I first encountered meditation and mindfulness in 2006 when I was travelling in India. I was drawn to mindfulness following my travels and have experienced the benefits of meditation in my life. 

I began to see how mindfulness might be helpful for those I worked with clinically. As a physiotherapist it seemed natural to apply mindfulness approaches to my clinical skills and treatment with people living with pain. As I was developing my interest and skills in mindfulness there was also a growing body of research and awareness of the potential benefits of mindfulness approaches for many long-term health conditions. 

I decided to develop my skills further and undertook several training courses including a week long teacher training retreat at the Centre for Mindfulness Research & Practice (CMRP) at Bangor University followed by completing a year-long foundations in teaching and practice training course at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre in 2014. 

I have used my mindfulness training in all aspects of my life and career including adapting for people living with neuropathic pain, for the Footsteps Festival, and for my cold water swimming!

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is bringing awareness to the present moment. Mindfulness offers a way to develop skills to objectively and non-judgmentally observe what is happening in the present moment. It is not about having a clear mind, instead it is about providing space in our minds to observe what is here right now in terms of our five senses, our thoughts, and our emotions. 

When our mind is distracted, perhaps by a strong physical sensation in the body such as pain, a past memory, or a future worry, we tend to make decisions in a "mindless" way, reacting instead of responding, not fully present and aware. 

When we are present in this moment we can make clear choices about what we need to do to best take care of ourselves. 

Mindfulness training tends to focus on three main meditation practices:

The man who most consider responsible for bringing mindfulness mediation to western society, and in particular healthcare, is Jon Kabat Zinn. Click the video link below (1min 34 sec) to hear directly from him about mindfulness.

How can Mindfulness help?

Below Sharon Salzberg explains the benefit of Mindfulness (2 min 21 sec)

What is the science behind mindfulness?

If you want a little bit of the neuro-science of mindfulness watch the video below (9 mins). 

If you'd like a slightly longer video (30 mins) about the science and effects of mindfulness meditation then you might want to look at the following video with input from many leading figures in the field

Useful Mindfulness Resources

This list is not exhaustive but will hopefully give you some resources to build your mindfulness practice, they are ones I have found useful along the way. Enjoy!

Websites (click on the name to be redirected to the website)

Books for adults

Prof. Jon Kabat-Zinn

Prof Mark Williams, Dr Danny Penman

Vidyamala Burch , Dr Danny Penman

Prof. Jon Kabat-Zinn

Thich Nhat Hahn


Books for children (that are good for adults too!)