisations and the military to help with better decision making.
When practiced regularly it helps you to respond thoughtfully to situations, rather than react emotionally. Whether that means avoiding the overwhelming feeling of a fast-paced life, being able to distance yourself from chronic pain or feeling more poised and in control, it’s a very helpful and practical skill to acquire.
It’s not a magic bullet, if you try it once and give up because “it didn’t work”, then it probably won’t work. If you give it a try, do some simple exercises each day (just for a few minutes), it’s likely you’ll start to feel better. If you take it seriously, and commit more regular time to it, maybe use some of the free mindfulness meditations that I can recommend, then the evidence is that it will make a significant difference to you.
What our clients say about us
I understand that you are giving a talk to a group at a Fibromyalgia Group so I thought I would drop you a line and let you know who I have been since I saw you in Octobers last year and you may wish to quote my email in your chat.
When I came to see you I was in a lot of pain especially in my neck and shoulders and some in my lower back which was having a massive effect on my sleep and general well being. I had tried physiotherapy, Chiropractor and osteopath before having Bowen Therapy. Since my treatment with you I now rarely have any pain and now manage to get a good nights sleep which In turn has improved my quality of life which is why you haven’t seen me.
When I had my first treatment I must say I was sceptical (not sure if spelt right) and sometimes felt worse once I was home but after 4 sessions I decided to have a break from treatment and see what would happen and the the results have been amazing a complete life saver in my view. I no longer find that I am feeling depressed and am able to cope with life so much better and have even started exercising again.
I would say to anyone give Bowen a try and don’t dismiss it till you have at least a couple of sessions. After suffering for YEARS Bowen Therapy has in effect given me my life back. I am due to see a rhematoligist at the end of the month due to an unexplained swelling/lump that I have on my wrist which may or may not be the cause of intermittent pain I am getting in my thumb joint and also to see if I do indeed have Fibromyalgia (recently had lot of eye trouble which has been put down to dry eye) Always something with me but at least I am no longer in constant pain.
Late I know but thank you so much as you were a great.
Hi, just thought I would let you know that I spoke with my aunt last night, and she is very pleased with the service that you provide. Her feet felt great afterwards.
So, thank you, she thought it was a lovely experience.
I know that she has booked a second appointment so she has happy feet for Christmas! I am sure that she will spread the word amongst her friends.
Having developed a very painful and debilitating “frozen shoulder” which was impacting on my ability to lift my left arm higher than just a few inches, I was becoming concerned aboutthe amount of pain-killing drugs I was having to take to get through the day. I heard about the “Bowen Technique” through a friend and in desperation decided to book an appointment with Lee, to see if it could possibly help the condition. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but after just one pain free and relaxing session, I was amazed to find that the mobility in my shoulder had noticeably increased. Five treatments and about a month later, my shoulder was completely back to normal with its full mobility restored. That was seven months ago and my shoulder is still absolutely fine in every way. I can’t thank Lee enough for her help in using the “Bowen Technique” to completely cure my shoulder
So you can see I have a lot to THANK Bowen and you for…. There were times when I was going to give up – purely from the fear factor of not having a “loo” on that journey – but it’s amazing what you can “hold on to” …….I have been feeling very well and my body is improving almost weekly – my fitness is probably 100% up on this time last year and I feel positive, happy, calm in myself
Afternoon Lee Thank you for seeing me on Monday. I have made an appointment to see a doctor on Thursday and will let you know the outcome.The spasms around the ribs have almost gone, I am sleeping wonderfully and my neck is more flexible. I have been ambling around (and drinking water!) since Monday and this morning I’m feeling brighter. Looking forward to Monday! Kindest Regards Jo
HI Lee, Oh my its all better thank you so much can’t really believe the difference:you are magic. Thank you so much. Best regards and have a good Christmas if not seeing you before.
Since the start of my Bowen treatment I have had relief from pain that I have had for several years. I would recommend it to anyone who has any problems with their health. Also I find that my body and mind seem to be a lot more relaxed, feeling of well being.
Hi, I met you last week at Wexham Park Hospital, where you did a taster session
on myself. I’m very interested in having another treatment with you. I had great relief from the session I had with you.
I just thought I’d give you an update after my therapy yesterday. I felt so relaxed for the rest of the day and my painful right shoulder really subsided as the day went on.
I woke up this morning and felt brilliant! Hardly any aches and pains at all. I’ve had a great day with boundless energy. I’ve achieved so much, silly little things really but they mean a lot to be able to do these things that a few weeks ago seemed impossible.
I eventually called it a day at 4.30 pm and took a good book into the garden with a large glass of wine!
For the first time in weeks I feel totally normal and still very relaxed.
I’m looking forward to my therapy next week.
See you then, Kind regards,Sue
I’ve been meaning to send you a progress report for a while. My second treatment was nearly 3 weeks ago now.
Everything is doing really well! My leg and right side feels very different and ‘connected’ again. I realise I had got used to it not feeling right and now I’m definitely noticing the difference. I’m sure I’m moving in a more balanced way. The improvement has been dramatic after the last treatment. I did have some recurrence of aches down the leg and/or sciatic area some days later but this didn’t last very long. I find it hard to believe that two sessions have achieved this result.
I am delighted with how you and Bowen have helped me. Thank you so much; it’s a wonderful therapy. I’m feeling sure that this change for the better is permanent – but I’ll certainly call you if I do have any concerns later.
I hope all is well with you.
Best wishes JC
As a well-established curtain manufacturing business in the Maidenhead area, I know how important it is to offer a personal, high quality service to my clients.
I would therefore like to thank you for reaching the same high standard in you recent dealings with me. I was recommended to use you by Sally Radford of the Amber zone after I was diagnosed with tendinitis in my knee. I was a little apprehensive a first but you put me at ease very quickly. The treatment is like nothing I have ever experienced before however, I don’t need to know how it works, all I know is that it does. Three sessions and I was pain free and now I am even able to dance in the kitchen (when no-one is looking).
Thank you for your help and I will find it easy to refer my client’s to you, knowing that they are in safe hands.